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Nissan Juke engines, driving and performance

How does the Nissan Juke drive?

The Nissan Juke shares its underpinnings with the Renault Clio supermini, and that helps the Juke drive better than the last-generation car. It’s not quite as fun to drive as a Ford Puma but its agility and body control make it easier to recommend than many of its rivals, such as the Citroen C3 Aircross and Hyundai Bayon.

The manual gearbox is a good transmission, but the clutch is springy and it can be hard to change gears smoothly when you’re setting off. This could be a side-effect of a small three-cylinder engine, as the Peugeot 2008 has a very similar feel.

Is the Nissan Juke comfortable?

It’s fair to say that the Juke tries to prioritise sportiness over comfort and, while it corners nicely, it is a little firm. You won’t need to book a chiropractor visit after every journey, but the Juke doesn’t cushion the impact of bumps as effectively as a Skoda Kamiq.

Jolts are quite noticeable on stretches of ‘typically British’ tarmac, even if you pick a trim with the smaller 17-inch wheels. Upgrading to Tekna cars with their 19-inch alloys and shorter tyre sidewall highlights road surface imperfections even more.

What’s the best engine to get?

With many small SUV drivers opting for a dinky turbo petrol engine, that’s all Nissan offered for the Juke when it was launched. A hybrid joined the range in 2022, and is marked out by a black strip on the top of the grille, a reprofiled rear spoiler and hybrid badges. The hybrid makes the Juke a little more economical, but it’s more expensive than an equivalent petrol car. For used buyers we’d recommend the 1.0-litre petrol engine, because it’s nearly as efficient as the hybrid and far more widely available.

The petrol Juke should be fairly cheap to run, even if its 48mpg figure isn’t quite as high as the Ford Puma or Vauxhall Crossland. The hybrid is reported to manage 56mpg, but you might be able to manage more than this in stop-start journeys where the electric power can take over from the petrol engine.

We found the hybrid able to run on electric power up to speeds of about 20mph, which could make a big difference in your fuel consumption in stop-start traffic. The e-Pedal button increases the level of regenerative braking – where energy is harvested to top up the battery – so the Juke Hybrid feels very slightly like an electric car when you’re slowing down. Similarly, the automatic gearbox feels very smooth, which really adds to the experience. The hybrid’s 1.6-litre petrol engine is a little noisy when it’s pushed to work hard, though.

Insurance costs are roughly the same for both engines, and so’s VED (road tax) – the Juke Hybrid is a mere £10 less to tax per year than the petrol.

Nissan Juke performance

Both the Juke’s engines achieve the 0-62mph sprint in between 10 and 11 seconds, so neither will feel super fast but both will easily be powerful enough for day-to-day driving and keeping up with traffic. The hybrid does feel a little quicker than the petrol, thanks to the slight electric boost, but the difference isn’t night-and-day.

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