Nissan Juke Model Review
The Nissan Juke is a compact crossover SUV with front-wheel drive (FWD) or available all-wheel drive (AWD). The Juke debuted as a 2011 model and was produced through the 2017 model year, when it was replaced by the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Recent models of Juke cost between $9,883 and $17,499.
Nissan Juke Pros
- Available AWD with torque vectoring
- >Performance-inspired cockpit
- Responsive turbocharged engine
Nissan Juke Cons
- Polarizing exterior styling
- Manual transmission only available with FWD
- Tight luggage space behind second row
Is the Nissan Juke a Good Family Car?
The Nissan Juke is a good family car for a small family with young children, but might not be so good for a growing family with teenagers. Second-row legroom is limited to 32.1 inches, and hip room is just 48.4 inches, which means more than two full-size (or big kids) will not be comfortable. Still, the Nissan Juke is an affordable compact crossover and gets good gas mileage, so many families may find it a smart choice for a second car, or even as a first car for a new driver.
Did Nissan discontinue the Juke?
Nissan discontinued selling the Juke in North America after the 2017 model year, replacing it with the Kicks. A redesigned version of the Juke continues to be produced and sold in the United Kingdom, Europe, and a few other markets, in some places alongside the Kicks.
Are Nissan Jukes Good in the Snow?
Nissan Jukes are good in the snow, both in FWD and AWD trim. The Juke’s weight is distributed 63/37 over the front wheels in FWD, 60/40 in AWD, which gives the crossover naturally good traction. The Juke has a minimum of 7.0 inches of ground clearance, which will help it in the snow. The Juke came from the factory with all-season tires – not a good choice for deep snow or snowy climates. But swap out those tires and wheels for a cold weather set, and the Juke will cruise through winter without a problem.
Does Nissan Juke Have Turbo?
The Nissan Juke has a turbocharger with an intercooler as standard equipment. It also has sequential direct injection, an upgrade over conventional fuel injection. The combination of a turbocharger and direct injection helps the Juke to squeeze the most power out of its fuel – which is a good thing, because Nissan recommends premium unleaded (91-octane) gasoline for the best performance.
Nissan Juke – 2011–2017:
The Nissan Juke was introduced as a 2011 model and remained in Nissan North America’s lineup through the 2017 model year. The Juke is a compact crossover SUV, and is distinguished by its quirky exterior design and sporty turbocharged engine with available AWD, an unusual choice in a class dominated by fuel-efficient economy vehicles. The Juke’s headlight/running light arrangement is instantly recognizable. The big round halogen headlights are in the middle part of the front fascia, while the running lights are mounted on top of the front fenders, and available fog lamps are in the lower front fascia. Because of the Juke’s rounded, scarab-like body shape, the lights give the crossover a bug-like appearance, love it or hate it. The quickly sloping roofline and short overhang complete the profile. Inside, Nissan’s designers took inspiration from sport motorcycles. The instrument panel and center console, in particular, would look at home on a two-wheeler. Base models come with a sporty cloth interior, while upper trim and performance models can be fitted with flashy leather. The Juke isn’t just a sporty styling exercise, though. Its base engine is a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder with gasoline direct injection, tuned to put out 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The Juke uses a six-speed manual transmission or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). FWD is standard, and AWD is available (CVT only). AWD models come with torque vectoring, a technology that directs torque to the outer rear wheel during cornering maneuvers, helping the Juke turn quicker. It’s a subtle, yet effective technique that improves handling. FWD versions of the Juke come with independent strut suspension up front, and a torsion beam in the rear. AWD versions use the same front suspension but are upgraded to a multi-link independent rear suspension. With the combination of AWD, torque vectoring, and multi-link rear, the AWD versions of the Juke handle confidently around corners and deliver a more compliant ride overall. Starting in the 2013 model year, Nissan added a Juke NISMO (NISsan MOtorsports) model to the lineup. Like the base models, the Juke NISMO came with FWD or available AWD, a six-speed manual or CVT, and a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine – but this one is tuned to 197 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The NISMO’s suspension is lowered. Steering, transmission, and throttle settings are sharpened in the NISMO for sportier performance. In 2014, the Juke NISMO RS was added, a further enhanced sporty Juke. The RS took advantage of NISMO’s racing aftermarket catalog, adding a limited-slip differential, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission with triple-cone synchros in 1st and second gears, a strengthened clutch cover, oversize vented disc brakes with upgraded brake pads, Recaro seats, and smoked light covers. The 1.6-liter turbo was tuned to put out 215 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque with the six-speed manual, or 211 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque with the CVT. Fuel economy figures for the Juke run from 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway for FWD/6MT models, 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway for FWD/CVT models to 25 mpg city/30 mpg highway for AWD/CVT models. Juke NISMO gets the same estimates, while the RS is rated at 25 mpg city/31 mpg highway (FWD) and 25 mpg city/20 mpg highway (AWD).
Shop for the 2011-2017 Nissan Juke
2011–2017 Nissan Juke Trim Levels:
- S: FWD and CVT standard, AWD available, 188-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 engine, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, all-season tires, flat-tricot cloth seat trim, Bluetooth hands-free, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD audio with six speakers
- SV: FWD and 6MT standard, FWD and CVT available, AWD and CVT available, adds premium suede-tricot cloth seat trim, power-sliding glass moonroof, automatic temperature control, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button ignition, passenger seatback pocket, leather-wrapped steering wheel
- SL: Adds leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, rearview monitor, USB connection port for iPod, upgraded speakers and Rockford Fosgate 8-inch subwoofer, navigation system with 5.0-inch touchscreen monitor
- NISMO: Adds 197-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 engine, NISMO-tuned suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, ventilated disc brakes, chrome exhaust finisher, 18-inch NISMO alloy wheels, NISMO body kit, front grille, and mirror covers, NISMO synthetic suede front sport bucket seats, NISMO Alcantara/leather-wrapped steering wheel, NISMO shift knob
- NISMO RS: Adds 215-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 engine. AWD and CVT available with 211-hp engine, single stainless-steel exhaust, summer tires, Recaro front bucket seats, simulated carbon-fiber instrument panel and console inserts, chrome/metal-look interior accents, simulated suede upholstered dashboard, simulated suede door trim insert and seat trim
Running Changes to the 2011 – Present Nissan Juke:
- 2011: All-new Nissan Juke debuts with S, SV, and SL trim levels
- 2012: No changes
- 2013: Midnight Edition accessory group debuts, including 17-inch Black wheels, a Sapphire Black rear roof spoiler and mirror caps, three new exterior colors (Atomic Gold, Brilliant Silver, and Pearl White), NISMO trim level
- 2014: Sport package debuts, including a body-color rear spoiler, stainless-steel exhaust finisher, NISMO RS trim level debuts
- 2015: Revised exterior design with LED accent lamps, projector beam headlights, three new exterior colors (Super Black, Solar Yellow, Cosmic Blue), rearview monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with push-button start, hands-free text-messaging assistant now standard on all models, NissanConnect with navigation, mobile apps, around view monitor with moving object detection available, Juke Color Studio personalization program for owners to customize colors of certain exterior and interior pieces debuts
- 2016: “Stinger Edition by Color Studio” black and yellow packages for SV
- 2017: New 17-inch machine-finished aluminum-alloy wheels on SV and SL, Cold Weather package contents now included on SV as standard
Nissan Juke versus the Competition
Nissan Juke versus Nissan Kicks
Nissan replaced the Juke with the Kicks in North America after the 2017 model year. The Kicks came with a tamer exterior design, replacing the Juke’s eccentric lighting design with a more conventional set of headlights and running lights and smoothing out the muscular body. The Kicks is about seven inches longer than the Juke, and can handle up to 25.3 cubic feet of luggage behind the second row (up from the Juke’s 10.5 cubic-foot capacity). The Juke’s base turbocharged 1.6-liter engine outperforms the Kicks’ naturally aspirated (non-turbo) 1.6, offering 188 hp versus the Kick’s 125 hp, giving the Juke a substantial performance advantage.
Nissan Juke versus Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue is a larger crossover SUV than the Nissan Juke, about 20 inches longer and riding on a wheelbase about seven inches longer. This translates into more interior space in the Rogue, both for passengers and cargo. The Rogue uses a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline four-cyclinder engine (181 hp/181 lb-ft of torque), while the Juke uses a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder (188 hp/177 lb-ft of torque). Both SUVs are FWD with available AWD. Surprisingly, the Rogue is rated at 30 mpg combined while the Juke tops out at 29 mpg combined, and the Rogue achieves its performance using regular unleaded gas, while the Juke asks for premium unleaded (raising the Juke’s operating costs).
Nissan Juke versus Toyota C-HR
The Nissan Juke and the Toyota C-HR are each compact crossover SUVs with quirky styling. The C-HR is a bit larger than the Juke, about 7.5 inches longer and riding on a 103.9-inch wheelbase vs. the Juke’s 99.6-inch wheelbase. Much of the additional size is given to cargo space, as the C-HR can swallow up to 19 cubic feet of luggage behind its second row, while the Juke is limited to 10.5 cubic feet. The second row of seating is almost equally cramped in each vehicle, appropriate for kids on short rides. The C-HR uses a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine (144 hp/139 lb-ft of torque), while the Juke has its turbocharged 1.6-liter (188 hp/177 lb-ft of torque). The Juke is available with AWD, while the C-HR is FWD only. The two vehicles get nearly identical fuel economy, but Nissan recommends premium unleaded for the Juke, which is pricier.
Nissan Juke versus Kia Soul
When it comes to quirky fun, the Nissan Juke and the Kia Soul each have a claim in the compact crossover category. The Soul is a cube-shaped wagon, while the Juke is an unconventional small crossover. In terms of utility, the Soul has more luggage space and cargo capacity. Over the course of production (2009 model year – present), the Soul has used a variety of engines and transmissions. The most potent is a turbocharged 1.6-liter with direct gasoline injection (201 hp/195 lb-ft of torque), a healthy amount over the Juke’s 188 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. The Soul matches its turbo with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT), while the Juke uses a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), a less desirable choice for performance. The Soul was also offered as an electric vehicle (EV) in some states, while the Juke is gasoline-only.