You might not like the Juke’s styling, but at least it’s eye-catching. Unfortunately, newer alternatives are more spacious and better to drive
You’ll want to consider the Nissan Juke if you’re looking for a high-riding alternative to more conventional small hatchbacks. It’s not hugely practical but it comes with an eye-catching cabin and a range of perky engines.
The Nissan Juke first appeared in 2010 but received a few upgrades in 2015 including a slightly bigger boot and some LED daytime running lights.
There isn’t as much space in the Nissan’s cluttered cabin as you get in a Citroen C4 Cactus and only Bose Personal Edition models and above get a touchscreen infotainment system.
Things don’t really improve when it comes to the back seats, either. There’s barely enough room to carry three kids and fitting a child seat is made tricky by the Nissan’s low roof and narrow back doors.
The Nissan Juke’s boot is on the small side for a family (at 354 litres) and it gets even smaller if you pick a four-wheel-drive model, but that capacity is pretty much class average. At least you can flip the back seats down to open up a nearly flat load bay that’s big enough to carry a bike – if you remove one of its wheels first.
The Juke feels a bit like a Sony Walkman in a world full of iPods. It might have been the first of its kind but it’s since been overtaken by newer, more high-tech alternatives
You can get the Nissan Juke with a range of petrol and diesel engines and with either a manual or automatic gearbox. Pick a 1.2-litre petrol if you spend most time in the city – it’s smooth, reasonably perky and more frugal than the cheaper 1.6-litre petrol.
The 1.5-litre diesel is a much better bet if you do lots of long journeys. It’s nearly as quiet as the petrol once you’re up to speed and it’ll prove much more economical on the motorway.
Unfortunately, the Nissan Juke isn’t quite as comfortable as the C4 Cactus. Its rather stiff suspension causes it to shake and shimmy on rutted roads and you’ll feel every jarring pothole through your seat.
It’s not particularly easy to park either, and although it earned a five-star safety rating back in 2011, it’s a little disappointing that you can’t get it with automatic emergency braking that’ll apply the brakes if the car detects an imminent collision.
The Juke’s still worth considering if you’re looking for something that’s just as practical as a small family hatchback but more likely to stand out from the crowd. Just don’t expect it to feel bang-up-to-date inside.
You can read more in-depth info on the Nissan Juke in the interior, practicality, driving and specifications sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you just want to see how much you can save on a Juke, simply click through to our Deals page.