Used Nissan Juke (Mk1, 2010-2019) review
One of the first supermini SUVs, the Nissan Juke is stylish and good to drive but lacks the space and versatility of newer rivals
It's a common sight on our roads, but the Nissan Juke can still turn heads. Following in the wheeltracks of its pioneering big brother, the Qashqai,it effectively created the entire supermini crossover segment
Rival manufacturers have since created equivalent models that offer far more space and flexibility than the Juke, but the British-built Japanese machine remains an appealing choice. Not only are there plenty to choose from, there’s even the option of a rapid Nismo version, which beat the Ford Puma ST and Hyundai Kona N to the go-faster crossover punch by nearly a decade.
A 2014 facelift saw the Juke improved markedly, with a bigger boot and a greater emphasis on technology – much of it safety-related. Add the great visibility that the high-set shape provides and the Juke remains an appealing small car, if a compromised one.
Which one should I buy?
- Best Nissan Juke for families: 1.2 DiG-T N-Connecta
- Best Nissan Juke for low costs: 1.5 dCi Visia
- Best Nissan Juke for slippery conditions: 1.6 DiG-T Tekna AWD
The Juke arrived in September 2010, with a 1.6-litre petrol engine in normally aspirated or turbocharged (DIG-T) forms, or as a 1.5-litre dCi diesel.
There were Visia, Acenta and Tekna trims, but in April 2013 the N-Tec was introduced above Acenta; the 197bhp Nismo arrived, too, in front or four-wheel-drive forms. In 2015 the Nismo was replaced by a more powerful 215bhp Nismo RS.
Car group tests
Revised gearing from September 2011 reduced fuel consumption and emissions, while a more efficient 1.5 dCi unit arrived in July 2013 with stop/start. From June 2014 there was a facelifted Juke in showrooms, with extra safety kit (dubbed Safety Shield and including Around View, plus Blind Spot Warning), a new turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine and extra standard kit. Significantly, the boot was enlarged, too.
The Juke 1.5 dCi and 1.6 come with front-wheel drive only, the latter in manual or auto forms. The 1.6 DIG-T (including the Nismo) comes in front or four-wheel drive, with manual or automatic CVT gearboxes respectively.
Post-June 2014 cars are much improved so aim for one of those. Standard kit on the Visia includes ESP, 16-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and air-con; the Acenta adds climate control, 17-inch alloys and Bluetooth, while Tekna has leather trim, touchscreen multimedia and a reversing camera.
N-Tec comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, multimedia and sportier details, while Acenta buyers could add the Sport Pack (17-inch alloys, privacy glass) or Premium Pack (multimedia, new audio, reversing camera).
Nismo and Nismo RS models come with a racy looking bodykit, lots of red trim accents and 18-in alloy wheels. Inside, there are chunky sports seats and attractive Alcantara trim inserts.
What are the alternatives?
It may have been the first of the breed, but the Juke now has no shortage of rivals. Two of the key alternatives are French; the Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur. Both have been big hits and offer good value with decent practicality. Another option that majors on value is the Vauxhall Mokka. There are plenty to choose from, but it’s disappointing to drive, although there is a four-wheel-drive option.
If all-wheel drive is important to you, we’d also recommend looking at a MINI Countryman. Prices are higher than for an equivalent Juke, though.
Nissan Juke vs Kia Soul vs Skoda Roomster vs Toyota Urban Cruiser
A debut group outing for the Juke in October 2010 saw it face-off against a trio of quirky small car rivals. The Nissan’s bold style, generous kit list and eager performance allowed it to see off the practical Skoda and underwhelming Toyota, but it couldn’t beat the funky Soul to first place. Read the full test...
Mazda CX-3 vs Nissan Juke vs Renault Captur
The Juke was starting to show its age when it met the all-new CX3 and Captur in August 2015. Despite its facelift the previous year, the Nissan was outclassed in terms of driving dynamics, practicality and value, finishing plum last behind the Renault and victorious Mazda. Read the full test...
Nissan Juke Nismo RS vs Ford Fiesta ST vs Renault Clio RS
It was always going to be a big ask for the hot Nismo RS to topple two dedicated hot hatches, and so it proved. The Nissan was fast and stylish, but it couldn’t match the poise of the racy Renault or the all-round brilliance of the feisty Fiesta, which was the runaway winner. Read the full test...
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingOne of the first supermini SUVs, the Nissan Juke is stylish and good to drive but lacks the space and versatility of newer rivals
- 2How much will it cost?You’ll pay more for a Juke than an equivalent supermini, but efficient engines and affordable servicing means it’s cost effective to run
- 3How practical is it?With an emphasis on style, the Juke isn’t as spacious and versatile as some of its newer compact crossover rivals
- 4What’s it like to drive?There’s neat handling and a wide range of engines, plus the option of scorching hot Nismo versions
- 5What should you look out for?Overall the Nissan is a robust and reliable choice, with very few potential pitfalls to catch out unwardy buyers
- 6What do owners think?Solid build quality and the use of tried-and-tested mechanicals means the Juke is a hassle-free choice