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
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.