The Nissan Juke is a fabulous five-door compact crossover that was launched in 2010. There is now a second-generation car that oozes class although some of the quirky design cues have been ditched – for better, or worse.
The goodAttractive rugged design and great to drive
The badLots of plastic inside
Nissan Juke 1.0 DIG-T Tekna+ (2021)
It’s been a decade since the Juke was first launched bringing its fun and funky styling to the UK and now a second-generation model has arrived and its quite a step up.
The original Juke’s quirky design was a bit like Marmite – you either loved or hated it – but whatever the reaction, the car went on to be a huge global success. And now Nissan has raised the bar even further with the latest model.
It has undergone a complete makeover with a fresh new look that is not so quirky. There is extra space within the cabin, plus a wealth of top quality tech, including speakers in the headrests – and that is a very premium statement.
Diesel options have been ditched but the car has a punchy 1.0-litre petrol engine with a choice of transmissions and well-equipped trim levels.
We tested the 1.0 DIG-T with six-speed manual transmission in high-end Tekna+ specification. It cost £24,360, although some specialist paint with contrasting roof, mirrors and shark fin antenna added £170 to the final price.
The three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine delivered 117PS and 180Nm (200 with overboost) and that resulted in a 0-62mph sprint time of 10.4 seconds with a top speed of 112mph.
The latest car is certainly a head-turner, but this time for all the right reasons. It maintains its distinctive good looks but has matured over time. Eye-catching design cues include a two-tone paint and roof combination, a rear spoiler, privacy glass, 19-inch alloy wheels, chunky wheel arches and rear door handles that are flush to the body.
Move inside and the Juke has moved upmarket at every level. There are leather/Alcantara seats, an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment set-up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a sat nav system with TomTom traffic assist, Bluetooth, plus a BOSE sound system with eight speakers including two in the front headrests.
The Juke has a real quality about it these days and the driving performance matches the sporty characteristics. The acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and responsive and there is ample power available from the three-pot engine.
All controls are easy to operate on the fly and there are drive modes called Eco, Standard and Sport that alter the reactions slightly.
The driver benefits from good all-round visibility and the Juke also boasts an intelligent around view monitor with moving object detection, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision warning. This is a real plus-point on a small family car that will likely feature regularly on the dreaded school run.
The flat-bottomed steering wheel offers ample driver feedback through the faster lanes and, with heated seats and that outstanding sound system, clocking up the miles in the Juke will always be a pleasure and never a chore.
Running costs are pretty good too with the Juke delivering a combined 45.6mpg and carbon emissions of 118g/km. And as it sits in insurance group 13, the annual expenses are kept reasonable as well.
Comfort levels within the car are impressive with room for a couple of rear passengers provided the front seats are not pushed right back. And the boot can swallow 422 litres of luggage, increasing to 1,305 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
There are plenty of storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, including a glovebox, cup holders, seat back pockets, a deep central cubby and a double boot floor.
And there is an impressive list of safety kit included as standard, such as intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cycle detection, blind spot intervention, intelligent lane intervention, high beam assist, traction control, traffic sign recognition linked to the cruise control, plus a full suite of airbags.
All in all, the latest Juke is a fabulous five-door compact crossover with bags of appeal. It runs beautifully, is very easy on the eye and is packed to bursting with quality tech. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait a further 10 years for the third-gen model to make an appearance.
Nissan Juke (2014)
It’s a fact that many buyers like to stamp their own identity on a car and thanks to Nissan’s exciting new Design Studio option, the funky Juke can be given a truly personal touch.
Sadly, many cars these days lack real flair with just occasional examples of stand-out design and unique character – the Nissan Juke is certainly one of them.
In fact, since its launch back in 2010 it has created the marmite effect within the motoring world with people either loving or hating its quirky and, in places, outlandish design ethos.
But with half a million sales across Europe, the Juke is gathering momentum, so what better time to give the funky five-door compact crossover a face-lift complete with styling revisions, an all-new engine line-up, bags of additional kit, extra space and that major personalisation programme.
New styling features include a more powerful V-shaped grille, new toughened trim below the bumper, boomerang tail-lamps, revised lamps with LED daytime running lights, a new glass sunroof and extra colour choices.
But the feature that is certain to make Juke fans sit up and take notice is the new Nissan Design Studio set-up. These packs are available on the top two grades – Acenta Premium and Tekna – and allow the customer to add the personal touch to their vehicle both inside and out.
Flashes of colour can be introduced to the headlamp surrounds, mirrors, bumpers and alloys. And the scheme can be continued inside the car with colour added to the centre console, gear knob, air vent rings, door finishers, steering wheel stitching and seats. In fact the diversity of options totals 300.
Nissan asked its existing customers what factors they would improve on the Juke and one area of concern was the boot size.
So on 2WD models capacity has been increased by 40 per cent from a fairly miniscule 251 litres to a creditable 354 litres. Flat-folding rear seats offer extra storage space when required.
And there is plenty of variety on the powertrain front too with special emphasis on a new 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine which Nissan believes will top the popularity stakes. In addition, there’s a 1.6 petrol, a 1.5 diesel and finally a turbocharged version of the 1.6 petrol with the option of 4WD and an automatic CVT transmission.
Buyers can choose from four richly-equipped trims starting with entry level Visia priced from £13,420. This spec includes 16-inch alloys, air con, a CD player, daytime running lights, gear shift indicator and plenty more.
Step up to Acenta priced from £15,320 and features such as 17-inch alloys, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, cruise control and rear privacy glass are introduced.
The next level is Acenta Premium priced from £16,470. This spec adds in the NissanConnect sat nav, a colour reversing camera, a six speaker sound system, premium seat fabric and options such as the Design Studio costing £170 for exterior options and £520 for interior trimmings.
Finally, the top-of-the-range Tekna, priced from £17,670, adds premium leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, 17-inch alloys, heated seats and Nissan’s Safety Shield which offers a whole host of features such as moving object detection, blind spot warning and lane departure warning.
I tested out the all-new 1.2 DIG-T 115 petrol model on a road route in Portugal and it was outstanding fun.
Although it’s not bursting with energy, it is very sprightly and there is certainly enough power on tap. It is happy weaving through busy traffic and can equally hold its own alongside faster-moving motorway vehicles.
The engine is nice and quiet, but there is a little wind noise at higher speeds.
The six-speed transmission also proved smooth and responsive with a 0-62mph sprint time of 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 111mph.
According to Nissan figures, carbon emissions are 129g/km and it can average 47.1mpg.
The interior is bright, cheerful and packed full of character and there is ample leg room for two back seat passengers.
Tweaks to the steering and ride quality have also proved very beneficial to the overall handling.
Next up was the 1.5 Turbodiesel dci 110PS model. This model takes 11.2 seconds to reach 62mph and tops out at 109mph.
It has carbon emissions of 104g/km and a combined fuel efficiency of 70.6mpg.
This car was an instant success with onlookers and other drivers as it was fitted with many of the Design Studio options such as yellow alloys, bumper trims, side mirrors and headlight surrounds.
And like the first test car, this Juke was bursting with technology and easy-to-operate features.
The sat nav was a delight to programme with adjustments made in a matter of seconds.
Another bonus is that all controls, dials and readouts are ideally positioned for driver usability meaning less distraction from the task in hand – driving.
All in all, Nissan has made giant steps with its latest Juke. It’s so reassuring that a company not only asks for customer feedback but acts on it too.
The result is a bigger boot, better fuel efficiency and a more stylish interior.
Nissan Juke Nismo 1.6 DIG-T 2WD
It’s all in a name when it comes to the Nissan Juke Nismo.
And the key word is Nismo, which stands for Nissan Mototorsports International and it certainly lives up to all the hype.
Entry level prices for the Juke are less than £13k, but the Nismo version comes with a whopping £22.6k price-tag.
However, for that extra outlay you get an incredibly appealing car that is packed to bursting with techno treats and exclusive design features.
And the performance is certainly not for the faint-hearted either.
Eye-catching features include a special Nismo aero package comprising distinctive bumpers, side skirts and spoiler, a Nismo front grille, 18-inch Nismo alloys, exclusive badging, LED daytime running lights, a large chrome exhaust pipe, tinted windows, black bezel combi-lights and signature red door mirrors.
The interior is equally as impressive and striking in its design with distinctive styling touches at every turn.
For example, there are suede sports seats featuring red stitching which can be heated, there are luxury branded floor mats, a multi-function sports steering wheel with red stripe and a black headliner.
The car is feature rich with creature comforts, such as a colour reversing camera, climate control with pollen filter, cruise control and Nissan’s Connect system with six speakers, plus plenty more besides.
The driver can choose from three driving modes – which alter the car’s driving dynamics and ride.
For me, the Sport mode really added all the zip and acceleration you could wish for. There is a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.8 seconds and it tops out at an impressive 134mph. At times, the pace seems blistering from the 1.6-litre petrol-powered engine as it works its way rapidly and smoothly through the six-speed manual transmission.
And despite the supportive and comfortable seats, you are guaranteed to feel plenty of bumps and dips along the way.
But, fear not, simply put the car into Comfort mode and normality is restored.
Back seat passengers are treated to ample leg, head and elbow space and the boot can accommodate 675 litres worth of luggage which can be increased to 1,470 litres with the rear seats folded flat.
And there are a number of handy storage compartments throughout the cabin too.
As one would expect with such a performance vehicle, Nissan has packed a comprehensive range of safety feature into the Juke Nismo, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, electronic stability control, six airbags and lots more.
All in all, the Juke Nismo can deliver thrilling and exciting performance capabilities, but is equally as impressive when driven with a little more refinement and respect.
Nissan Juke Acenta Premium 1.6 DiG-T
Nissan has already asserted itself as the king of the crossover vehicle with the highly successful Murano and Qashqai models and now with the launch of the five-door Juke it has really increased the stakes.
Available in three grades – Visia, Acenta and Tekna – this blend of compact sports utility vehicle and sports car styling is guaranteed to stand out in any crowd.
Boasting a rugged and robust design with a very bold, ready-for-action front end and all the characteristics of Nissan sportiness from the waist up including hidden rear door handles, the Juke looks great from any angle and the dazzling design continues once you take you seat behind the wheel.
The model tested – the mid-range Acenta – was kitted out with the Premium pack which meant there were a few extra design touches including the Force Red colour theme which was very apparent throughout the cabin with red seat fabric, red centre console and door trims along with 17-inch alloys, rear privacy glass and Nissan’s Connect system – the highly acclaimed technology with combined sat nav and audio system.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the high seated driving position and all controls and dials are perfectly positioned for practicality.
There is a choice of driving modes to suit your mood and road conditions and these can easily be switched via the Dynamic Control System which also incorporates the vehicle’s climate control.
Other creature comforts include a colour reversing camera, cruise control, speed limiter, a multi-function leather steering wheel, compatibility with all today’s music devices, a USB port and plenty more besides.
The boot is very generously sized and also boasts a large underfloor storage area and the rear seats offer a 60:40 split folding option too.
Elsewhere, there are plenty of good-sized storage options throughout the cabin.
Rear seat passengers benefit from plenty of leg and head room and thanks to the vehicles large windows, light floods in from all directions.
So, the Juke has great looks, a bright personality and all the gadgets you could wish for, but what about the drive and performance?
Once again, the Juke doesn’t disappoint. The 1.6-litre petrol driven engine delivered plenty of power and acceleration and the road-holding was very good.
It’s also worth mentioning the suspension which absorbed all the lumps and bumps on a very pothole-ridden route.
The six speed manual transmission was very smooth and responsive, so all in all a very good performance with relatively low cabin noise too.
Nissan has fitted a comprehensive list of safety features to the Juke including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, electronic stability control, six airbags and plenty more.
So, for the outlay of just over £17k you really do get a whole lot of car that is guaranteed to bring out the green-eyed monster in onlookers.