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Nissan Juke Review

Introduction

A huge chunk of leasing customers are considering a small SUV, because they’re one of the most popular types of car available today. Consequently, there’s a huge choice; almost every manufacturer makes one, and it’s easy to get them mixed up. But not many people will mistake the Nissan Juke for anything else. Its quirky looks make it stand out among the competition, and it backs up the visual pizazz with a top-quality interior and a pretty decent driving experience too. If you want a small but practical car with style to spare, then the Juke should be on your short list.

Review Sections

  • At a Glance
  • Key Features
  • Performance & Drive
  • Running Costs & Emissions
  • Interior & Technology
  • Practicality & Boot Space
  • Safety
  • Options
  • Rival Cars
  • Verdict & Next Steps
  • Select's rating score* - 3.7 / 5

    At a Glance

    There are some excellent small SUVs on the marketplace. Ford’s Puma is a brilliant all-rounder, as is the Skoda Kamiq. You can have subtle, understated cars like the Volkswagen T-Cross, premium offerings like the Audi Q2, electric models and plug-in hybrids. The Nissan Juke’s party piece though is its style. The first Juke, launched in 2010, polarised opinion in terms of its looks, and this second-generation model, which premiered in 2019, is just as in-your-face. But customers liked it, and they should like this latest Juke even more. It’s got a great quality interior and it’s well kitted out with features, particularly safety systems. It’s not perfect though; there are rivals that are better all-rounders, and some that have more engine choices. But if you’re a fan of the looks, you should be pretty pleased with the overall package.

    Key Features

    Aside from the looks, the Juke trades on a top-notch interior with lots of technology, as well as a choice of trim levels and lots of personalisation options. Multi-tone paint? Sure. Self-parking technology? Not a problem. You can also get the ProPilot suite of systems, which takes control of various aspects of driving on the motorway. It’s not quite self-driving, but it’s not a million miles away.

    Unlike some rivals that offer plenty of petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powertrains, there’s just one engine choice in the Juke. Some may be put off by that, but it’s definitely one less thing to worry about when choosing your ideal spec. That means you can spend more time comparing trim levels, which are generously equipped.

    Performance & Drive

    In a section of the market with so much choice, there’s a small SUV to suit almost all driving tastes. Want something that’s super fun and agile? You’ve got the Seat Arona and Ford Puma. Want ultimate comfort? Check out Volvo’s XC40 or Volkswagen T-Roc. The Juke’s character is somewhere in between, treading a line between sporty handling and cosseting comfort. It’s a compromise, but a well-judged one. Through the bends it’s composed and confident, but not as agile as the Puma. The ride quality is good, and the suspension takes the sting out of badly maintained roads, but the Skoda Kamiq does it better.

    There’s only one engine choice, and it’s a 114-horsepower, 1.0-litre petrol. It’s a good little unit, with lots of punchy performance when you put your foot down, and it compares well to the plethora of similarly-sized engines that rivals have. Having said that, some are starting to incorporate mild-hybrid technology, which uses a small battery to further boost acceleration, and they feel like a step forward to what Nissan offers here. Most of those rivals also have other engine choices too; if you want more power, or a diesel for its superior fuel economy on long journeys, then you’re out of luck. Likewise if you want a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, then Nissan can’t help. That’s a shame, when Renault’s Captur – which is based on the same mechanical platform as the Juke – offers a plug-in hybrid model.

    Running Costs & Emissions

    The Juke’s monthly leasing costs are impressively low, with some models dramatically undercutting most of the competition. That can go a long way to offsetting some of its limitations. At the time of writing, you could pick up a Juke for some £30 a month less than a Ford Puma, and nearly £60 less than a Renault Captur. However, a Skoda Kamiq is pretty close in monthly costs.

    The Juke’s lack of plug-in hybrid means you won’t be able to capitalise on zero-emission electric-only driving, which can massively cut fuel bills. And for those that do longer journeys, the lack of a diesel option will be annoying. But the small 1.0-litre petrol engine in the Juke is reasonably frugal on fuel, promising up to 47.9mpg with a manual gearbox, or up to 46.3mpg with an automatic. You’ll get more from a Ford Puma though.

    CO2 emissions range between 134 and 144g/km, which puts the Juke in the 30-32% brackets for benefit-in-kind company car tax. That’s comparable with rivals, but there are a few that would be cheaper, such as the Puma and Kamiq.

    Interior & Technology

    The Juke’s interior is one of its strongest features. It’s similarly characterful in terms of design as the exterior, but without being brash. The build quality is excellent, as is the feel of the materials used; it’s a classy place in which to sit, and you’ll struggle to find better outside of premium rivals like the Audi Q2. You sit quite high compared to some rivals, embracing the commanding SUV feel, and visibility out of the front is very good. It’s not quite so great out of the back, thanks to the design of the rear windows, but most models will feature a rear-view camera to help when manoeuvring in tight spaces. Keep this in mind if you’re looking at the more entry-level models, though.

    The entry-level Visia model doesn’t get the touchscreen system found in other models. Instead, it makes do with a DAB radio, Bluetooth and a USB connector. If you want a more modern infotainment setup, you’ll need to go for Accenta trim above. That way you’ll get an 8.0-inch touchscreen that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which lets you hook up your smartphone apps to the screen. N-Connecta models and above get satellite navigation from TomTom. Overall, the system isn’t one of the slickest on the market, and it’s not the quickest to respond either, but there are worse setups to use.

    Practicality & Boot Space

    You’ll find plenty of space inside the Juke. It might be compact in its footprint on the road, but you’ll easily fit four adults inside. Those over six-foot tall will find headroom is at a premium in the back, but there’s plenty of legroom. That said, if you want extra space to stretch out, check out the Skoda Kamiq. For parents, it’s worth noting that the high-mounted windows can mean it’s tricky for smaller children to see out, and it can make the rear quite dark too.

    The boot’s a good size at 422 litres, and a height-adjustable floor means it’s easy to load heavier stuff in, as there’s no lip to get in the way. Again though, you’ll get more room in the back of a Kamiq. There are also other cars that let you slide the rear seats forward or backwards to prioritise legroom or boot space, but that’s not something that you can do in the Juke.

    For general storage, there’s a slightly stingey space under the centre armrest, two cup holders and a generous gloverbox, as well as large door bins.

    Safety

    Independent safety organisation Euro NCAP tested the Juke in 2019, and awarded it the maximum five stars, with impressive performance all round. Once again though, the Skoda Kamiq did better overall.

    All models have some of the latest active safety features, including an automatic emergency braking that will spot other vehicles as well as pedestrians. You’ll also get lane departure warning if you inadvertently drift out of your lane, and there’s traffic sign recognition, which displays the latest signs on the dashboard in case you miss them. Other systems are included on higher-spec models, including blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, which lets you know if there are approaching vehicles when you’re reversing out of a parking space.

    Two Isofix child seat mounting points are standard on the outer rear seats, and front, side and curtain airbags are also included.

    Options

    The Juke range starts with the entry-level Visia, which is relatively sparse in terms of features compared to the rest of the line-up. It rides on 16-inch steel wheels and lacks the touchscreen infotainment system, although it does come with cruise control and manual air conditioning. Nevertheless, we’d advise you start your search with the Acenta trim, which gives you 17-inch alloy wheels, the 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and a rear-view camera to help manoeuvring.

    The next rung of the ladder is N-Connecta, which adds sat-nav and a 7.0-inch information screen behind the steering wheel, as well as climate control air-con, and keyless engine start. Above that is Enigma, which goes for a dark theme with 19-inch black alloys, textured roof and door mirrors and metallic paint.

    Into the top-spec models. Tekna also has 19-inch wheels, as well as the extra safety systems mentioned above, and an excellent Bose sound system. You’ll get heated front seats and a quick-clear windscreen too. Finally, Tekna+ has two-tone metallic paint as standard and extra personalisation options on the outside, with coloured inserts on the bumpers and side skirts.

    The Juke has embraced customisation, so if you’re ordering from the factory rather than stock there are loads of choices to add extras. These include packs that bundle popular options together, such as the Comfort Pack (climate control, automatic wipers, heated front seats), and the ProPilot Pack, which mixes a range of systems to give you limited self-driving features. It’s only available on automatic models, however. You can spec the Bose sound system, lots of paint and wheel options, and even a flame graphic on the roof if you want to be particularly bold.

    Rival Cars

    How long have you got? The Juke sits in one of the most packed areas of the new car marketplace, and virtually every manufacturer has a small SUV to tempt you. The closest cars to the Juke include the mechanically similar Renault Captur, which doesn’t have the style of the Nissan, but is a bit more practical. Other stylish options include the impressive Peugeot 2008 and Volkswagen T-Roc, as well as the much-improved Vauxhall Mokka and Crossland and Citroen’s very comfortable C3 Aircross.

    The standout cars of this type are the Ford Puma, which is great fun to drive, and the Skoda Kamiq, which is a brilliant all-rounder. If you want a bit more swankiness, then premium cars like the Audi Q2 are worth checking out., while if you want more fun-to-drive options then look at the Seat Arona and Mazda CX-30.

    Verdict & Next Steps

    If you’re taken by the Juke’s looks, then you’ll find plenty more to like about it too, not least its impressively premium interior. There are other small SUVs that you should look at though, and it really pays to nail down what your priorities are in your next car. The Juke is a decent all-rounder, but there are more practical options, and the lack of engine choice could put some people off. All that said though, if your needs align with what the Nissan is good at, you’ll be leasing yourself a really decent little car.

    Where to next?

    *Score based on Select’s unique meta score analysis, taking into account the UK’s top five leading independent car website reviews of the Nissan Juke

    **Correct as of 18/08/2021. Based on 9 months initial payment, 5,000 miles over a 48 month lease. Initial payment equivalent to 9 monthly payments or £1,717.09 - Ts and Cs apply. Credit is subject to status.

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