Nissan Juke

Car Review: Nissan Juke (2010-2019)

A real head-turner, the Nissan Juke commands an audience wherever it goes – as long as it’s not off-road. You can’t say it’s boring, and there’s lots to admire about the clever marketing design. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this small SUV a hit-or-miss amongst buyers.

The Good

1. Electric assisted steering makes the Juke easy to manoeuver and enjoyable to drive

2. Optional all-wheel drive great for snowy conditions

3. Turbo 1.6 Liter engine gives plenty of grunt

4. Head and leg room up front are great

5. For a small SUV, it has a surprisingly high set driving position adding better forward visibility, and allowing you to lord it over lower cars on the road

6. Grips and handles well round corners

7. Plenty of engine and color options

8. Torque and gas-economy improved with the 2015 upgraded models

Nissan Juke

The Bad

1. A firm ride (not so comfortable), especially with larger wheels

2. Not designed for off-road use, even in the all-wheel drive option

3. Rear seat headroom is low due to the angled body shape, and leg room as tight as well

4. Rear thick pillars create annoying blind spots

5. Trunk space is relatively limited, especially if you intend to vacation with a baby in tow, although the rear seats fold down if you have no-one sitting there

6. Can become noisy when tackling steep hills and when accelerating to pass other cars

The Essentials

Some ‘Juke’ models have been the subject of recalls over the years, relating to ignition switch issues, engine fuel leaks, and a faulty oxygen sensor causing emission problems. Check online to see if the model you are looking at falls into this category, and also with the seller that all recalls have been fixed and have receipts to prove it.

While you’re at it, make sure the cars navigation and sound systems work perfectly well as I’ve heard of issues with these as well. In automatic options, ensure the gear shifts change smoothly while in manual models make sure the clutch doesn’t slip.

It’s advisable to change the automatic fluids every 30,000 miles to prolong the life of the gears. Check with the seller to see if this has ever been done. All gas (petrol) models also run best on premium grade unleaded.

Always start the car from cold as this is a telling sign if there are any rattling or thrashing noises which could be linked to timing-chain stretch. Make sure you ask the seller to NOT warm the vehicle up first for this reason – just don’t tell them the reason.

The Alternatives

Toyota C-HR (2017-2020), Chevrolet Trax (2013-2020), Ford EcoSport (2018-2020)

The Verdict

6 out of 10

The ‘Juke’ certainly has street appeal and is a great vehicle for a one – two person family who use it city driving. Just remember, this isn’t a sports car or a powerful beast to be reckoned with. This is a small SUV that has a practical interior with generous equipment as standard.

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