Nissan Juke review - still fun and funky, but no longer the best - Living with a Nissan Juke

Divisive styling, but still an interesting supermini alternative

Evo rating
Price
from £14,590
  • Interesting, low running costs, fun Nismo RS
  • Some despise the looks, low on space

Small crossovers might not be the usual evo staple, but one wearing the famous Nismo badge will always get our attention. Nismo Jukes have been around for a while now, but we spent nine months with the most recent variant, the Nissan Juke Nismo RS, to discover whether it ticked as many boxes as a good hot hatchback.

In short, the answer was no, but it did get close in a few areas. On the specification sheet it's undoubtedly impressive, not only packing a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine with 215bhp (a unit derived from that in the Renault Sport Clio 220) but also a manual gearbox and mechanical limited-slip differential.

Those added entertainment to the driving experience, albeit not always in the right kind of way. Some testers complained of excessive torque steer, a situation exacerbated by the Nismo RS's extra body roll over a traditional hot hatch, which unloaded the inside tyre in cornering and required greater demands from the diff.

From a purely practical perspective there were concerns too. Photographer Aston Parrott was the Juke's custodian, and complained of a small boot (something as relevant to family owners as it is to snappers) and a firm ride. The latter was at least well-damped when driving quickly, and to be fair it's less of a problem (though not an absent one) in non-Nismo Jukes.

The Juke proved unproblematic during its time with us too, the only blot on its copybook being excessive tyre wear initially, thanks to the car being delivered with incorrect geometry settings. That required a pair of new tyres, but otherwise the Nissan didn't chew through consumables too quickly.

Most Popular

This Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S is quicker than a GT Black Series
Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S
Mercedes E63 AMG

This Brabus Mercedes-AMG E63 S is quicker than a GT Black Series

Mercedes-AMG’s latest E63 S is one of the fastest saloons on our roads, but Brabus has turned up the wick a little more
6 May 2021
819bhp Ferrari 812 Competizione revealed in full – hardcore V12 GT returns
Ferrari 812 Competizione front
Ferrari 812 Superfast

819bhp Ferrari 812 Competizione revealed in full – hardcore V12 GT returns

Ferrari has confirmed its new 812 Superfast special edition is to be called Competizione, and will be joined by the Targa-roofed Competizione A
5 May 2021
Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R multifunction display – Art of Speed
Nissan R34 GT-R display
Nissan GT-R

Nissan R34 Skyline GT-R multifunction display – Art of Speed

The R34 GT-R came with Nissan’s interpretation of a games console crowning the dashboard. A gimmick? Big time, but entertaining all the same
4 May 2021