Nissan Juke Review
The first Juke's radical looks may have matured with this new model, but this reflects the newfound comfort, practicality and high-tech kit
Strengths & weaknesses
- Fun and efficient
- Still looks unique
- Intuitive media system
- Poor ride with 19-inch wheels
- Drive modes offer little benefit
- Just one petrol offering at launch
Nissan Juke prices from £6,871 Finance from £179.07 per month
Rewind to 2010 and the Nissan Juke was busy shaking up a growing SUV market, which included just a couple of true small SUV competitors back then. Its styling was radical, inspired by motorcycles, jet-skis and other power products, and it divided opinion amongst consumers, but its outlandish silhouette made it stand out enough that one million were sold in Europe.
Considering the popularity of the Juke, it has taken Nissan a relatively long time to update one of its best-selling models, but with an SUV segment that is now beyond congested the Japanese marque wanted to get the recipe right first time. The exterior styling of what it came up with is still undeniably Jukey, but it has been refined and updated for a more mature and purposeful stance on the road.
Matching the bang up-to-date looks, the technology is now cutting edge, meaning those razor-sharp front lights are powered by LEDs, while the media system is one of the most capable you'll find in a small SUV.
The new Juke - with prices starting at just £17,395 and rising to £25,295 for the top spec Tekna+ edition at launch - has a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, creating more legroom inside and increasing boot volume by 20%.
That means two adults can comfortably sit behind two other fully-grown people in the front seats, while that boot space is a far more useable shape than it was previously. It's pretty high up though, and anyone transporting particularly lazy dogs will have to employ some heavy lifting, or invest in a ramp.
The engine range has been simplified to just one 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol at launch, although we expect electric and hybrid versions to arrive later. The lone engine develops a relatively measly 117hp and 180Nm of torque - that's low engine speed muscle - rising to 200Nm for a brief spurt of acceleration. A tow car, this is not.
But the upside of downsizing the engine is improved fuel efficiency, with Nissan claiming the new Juke can return up to 47.9mpg in manual models on the latest - and more realistic - 'WLTP' fuel economy test. A silky smooth seven-speed 'dual-clutch' automatic transmission is also available, with maximum fuel economy figures of 46.3mpg.
Alas, this lack of engine choice could be a limiting factor for some customers, with the Seat Arona, Skoda Kamiq and funky new Kia Xceed all still offered with a more powerful diesel engine, however, the little 1.0-litre engine does rev freely and remains fairly quiet, only emitting a high-pitched whistle when working hard. It suits the car's demeanour, as the Juke has always been fun to drive.
This revised version retains most of that agile, direct handling that the original model was famed for. It now offers Sport and Eco driving modes, with the former firming up the steering to almost comical levels and increasing the throttle response slightly. Eco mode is just as pointless, as it blunts the performance of the small engine even further.
There has been a massive improvement in the overall quality of the new Juke. The new front seats - which feature a single-piece backrest - not only look excellent, but are also extremely comfortable.
Customers can now specify upmarket materials, such as suede-like Alcantara and leather, while the scope to personalise the look and feel of this new interior is far greater than ever before. Gone is the motorcycle petrol tank-inspired centre console, however, and owners are now faced with a more logical, easy-to-use layout of switches.
A new media system also ushers in greater levels of connectivity, with a 4G SIM card allowing for live traffic information, over-the-air updates, in-car Wi-Fi (coming in 2020) and the ability to remotely access and control some of the car's functionality via a dedicated smartphone app.
Furthermore, a Bose Personal Plus sound system sees two powerful speakers embedded into the headrests of the front seats. Coupled with the six other speakers, this setup delivers an impressively immersive audio experience and adds to the premium ambience.
|Warranty||3-years / 60,000 miles|
|Boot space||422 litres|
|Tax||From £150-£170 in the first year. £145 thereafter.|
Best Nissan Juke for...
Best for Economy – Nissan Juke 1.0 DIG-T 117 Acenta manual
The cheapest model in the Nissan Juke family rides on the smallest steel wheels and therefore achieves the best fuel economy figure.
Best for Families – Nissan Juke 1.0 DIG-T 117 Tekna+ DCT Auto
The seven-speed automatic transmission is very easy to live with and this range-topping version comes with a slick media system to keep all occupants entertained.
Best for Performance – Nissan Juke 1.0 DIG-T 117 N-Connecta
Performance remains largely similar across the range, but acceleration is almost one second quicker from standstill to 62mph if you choose one of the manual versions.
One to Avoid – Nissan Juke 1.0 DIG-T 117 Visia manual
Although not available to test, the 16-inch steel wheels and extremely basic interior will likely deter a large swathe of the Juke-buying public.
May 2010 Nissan Juke goes on sale in the UK
February 2011 Limited-edition Juke Shiro introduced
August 2012 Limited-edition ‘Ministry of Sound’ Juke introduced
January 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo hot-hatchback model arrives
June 2013 1.5-litre diesel engine improved to reduce CO2 emissions
March 2014 Revised Juke launched with new in-car tech and new petrol engines
October 2019 All-new second-generation Juke goes on sale
Understanding Nissan Juke names
There are five trim levels on offer, with the option to plump for a limited-edition Premiere Edition version, shortly after the car's launch. Each trim level sees more specification added to the car and sees the price increase.
Body style 5 Door
The Nissan Juke is only sold as a five-door hatchback with the typical SUV raised ride height and additional chunky bodywork.
Engine 1.0 DIG-T 117
Nissan currently offers just one engine, a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol. Hybrid and electric versions have been touted for 2020.
Customers can opt for a manual gearbox or a seven-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission) automatic across the range, bar the entry-level Visia model, which is only available with a manual transmission.
Nissan Juke Engines
1.0-litre DIG-T turbocharged three-cylinder petrol
With just one engine on offer, there isn't currently a huge array of choice for drivers and those planning to haul larger loads or regularly towing should probably look elsewhere. But then Nissan offers both the Qashqai and the more capable X-Trail for that kind of thing.
This three-cylinder is perfectly adept at hustling the new, larger Juke up to speed and it feels quiet and refined when driven normally. Go heavy on the accelerator and a slight whining note leaks into the cabin, but it is far superior in terms of refinement to any current Nissan diesel option.
The six-speed manual transmission is a joy to use, offering slick, direct changes through the gears, while an automatic hill-hold function means there's no need to worry about tricky hill-starts involving handbrakes.
A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also available and this will likely prove popular with those buyers that regularly crawl through traffic, as it is a doddle to use, but it does feel slightly slow and ponderous when you're trying to drive faster.
Regardless, the claimed 45mpg to almost 48mpg feels very realistic and the likely introduction of electrification later in the car's lifecycle will add extra appeal to those many Juke owners with regular short commutes or school runs.
Despite Nissan's overuse of the term 'sporty' when describing its new small SUV, the 2020 Juke isn't particularly fast. But then very little is in this class and at least the Juke offers a driving experience that hints at fun on the open road, rather than sticking with the predictable and mundane.
0 - 62mph
1.0 DIG-T 117 manual
1.0 DIG-T 117 DCT automatic
Nissan Juke Trims
Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+
Personalisation has always been important to the Juke customer and Nissan claims that 20% of its customers have opted to add a personal touch to their cars since this service was first introduced in 2014.
The option of interior fabrics, exterior paints and alloy wheel designs has now reached dizzying heights but there are still defined trim options to get buyers started. Visia models kick off the lineup and these come with LED headlights as standard, DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control and lane departure warning.
However, the jury is still out on how 16-inch steel wheels will affect the sleek and striking exterior lines that the designers had in mind. Stepping up Acenta adds 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch touchscreen media system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a rear-view camera and Nissan's new connected services.
This sees all cars fitted with a 4G SIM card, which comes contract-free for the first three years of ownership, and opens up the possibility of accessing some of the vehicle's functionality via a dedicated smartphone app.
N-Connecta models take this one step further by introducing NissanConnect Navi with TomTom Traffic live updates, live local weather information and numerous other apps that are accessible through the media system.
This is also the first Nissan in history to be compatible with Google Assistant, allowing owners to interact with smart speakers in the home and access information on the vehicle. Tyre pressure, remaining range and the ability to send a route directly to the car's sat-nav system are all highlights, but expect more 'skills' to be added in the future.
Tekna adds 19-inch alloy wheels, the Bose Personal Plus audio system, heated seats and windscreen, as well as an Advanced Safety Shield Pack. This introduces a 360-degree low speed manoeuvre camera, blind spot intervention, rear traffic alert and the latest intelligent cruise control, which will keep you in your lane and maintain a set distance from the car in front.
Finally, Tekna+ grade throws in two-tone metallic paint and opens up the possibility to add one of three interior personalisation packs, personalise some of the exterior elements and add bespoke 19-inch Akari alloy wheels.
Nissan Juke Reliability and warranty
Nissan offers a very standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with the ability to extend this for an additional fee. This latest model is too new to comment on its reliability status but the previous generation model has traditionally fared well in the Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.
Last year, it propped up the top half of the table with a very respectable score of 91.56%, sitting alongside the Kia Ceed and Lexus NX. It's also one of the UK's most popular cars, which means servicing and repair work is typically swift and straightforward.
Used Nissan Juke
The Nissan Juke has long been one of the most popular SUVs in the UK, meaning the used market is awash with first generation models. The introduction of this update will only see that number grow.
A quick check on the BuyaCar website reveals that used Jukes range from as little as £6,871 for quality, high-mileage models to £29,295 for outgoing 2019 models with little more than delivery miles on the clock.