New Nissan Juke review

Category: Small SUV

The 2024 Juke is strong in some key areas but there are more well-rounded small SUVs available

Nissan Juke front right driving
  • Nissan Juke front right driving
  • Nissan Juke rear right driving
  • Nissan Juke interior dashboard
  • Nissan Juke boot open
  • Nissan Juke interior driver display
  • Nissan Juke right driving
  • Nissan Juke front left driving
  • Nissan Juke rear left driving
  • Nissan Juke alloy wheel detail
  • Nissan Juke badge detail
  • Nissan Juke interior front seats
  • Nissan Juke interior back seats
  • Nissan Juke interior steering wheel detail
  • Nissan Juke infotainment touchscreen
  • Nissan Juke interior detail
  • Nissan Juke interior detail
  • Nissan Juke interior seat speaker
  • Nissan Juke front right driving
  • Nissan Juke rear right driving
  • Nissan Juke interior dashboard
  • Nissan Juke boot open
  • Nissan Juke interior driver display
  • Nissan Juke right driving
  • Nissan Juke front left driving
  • Nissan Juke rear left driving
  • Nissan Juke alloy wheel detail
  • Nissan Juke badge detail
  • Nissan Juke interior front seats
  • Nissan Juke interior back seats
  • Nissan Juke interior steering wheel detail
  • Nissan Juke infotainment touchscreen
  • Nissan Juke interior detail
  • Nissan Juke interior detail
  • Nissan Juke interior seat speaker
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Introduction

What Car? says...

The original Nissan Juke was an absolute trailblazer. Designed as an alternative to conventional small hatchbacks, its high-riding stance put an SUV within the grasp of buyers on modest budgets.

And despite its quirky looks not being to everyone’s tastes, the Juke sold by the proverbial bucketload and inspired a raft of other small SUVs. The trouble is, even if you loved the way the original Juke looked, there weren’t many logical reasons for buying one.

Thankfully, a number of facelifts have changed that, vastly improving the Juke in areas where it was previously flawed, so you you now get a smarter interior, a bigger boot and better engines. Speaking of which, there's now a choice between a traditional petrol engine or a self-charging hybrid petrol one.

As for rivals, there are quite a few other cars you might be consider – ranging from the Ford Puma and Renault Captur to the Toyota Yaris Cross and VW T-Roc.

Read on to find out how the Nissan Juke stacks up against the best small SUVs for practicality, efficiency, reliability and more. We’ll also give you our take on the best version to go for.

Overview

The Nissan Juke has a smart interior and comes with plenty of equipment, but there are more rounded choices in the small SUV class, including the Ford Puma, Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Roc. If you're buying a Juke we'd recommend the DIG-T 114 in entry-level N-Connecta trim.

  • Smart interior
  • Good safety rating
  • Lots of toys on our recommended trim
  • Choppy ride
  • So-so infotainment system
  • Hybrid isn't as fuel efficient as a Toyota Yaris Cross
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Our Pick

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Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T N-Connecta 5dr review
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The Nissan Juke engine line-up starts with our favourite 112bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine (badged DIG-T 114). It's hardly quick – in our tests it took a lengthy 11.7 seconds to sprint from 0-60mph – but it's gutsy enough as long as you keen the revs above 2,000rpm.

Equivalent engines in the rival Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Roc are stronger, albeit not by a great deal. The mild-hybrid engines in the Puma – especially the 1.0 Ecoboost Hybrid (mHEV) 155 – are another matter, and offer significantly faster acceleration than the 1.0-litre Juke.

The other Juke engine option is the 141bhp 1.6-litre regular hybrid. It's not exactly rapid, with an official 0-62mph time of 10.1 seconds, but it's quicker than a Toyota Yaris Cross. It pulls away on electricity alone, but acceleration is strongest above 15mph or so, when the petrol engine and electric motor are working in tandem.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Juke isn't horrendously uncomfortable by any stretch, and the suspension takes the sting out of bigger bumps and road scars reasonably well. However, smaller imperfections cause the car to fidget around annoyingly no matter what speed you're doing.

For the best comfort, we suggest sticking with the smaller 16in wheels fitted to entry-level N-Connecta trim cars, and avoiding the 19in rims fitted to Tekna trim and above. Still, no version is as smooth as the most cosseting small SUVs, including the Kamiq and T-Roc. The Puma is less agitated than the Juke too.

Nissan Juke image
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The Juke Hybrid has slightly different suspension, and comfort is even less impressive than in the cheaper 1.0 DIG-T 114.

Nissan Juke rear right driving

Handling

Despite its lofty stance, the Juke doesn’t sway around through tight twists and turns as much as you might imagine, and there's a reasonable amount of grip.

It's still not much fun though, mainly because the steering wheel feels too keen to return to the centre position when you're going round a corner – almost as though you've wound up an elastic band. It robs you of a lot of confidence and a sense of connection to the road.

The Puma isn't only sharper and more agile, it's also much more fun to drive than the Juke. In fact, even the Kamiq and T-Roc are more composed through corners.

Noise and vibration

The Juke’s 1.0-litre petrol engine is quieter than equivalent engines in the Kamiq and T-Roc, although you do hear some strange whistling noises from the turbocharger when you accelerate with any vigour. The Hybrid is even more hushed when running on electricity alone, but when you ask for a burst of acceleration, its 1.6-litre petrol engine's coarse note disrupts the calm.

The standard six-speed manual gearshift in the DIG-T 114 is relatively light and easy, but the shift actions in rivals such as the Puma, Kamiq and T-Roc are noticeably more precise. The optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is decidedly jerky and best avoided. The Juke Hybrid's auto box is smoother, but there's a long delay as it downshifts when you ask for maximum acceleration.

Unfortunately, whichever version you go for, a fair amount of wind and road noise makes its way inside the Juke. Road noise is made worse if you have the 19in wheels that come as standard on the top trims. For quiet cruising manners in a small SUV, take a look at the T-Roc.

Driving overview

Strengths Good body control; 1.0-litre engine is relatively hushed

Weaknesses Unsettled ride; noisier than many rivals; slow automatic gearbox

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Driving position and dashboard

It's easy to get comfy behind the wheel of the current Nissan Juke – in fact, much easier than in earlier versions, which had steering wheels that adjusted for height but not reach. Our only real demerit is that you don’t get adjustable lumbar support with any version.

If the reason you’re considering a small SUV rather than, say, a family car is that you like a lofty driving position, it’s worth noting that you feel a bit higher up when sitting in a Juke than in a Skoda Kamiq.

One thing we really like about the Juke’s interior is that you get physical controls for the air conditioning on all versions – they're far less distracting to use when you're driving than using the infotainment touchscreen to adjust the temperature, as you must on some models.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

Your view out of the front and diagonally out of junctions is pretty good. That’s partly because you’re perched relatively high up, but also because the windscreen pillars are helpfully slender.

Less impressive is the view back over your shoulder, which is more obscured than in rivals, including the T-Roc. The blame lies with the chunky rear pillars and small rear screen, although you get a reversing camera to help out with parking as standard.

If you choose Tekna trim or above, the parking camera is upgraded to a 360-degree one that gives you a bird’s eye view of the car, making manoeuvring in tight spaces even easier.

Nissan Juke interior dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

Every Juke comes with a 12.3in touchscreen infotainment system, which includes DAB radio, Bluetooth, built-in sat-nav, and Android Auto and Apple Carplay smartphone mirroring.

The system is a vast improvement on previous versions, with far sharper, more modern graphics and quicker response times to your prods. Even so, there’s still a delay when you open different parts of the system, and it's not as responsive as, for example, the Mini Countryman system. 

You get a six-speaker stereo as standard with entry-level N-Connecta trim, but that’s upgraded to a really punchy 10-speaker Bose sound system on all other trims. That’s an impressive upgrade by small SUV standards.

Quality

This is an area where the Juke has improved in leaps and bounds compared with the original model, and that has continued with the 2024 facelift. It feels really plush, especially if you go for Tekna+ or N Sport trim – they get fancier materials including Alcantara and glossy black plastic, and look and feel the best inside.

No matter which version you go for, the Juke feels better built inside than a Ford Puma. The turbine-style air vents, for example, are surprisingly upmarket and make a satisfying click when you close them. In fact, only the hard plastic on the tops of the doors lets the side down a little.

In terms of build quality and overall material plushness, the Juke is up there with the best small SUVs, and is beaten only by premium-badged models, such as the Audi Q2.

Interior overview

Strengths Good driving position; impressive interior quality 

Weaknesses Rear visibility isn’t great; no adjustable lumbar support

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Front space

There’s plenty of space for tall people in the front of the Juke, thanks to ample head room and seats that slide a long way back.

Storage space is nothing to write home about, but there’s a small cubby below the central armrest, two cupholders just in front of that, a decent-sized glovebox and a small area to place your phone, which doubles as wireless phone-charging on all models.

Rear space

There’s a fair amount of leg room in the back of the Juke, and even six-footers won’t have to suffer their knees digging into the seat in front.

Head room is merely acceptable though. If you’re long in the body or have a particularly wacky hairstyle, you might find you need to duck.

The Juke also feels a little more claustrophobic in the back than some of its key rivals – including the Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Roc – because of its tapering windowline.

Nissan Juke boot open

Seat folding and flexibility

All versions of the Juke come with 60/40 split folding rear seats – handy on those occasions you need to carry lots of clobber, or something particularly long or bulky.

The rear seats don’t slide back and forth as they do in the VW T-Cross, but that’s a rare feature in the small SUV class and its absence isn't likely to be a deal-breaker for many buyers.

Boot space

The DIG-T 114 has a 422-litre boot, which is a usefully square shape, and most versions of the Juke have a height-adjustable boot floor as standard. If you set this to its highest position, there’s virtually no lip to negotiate at the boot entrance. When the rear seats are folded down, there's no step in the floor of the extended load area.

In fact, you can get almost as much in the boot of the Juke as in the larger Nissan Qashqai. We managed to fit six carry-on suitcases below the load cover, which is impressive by class standards, although a Puma swallowed eight cases.

That's said, the Juke Hybrid gets a smaller boot due to the battery pack raising the height of the boot floor, although on the plus side, its load bay is a uniform shape that helps when packing.

Practicality overview

Strengths Decent boot (as long as you avoid the Hybrid); plenty of space in the front

Weaknesses Rivals are roomier in the back; limited seating flexibility

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Nissan Juke’s starting price looks reasonable, especially considering the standard equipment you get, and costs a little more than you’ll pay for the entry-level Skoda Kamiq. However, the poshest trims and the Hybrid engine push the price up by many thousands of pounds, moving the Juke well into VW T-Roc and even Audi Q2 territory.

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are respectable but not class-leading. The Ford Puma Ecoboost 125 is more efficient than an equivalent Juke DIG-T 114, while the hybrid Toyota Yaris Cross betters the Juke Hybrid by a big margin.

The Juke is predicted to hold on to its value reasonably well, but is expected to depreciate faster than some rivals, including the T-Roc. Make sure to check out our Nissan Juke deals to make sure you get the best price to make up for that.

Equipment, options and extras

In the past, the Juke came with a fairly sparse entry-level trim, but now the starting point of the range is N-Connecta, which is our pick. It keeps the cost competitive but comes with lots of kit, including 17in alloy wheels, automatic climate control, heated door mirrors, keyless entry and start, automatic wipers and lots of other kit. 

Stepping up, Tekna is next in the range. It adds larger 19in wheels, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated front windscreen and an upgraded sound system and parking camera. Alternatively, you can pay a little extra for Tekna+, which gets some style upgrades. 

At the top of the range is N-Sport. It costs the same as the Tekna+ but has sportier styling on the exterior, and smarter materials inside. We think they're both too expensive to recommend.

Nissan Juke interior driver display

Reliability

In the 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, the Juke finished mid-table in the small SUV class, while Nissan as a whole claimed 19th place out of the 32 brands included. If you want a more reliable small SUV, take a look at the Q2 or Yaris Cross.

You get a three-year/60,000-mile warranty as standard, although this can be extended for an extra cost. That's pretty average, and beaten by Hyundai (five years), Kia (seven years) and Toyota (up to 10 years/100,000 miles if you get an annual service at a franchised dealer).

Safety and security

The Juke received five stars out of five for safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP – but the devil is in the detail.

We looked into the results more deeply and discovered that in the adult occupancy test, the Juke was found to offer "marginal" protection in a sideways crash, which gave it a lower score than the Kamiq. It performed slightly better than the Kamiq in the child occupancy and pedestrian tests though.

All versions come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and traffic-sign recognition. You get more safety kit if you go for Tekna or higher, including blindspot detection and rear cross-traffic alert (to warn you of cars that are about to cross your path when you’re backing out on to a road).

Costs overview

Strengths Lots of standard safety equipment; attractive entry price; lots of standard kit; 

Weaknesses So-so fuel economy; higher trims are expensive


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FAQs

  • While the Nissan Juke comes with plenty of standard kit and has an impressive interior, there are better small SUVs available, including the Ford Puma, the Skoda Kamiq and the VW T-Roc.

  • The main downsides of the Juke are that it’s ride is quite choppy, it’s smaller in the back than its rivals and its fuel economy is only so-so compared with other small SUVs.

  • It hasn’t. In fact, it has been facelifted for 2024, gaining a larger infotainment system with new software, even better interior materials, a new top-trim and the re-introduction of the yellow launch colour, which was very popular on the first Juke.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £2,655
Target Price from £21,149
Save up to £2,655
or from £202pm
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £16,599
RRP price range £23,500 - £31,995
Number of trims (see all)5
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, hybrid
MPG range across all versions 46.3 - 58.9
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,343 / £1,834
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,686 / £3,667
Available colours