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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-gr-yaris-revealed-in-full-return-of-the-homologation-special
Toyota Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris revealed in full – return of the homologation special

One of most sought after hot hatchbacks of 2020 has finally been revealed: the Toyota GR Yaris
10 Jan 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/202099/new-2020-honda-civic-type-r-makes-debut-at-tokyo-auto-salon
Honda Civic Type-R

New 2020 Honda Civic Type R makes debut at Tokyo Auto Salon

Honda has released the first images of the revised Civic Type R that’s being shown for the first time in Tokyo
10 Jan 2020
Visit/subaru/202102/2020-subaru-levorg-sti-prototype-revealed-at-tokyo-auto-salon
Subaru Levorg

2020 Subaru Levorg STI prototype revealed at Tokyo Auto Salon

Proving there’s still life in Subaru’s STI performance sub-brand, the Levorg has benefited from some tweaks
13 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019