Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
A 115bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol is the only engine available at the moment. It’s gutsy enough if you keep the revs above 2000rpm, and if you work it really hard it can take the Juke from 0-62mph in 10.4sec.
True, equivalent engines in the rival Skoda Kamiq and Volkswagen T-Roc are stronger, but not by a great deal. The mild-hybrid engines in the Ford Puma on the other hand, particularly the 1.0 Ecoboost Hybrid (mHEV) 155, are another matter; these feel quite punchy by comparison.
Other engines are likely to join the Juke line-up in the future, including a hybrid version, although Nissan has ruled out a diesel.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Juke isn't horrendously uncomfortable by any stretch, and takes most of the sting out of bigger bumps and road scars. But it's not a calm ride, either, jostling around over any little bumps in town or on faster roads. Sticking with the smaller 16in or 17in alloy wheels offers the best comfort, but even these can't make the Juke as easy-going as the really cosseting cars in the class, such as a Kamiq or T-Roc. Although the Puma is firmer, it's also less agitated.
The 19in alloy wheels of the range-topping Tekna and Tekna+ trims don’t do the ride comfort any favours, but the difference they make isn't as stark as it can be in some of the Juke’s competitors.
Despite its lofty stance, the Juke doesn’t sway around through tight twists and turns as much as you might imagine. There's a reasonable amount of grip, too.
That said, it's not that much fun, mainly because there's little connection between you and the road, unlike the Puma, which is by far the sharpest and most enjoyable small SUV to drive. It's steering is weightier and more alert, the body control is better over undulating roads and it’s simply more agile and playfully balanced in bends. The Kamiq and T-Roc aren't on the Puma's level, but they also feel more poised than the Juke.
Noise and vibration
Let’s start with the positives. The Juke’s 1.0-litre petrol engine is quieter than equivalent engines in the T-Roc or Kamiq, even if you do hear some strange whistling noises from the turbocharger if you drive with any vigour.
The six-speed manual gearshift is relatively light, but the gearshift in rivals such as the T-Roc, Kamiq or Puma is noticeably more precise. Those cars are also easier to drive smoothly in stop-start traffic, thanks to the greater directness of their clutch biting points.
Unfortunately, a fair amount of wind and road noise also makes its way inside the Juke. The latter is compounded by the enormous 19in alloy wheels that come as standard on the top trims. If you want the quietest cruising manners in the class, the T-Roc is the car for you.
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