Nissan Juke Nismo vs Hyundai Veloster Turbo

Nissan Juke Nismo vs Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Credits: Pete Gibson
3 Jun, 2013 11:00am

We test the bold Nissan Juke Nismo against the Hyundai Veloster Turbo

A few years ago, if you wanted performance in a small but practical package, a hot hatchback was just the ticket. Today, that’s not your only option; as car makers create ever more niche products, you can get your driving thrills in all kinds of shapes.

The latest arrival is the Nissan Juke Nismo. The quirky small crossover has proven a hit with buyers in standard form, and now Nissan’s performance division has worked its magic on the car, in terms of looks and ability. The five-door is powered by a 197bhp 1.6-litre turbo, while sporty add-ons inside and out give it a racy edge.

Another car that combines practicality with a performance package is the Hyundai Veloster. While the flagship Turbo SE tested here isn’t quite as powerful as the Nissan, a wider and lower stance should help it in corners. It’s not a full five-door like the Juke, but has a single rear door to boost versatility. So which of our quirky duo makes more sense as a fun but practical sports car?


These cars are intriguing alternatives for buyers who don’t want to go with the hot hatch norm. However, while both are sporty enough to stand out from their respective ranges, they don’t quite set the world alight when compared to traditional pocket rockets like the Ford Fiesta ST or Peugeot 208 GTi.

The Hyundai Veloster Turbo has an edge over the Nissan thanks to its tidy handling and added practicality, but those looks are an acquired taste. Also, the engine’s linear, muted power delivery means you don’t get the rush of excitement that marks out a great performance car.

The Juke Nismo’s driving experience is compromised, the ride is firm and there’s less space inside than in the Veloster, but it has enough sporty touches to cancel out these disadvantages. Its exterior updates aren’t overdone, while the suede-effect trim on the steering wheel and upholstery gives the Juke a premium feel that the Hyundai can’t come close to matching.

Add in performance and running costs that are similar to or slightly better than the Veloster Turbo’s, and the Juke Nismo pulls out a slight advantage over its rival here. The Nissan then tops this off with a list price that’s £1,725 cheaper than the Hyundai’s. As a result, it takes a narrow victory in this test.

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Errrr – wouldn't it make more sense to benchmark the Nismo against something half decent...

Nothing illustrates the mess Nissan are in stylistically more graphically than the Juke.

The nissan Juke is great looking crossover and drives even better.

Its a love it or hate it car. I dont think its good looking but im definitely all for this styling, too many manufacturers are conservative/boring.

I definitely wouldn't say Nissan produce poorly styled cars though... The qashqai is a great looking car, as is the new note, 370z and GTR. Even the new micra released today is moving in the right direction!

very clever Tesst I like It heheh more more please ;))

I utterly agree about the "conservative/boring" point. However the sweet spot between "boring" and "vulgar" takes a deal of skill to hit and Nissan simply don't have the marksmanship! Witness the Micra on one hand and the Juke on the other.

I have to agree with 'Heavyrightfoot'. Many will dislike the Juke. It really is a 'marmite' car. That said you cannot deny many must like it (judging by sales). I personally am much more interested by designs like the bold 'boundry- pushing' Juke and others, than generic design that merely evolves (the Golf springs to mind). I think the Japanese have always been great at producing stand out designs (particularly on mass market models) like the Juke.

What kind of a hallucinogen are you people at auto express smoking? Whatever it is it's certainly done its job seeing that you've decided to award victory to the Juke over the Veloster. Or perhaps it's down to a few thick brown envelopes courtesy of the Nissan PR Dept.

Are you people all stark raving mad??? The Juke must just about be the ugliest car in production in the whole world right now. Nothing comes close to its vomit-inducing looks. And that's before you get to experience its awful ride and handling.

Compared to that the Hyundai is an aesthetic and technical masterpiece and yet you blithely write '...the Veloster's looks are an acquired taste.' whilst commending the 'bold' and 'quirky' Juke. Had a good chuckle there. You folks all deserve a cameo on Monty Python.

No, it's the Hyundai that is truly bold and quirky with its unique three-door layout and a design which fuses the best characteristics of a sporty hot hatch and a cuv.

Next time you decide to write a propaganda piece for the Nissan Juke or the Joke as it's more commonly known as, at least admit you are being forced to otherwise you are in danger of losing what little credibility there's left in your tawdry journalism.

The Juke is, without shadow of a doubt, the most ludicrously ugly car on sale anywhere in the world. Period.

Its sorry concoction of design features makes you wonder if the Juke's designers literally lost their heads up some rectal passageway - what were they thinking?

The end of this country is nigh seeing this hideous little thing is now valued across the length and breadth of the land.


Good grief

I happen to own one, and its soo fun to drive, especially in the San Francisco area. Its made for the urban landscape. People come up all the time just to say hello and compliment my ride. My other car Inifiniti G37 has never gotten so much fanfare.

Well said Mark. I couldn't have put it better myself.
I do find it odd that some magazine reviews describe the look of the Veloster Turbo as "an acquired taste" before going on to compare it with something like a Sirocco or (in this case) a Juke. Both of which are definitely in the "marmite" category - You either like them or loathe them.
I haven't met anyone who disliked my Veloster Turbo. Quite the opposite in fact. They all like it and judging from some of the looks I get from other road users, they're not in the minority.

Or maybe people are bored with slabs with VW logos?