Group tests

Nissan Juke Nismo: Hot hatch group test

It might not be a hot hatch in the traditional sense, but the Nissan Juke Nismo shouldn't be dismissed so quickly

From the smallest to the tallest. Hop up into the Juke Nismo and it all starts rather well; the steering wheel feels great and has soft Alcantara in the right places (although you can’t adjust the reach), the seats are comfy and there’s a manual gearbox to play with. You also have a wonderfully commanding view out, with two little transparent frogeye domes protruding from the bonnet in front of you.

Just as the Mini shares an engine with the 208, so the Juke shares its four cylinders with the Clio, and it’s certainly quick enough down the road. However, where the Clio (which has a different inlet manifold, turbo and ECU) sounds purposeful and has myriad burbles, chuffs and parps to make you smile, the Nissan sounds terrible. It has no bass – despite an exhaust the size of the Channel Tunnel – just a nasal whine like a particularly boring washing machine.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Much more encouraging is the high vantage point you get of the road ahead. It gives you a feeling of unstoppability that makes you want to monster apexes and climb all over the verges like you’re in a rally car. Body roll is actually well contained too, but there’s no disguising the higher centre of gravity or the huge travel hidden in those cartoonish arches – the end result is a car that lacks any precision as soon as you try to hustle it. With its square-looking wheelbase you initially think that you might be able to get it set up nicely for corners if you turn in on the brakes, but the reality is that the rear just feels inert and unwilling to follow the front. If you’re aggressive with the throttle in a corner, traction also becomes a major issue as the lolloping suspension struggles to keep both front tyres in contact with the ground, although to its credit it never simply washes wide, so it’s not too terrifying on the narrower stuff…


Engine In-line 4-cyl, 1618cc, turbo
Power 197bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 184lb ft @ 2400-4800rpm
Transmission Six-speed manual gearbox, front-wheel drive
Front suspension MacPherson struts, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension Torsion beam, coil springs, dampers, anti-roll bar
Brakes 296mm ventilated front discs, 292mm solid rear discs, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Wheels 7 x 18in front and rear
Tyres 225/45 R18 front and rear
Weight (kerb) 1306kg (claimed)
Power-to-weight 153bhp/ton
0-62mph 7.8sec (claimed)
Top speed 134mph (claimed)
Basic price £20,395

More on Juke Nismo

Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo RS review, price and specs

Flawed crossover offers individual styling and quality damping
7 Apr 2015
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo RS arrives in the UK: pricing and details

Nissan's new and improved Juke Nismo RS hits UK showrooms, priced at £21,995
18 Dec 2014
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo RS: Geneva 2014

Nissan has unveiled the new more extreme RS version of the hot hatch mini-SUV that is the Juke Nismo at the Geneva motor show.
5 Mar 2014
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo RS announced

A hotter version of the Nissan Juke Nismo, called the RS, will be revealed at the LA motor show.
10 Oct 2013
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

2013 Nissan Juke Nismo review and pictures

The Juke Nismo launches Nissan's performance road car arm in Europe. Can it deliver hot hatchback thrills?
23 Jan 2013
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo 'Dark Knight Rises' edition

To celebrate the launch of The Dark Knight Rises on DVD and Bluray, Nissan has created a one-off special Batman-themed Juke Nismo
30 Nov 2012
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke Nismo unveiled

Hot on the heels of the supercar-beating Juke-R, Nissan has unveiled the Juke Nismo edition.
14 Jun 2012
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Video: Driving the Nissan Juke-R

evo's Richard Meaden is first to get behind the wheel of the amazing Nissan Juke-R, which uses the same running gear as the mighty GT-R
5 Jan 2012
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Toyko show: Nissan plans Nismo road cars

Nissan is planning to launch a range of road cars engineered by its Nismo racing operation
30 Nov 2011
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Tokyo Show: Nissan Juke Nismo

Nismo to widen the range of performance Nissans on offer, starting with this circa 200bhp Juke
29 Nov 2011
Nissan Juke Nismo SUV

Nissan Juke-R: behind the scenes

Nissan has released a series of videos detailing the construction of the GT-R powered ‘Juke-R’ demonstration car.
27 Oct 2011