There are plenty of engines to choose from in the Nissan Juke range, but none are very comfortable – especially around town
You can get the Nissan Juke with a range of petrol and diesel engines and with either front- or four-wheel drive.
Pick a 1.2-litre turbo petrol if you spend most time driving around town. It’s slightly more efficient than the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol and feels much less strained if you head out onto the motorway. It’ll return around 40mpg compared with Nissan’s claimed 49.6mpg.
If you’re a high-mileage driver, you’ll want to consider the 1.5-litre diesel model instead. It’s not quite as perky as the 1.2-litre petrol and it’s noisier when you accelerate hard but it’ll return around 60mpg in normal driving conditions.
Paired with the optional CVT automatic gearbox, the Juke’s already asthmatic 1.6-litre non-turbocharged petrol wheezes like a smoker breathing through a drinking straw
The Nissan Juke’s standard six-speed manual gearbox is quite jerky and can take some getting used to but it’s still better than the optional CVT automatic. The auto’s available in 117hp 1.6-litre models or in the more powerful 1.6-litre turbo four-wheel drive version but it’ll set you back an extra £1,280 and takes a 5mpg chunk out of the Nissan’s claimed fuel economy.
You can also get the Nissan with four-wheel drive but these models use more fuel than two-wheel-drive versions.
The Nissan Juke’s a little tricky to drive around town. Sure, its reasonably small body means it’ll tuck through tight city streets with relative ease but its small windows and thick windscreen pillars can make parking a pain. Thankfully, Acenta models and above come with a reversing camera as standard to help make life a little easier.
Even better, however, is the 360-degree camera system you get on high-spec Tekna models. It displays a bird’s-eye view of your car on the central infotainment screen to help make parallel parking a doddle.
Unfortunately, the Nissan Juke bounces over potholes much more than the comparatively smooth Citroen C4 Cactus – especially with the larger 18-inch alloy wheels fitted – and its firm suspension means it struggles to settle down on rutted roads. Head out onto a motorway and things improve slightly but the Citroen’s still far more relaxing to drive.
The Nissan Juke comes with a reassuring five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, but it earned this score way back in 2011 when the testing procedures weren’t nearly as strict as they are now. As a result, some newer five-star-rated cars – such as the Toyota C-HR – will provide more protection in a crash.
For a little extra peace of mind, pick a high-spec Tekna model. They come with blind-spot warning and a system that’ll alert you it senses you’re drifting out of lane on a motorway. Sadly, you can’t get automatic emergency braking – that’ll try to stop the car for you if it detects an obstacle ahead – on any Juke models.