Nissan’s Juke shook up the small crossover market when it launched back in 2010, with its fresh distinctive styling. Since then direct rivals have appeared in the form of the Vauxhall Mokka, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, so last year’s revamp has brought more equipment and slightly better practicality to keep the Juke competitive.

Among the changes are a new design at the front and rear, a new downsized 1.2-litre turbocharged engine offering greater performance, economy and lower emissions; a revised 1.6-litre DIG-T engine; improved four-wheel drive with Torque Vectoring System; new alloy wheels; advanced equipment including a new audio system, the latest generation NissanConnect driver-vehicle interface, Nissan Safety Shield, Nissan's Dynamic Control system, plus the option of a new opening glass roof.

The Juke's unmistakable looks remain, but have been subject to subtle changes. At the front, the upper lamps have been redesigned and now incorporate bi-intensity LED daytime running lamps while the headlamps now have Xenon bulbs for better visibility and new lens covers. The grille incorporates the new Nissan brand signature while the front has been toughened with new and more robust trim beneath the bumper.

Door mirrors have been revised to include LED side turn strip repeaters and at the rear the bumper has a more aggressive shape to match new revised boomerang tail lamps with LED light guide technology, giving the new Juke a more distinctive appearance at night.

The range consists of five models: Visia, Acenta, a higher-spec Acenta Premium version, the range-topping Tekna variant and the scorching Juke Nismo RS.

Three engines are available, with changes to the two petrol options: one is new and the other extensively revised. The existing and acclaimed 1.5 dCi diesel with 110PS continues unchanged.

The Alliance-developed 1.2-litre DIG-T petrol engine (tested here), which replaces the outgoing 117PS 1.6-litre unit, is an advanced turbocharged direct injection engine delivering 115PS and despite its modest size, packs a real punch, offering sharper acceleration and greater torque (190Nm) for added flexibility than the old1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine. Its lower weight, standard automatic Stop/Start feature and more fuel-efficient operation also translates into lower emissions (126g/km of CO2) and greater economy (49.6mpg). This compact motor boasts pretty decent refinement too, although a turbo whine is noticeable at lower speeds.

It might have a tall body, but the Juke handles surprisingly well, resisting body roll with aplomb, although grip levels aren’t as great as you’d expect to find in a well-sorted supermini and the ride can become harsh over poor road surfaces.

The Juke is just as funky inside as it is out, with ‘floating’ instruments and a body-coloured centre console. Despite the focus on design, most of the switchgear is logically laid out and easy-to-use, although it’s a shame the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach.

That striking sloping roofline does impinge a bit on rear headroom and visibility out the letterbox rear window is also rather restricted. The 354 litre boot is usefully deep though and has the added benefit of a variable-height floor.

Equipment levels are now more generous, too, with even base-spec Visia models getting alloys, air conditioning and electric windows all-round. Acenta adds Bluetooth, iPod connection and climate control and Acenta Premium also includes a full colour screen satellite navigation system, reversing camera and DAB radio. Range-topping Tekna cars boast leather upholstery, and auto wipers and lights.



The Nissan Juke remains an eye-catching and interesting alternative to conventional superminis, with recent revisions bringing greater efficiency and new tech.


Tech spec:
Nissan Juke Tekna 1.2 DIG-T
Price: £18,280
Engine: 1.2 DIG-T turbocharged 4 cylinder petrol
Power: 115PS @ 4000 rpm
Torque: 190Nm @ 2000 rpm
0-62 mph: 10.8 seconds
Top speed: 111 mph
CO2 Emissions (g/km): 128