The Juke doesn't fit neatly into any vehicle category, which has always been part of its charm. You can think of it as a mini crossover or a stylish hatchback with guts. What we know for sure is that the Juke offers a lot of looks and performance for the money.

Pricing and Equipment

The Juke is available in the typical Nissan trims, plus sporty NISMO variants:

  • The entry-level S comes decently equipped with a rearview camera, keyless ignition, a six-speaker sound system, and 17-inch alloy wheels for $20,250.
  • The $22,300 SV carries an upgraded interior, a sunroof, and selectable driving modes. You can add a $1,490 Tech package with audio upgrades and navigation, and a $250 Cold Weather package with heated seats and mirrors.
  • The high-trim SL ($25,240) comes standard with the SV's options, plus a leather interior and a Rockford Fosgate sound system.
  • Starting at $24,830, the NISMO gets the full sport treatment, including aggressive suspension tuning and summer performance tires. Other equipment is similar the SL.
  • The NISMO RS ($28,020) gets a boost in horsepower, additional chassis bracing, and upgraded brakes.

Performance Pros

Nissan Juke

Every Juke gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that makes 188 horsepower (or 215 in the NISMO RS only). All-wheel drive can be added to any model for about $1,700.

Performance highlights include:

  • Transmissions: A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is used on most models. NISMO and NISMO RS models without all-wheel drive get a six-speed manual.
  • Steering/Handling: Thanks to the standard sport-tuned suspension, the Juke offers athletic handling from the start.
  • Acceleration: The Juke scoots from zero to 60 mpg in 7.3 seconds, which is downright fast in the world of small hatchbacks and crossovers.

Performance Cons

  • The sporty suspension makes for a firm ride, which can get annoying on long commutes.
  • The CVT feels indecisive at times, requiring a stomp on the pedal when you need more power.

Interior Pros

Nissan Juke
  • Buyers drawn to the Juke's feisty looks will feel right at home inside, where the theme is equally youthful and irreverent.
  • The tall driver seat provides a commanding view of the road, a benefit we didn't expect in a car this size.

Interior Cons

  • No amount of clever packaging can disguise the fact that the Juke is small inside. The backseat isn't really useful for adults, and cargo space trails what you'll find in conventional hatchbacks.
  • With its liberal use of color and curves, the interior might be too hipster for the mass market.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Juke delivers a blend of performance and features that's mighty rare in this price class.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

In around-town driving, we could do no better than 24 mpg. That might sound fine if you're in the market for a sporty car, but abysmal if looking at hatchbacks of similar size.

The Bottom Line

If style and performance are your top priorities, you'll find the Juke's shortcomings easy to overlook.