First Drive Review: Nissan Juke

Independent review by Chris Russon

5-minute read

Red Nissan Juke Exterior Front Driving

First Drive: Nissan Juke

Explore the key features of the Nissan Juke in our expert first drive review

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The Nissan Juke was already one of the most popular crossover SUVs, and the latest generation proves that this popularity is set to continue.


  • Typically-Juke looks
  • Improved practicality
  • Plenty of tech
  • Decent to drive
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It's a Marmite car in every way, but for the last decade, the Juke has been a soaraway success for Nissan.

More than one million have been built at the Japanese carmaker’s UK factory in Sunderland, and of those more than a quarter have been sold in Britain.

The latest generation of the pioneer of the compact crossover craze has hit the streets, and the new Juke fits the bill.

It’s still radically styled and bigger than before, but it's slightly more expensive than previous generations.

Engines and Driving Experience

Only one engine is available in the new model and that is a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbo petrol developing 115bhp. There's no diesel or four-wheel drive option.

What is new is an optional 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT), available on all but the entry-level model.

The whole of the line-up comes with a 6-speed manual box, and fuel economy is rated at 47.9mpg at best for that version and 46.3mpg for the DCT.

Emissions are 112g/km and 110g/km respectively, giving the manual Juke a benefit in kind tax rating of 26 percent for business users and an annual road tax bill of £150.

On the road, the Juke has lost some of its dynamism but is still good to drive and can manage 0 to 62mph in around 10.4 seconds with a top speed of 112mph.

The manual was the pick of the two powertrains, returning a splendid average of 54mpg on my run. The DCT version managed 35mpg, and it seemed to be a little reluctant at low revs unless the paddle shifters were brought into play to extend lower gear time.

A 3-way drive mode selector was fitted to both transmissions, and in sport setting, the Juke has more throttle and steering response.

Overall, it makes a fist of the job, but at motorway speeds there's noticeable wind noise from around the door mirrors, which are positioned in such a way to cause a slight blind spot for shorter drivers.

Design and Practicality

The new Juke has retained its distinctive looks – love them or loathe them – but now comes with LED headlights, a fresh treatment for the grille, and a chiselled front air dam.

The wheelbase is more than four inches longer than before, and the car has grown some three inches in length, creating extra room inside and a bigger boot.
Chris Russon

Rear legroom is up by more than two inches and luggage capacity has grown by 20 percent to 422 litres with a movable boot floor for added flexibility.

Inside, the Juke has kept its funky feel and on the top-grade model it's possible to specify two-tone trim finishes, including a bright orange treatment.

The transmission tunnel is still a major feature at the front of the cabin, but instead of taking on the look of a motorcycle fuel tank as before, the design is a little more conservative with soft-touch finishes.

The central display touchscreen is larger at eight inches, while the instrument panel has also been restyled and incorporates an information screen between the dials.

Equipment and Technology

On the technology front, Nissan has used plenty of kit to make the Juke one of the most connected cars it has created, and the new model is fully smartphone compatible. It also has full Internet connectivity, and on higher grade models, there's a Bose sound system with eight speakers for a full surround-sound experience.

On the safety front, the Juke comes with automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning as standard, while the likes of blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alerts, and traffic sign recognition were fitted to the cars we tried.

There's also a 360-degree camera set up to help when completing manoeuvres, and Nissan’s semi-autonomous ProPilot drive system is available on automatic versions – a handy feature either in traffic or when cruising.


For Nissan, the Juke has always been about trend in motion and its customer base is relatively young.

The new model is still British to the core – it's designed in London and engineered in Bedfordshire as well as being built in the North East – and looks set to continue the success for Nissan on the crossover scene.

It's updated looks and bundles of intelligent technology allow the Juke to compete with more expensive rivals, and it will come as no surprise to see the latest generation of Juke on British roads in numbers.