New Nissan Juke 2014 review

7 Jul, 2014 11:00am Jonathan Burn

Nissan Juke facelift has best bits of original, but gets great new turbo engine for 2014

Verdict

4
Although the changes to the new Nissan Juke aren’t radical, they do mount up and result in a more accomplished car all-round. The new 1.2-litre turbo engine is punchy, but smooth, and is an ideal match for the Juke’s playful character. Nissan hasn’t held back with the styling options, either, and the design is now more animated. Such was the success of the first model, Nissan looks to be on to another winner.

Following the success of the bigger Qashqai, the Nissan Juke invented the compact crossover class when it arrived back in 2010. Its success was immediate, with over 500,000 worldwide sales to date. And Nissan has decided not to tamper too much with its winning formula for this facelifted model, which we’ve now driven on UK roads.

Notable changes include redesigned headlamps, featuring LED daytime running lights, while new trim on the front bumper has beefed up the rugged look. A more aggressive shape to the rear and restyled boomerang tail-lamps, using LED bulbs, certainly don’t dilute the Juke’s boisterous image. Nissan has also extended the personalisation options available on the car. Adding to the visual drama are new colour palettes and alloy wheel designs, as well as optional coloured exterior and interior inserts.

But perhaps the biggest change to the Juke is the addition of a new 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol turbo. To date, the engine of choice among buyers has been the larger 1.6-litre petrol – which is still available – but the downsized turbo motor promises better performance and fuel economy, plus more fun.

New Nissan Juke 2014 interior

The engine has been adopted from the Qashqai range, but it’s a much better character fit for the playful Juke. While it still isn’t a match for the diesel options when it comes to economy, 47.1mpg is okay for a car of this class. A comparable Renault Captur, however, will return an even more impressive 52.3mpg.

But the updated Juke puts distance between itself and its Renault rival, thanks to its more urgent power delivery and composure on the road. For a car with such a small-capacity engine, the Juke gathers pace surprisingly quickly – it certainly feels faster than its claimed 10.8-second 0-62mph sprint time.

The six-speed manual gearbox fitted to our test car was an ideal match for the downsized motor, too, with short and snappy changes. You have to flick between ratios more often than you would in the higher-capacity engines, but the gearlever is perfectly placed.

The revised Juke has also held on to other qualities that helped build its loyal following. The prominent headlight design, on the top of the bonnet, acts as an alignment aid to help you place the Juke where you want it on the road. Body roll is well contained, the steering is light, but accurate, and while the ride can get a little choppy over bigger bumps, it’s comfortable most of the time.

New Nissan Juke 2014 rear

The only qualm we have with the interior is that there is no steering reach adjustment, so you have to sit a little further forward than you usually would. Yet this does free up extra space in the rear. And while headroom is a little tight for passengers taller than six feet, knee room is fine.

By reshaping the boot, Nissan has also increased load capacity by 40 per cent in front-wheel-drive models – it now stands at 354 litres. Opt for four-wheel drive and you have to make do with a supermini-sized 251 litres.

Our test car came fitted with the optional open-air glass roof (£750), which floods the dark interior with light. But no surface in the cabin feels cheap. High-gloss plastics and soft fabrics give an upmarket feel, while standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, daytime running lights and MP3 compatibility.

Disqus - noscript

These are a very nice car and they appeal to me, but the interior feels tight, when you see the overall bulbous size of the car then look inside.

The new front looks generally better without losing any of its quirkiness. Better quality interior, more cabin and boot space and a small turbo petrol engine, Nissan should require little effort widening its customer base.

This Aygo rival (interior volume) is a great micro car with it's 1,6 petrol turbo, and the 190 hp is just perfect for making it a "supermini" but this 1,2 will make it sluggish like the rest of 'em, i.e the Micra, Aygo etc. And also much more expensive.

What on earth are you talking about?

Aygo rival? Hardly. It's twice the price for a start!

I own a 13 plate Juke and I think that the interior does have many cheap looking plastics (that mark easily). Having sat in a new Juke at the weekend, I didn't see any real difference, apart from the leather wrapped top to instrument binnacle. The car still looks great, just a shame that with the new dark roof lining and interior panels, it feels even smaller inside. Still a great car to drive and always makes me smile! Love my JUKE!!!

Just ugly & needs a facelift!

Yes. Exactly, it's twice the price, but the same interior volume!

Many many people love the styling and that is reflected in healthy sales. There is a type, however, of staid consumer who don't like to deal with anything out of the ordinary and hence polarised opinions on this car.

And even more think it's ugly & stupid looking.

Key specs

  • Price: £16,470
  • Engine: 1.2-litre 4cyl turbocharged
  • Power: 113bhp
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 10.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 111mph
  • Economy/CO2: 47.1mpg/129g/km
  • On sale: Now
AEX 1330
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