2015 Nissan Juke review

Improved so much, Shahzad changed his mind about it. And did he really just complement a CVT?!

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Nissan Juke – review

I was never a fan of the Nissan Juke. And it wasn’t because of the polarising styling. I actually don’t mind the looks, I like quirky and different, and always find it amusing to have to remind myself that the headlights are not the ones I think they are.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

You may argue that it’s ‘face’ is all wrong, why does it have four eyes, why does it look like a grinning frog, why does it have bulging wheelarches and why is it so different? Well that’s the appeal isn’t it? It stands out, it’s unusual, it’s making some kind of statement, and it’s certainly a fun and funky looking thing with its tongue firmly in BOTH cheeks!

2015 Nissan Juke – review

I never thought much of the drive itself before – probably due to that joy-sapping CVT. But it appears that along with rest of the car, the transmission has evolved and Nissan has been heeding the critics.

Juke Video Review

What’s new with the Juke

Despite the fact that the Juke has been around five years now, there’s definitely something fresh and new about this facelift version – and it’s not just due to the hooked upper eyes (it has LED DRLs too). Incidentally the door mirrors are different, front lower spoiler is redesigned, and the rear bumper is new. They’ve managed to find more rear cargo space with a two-stage floor and flat-folding rear seats.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

A four-speaker sound system with CD/MP3 and Aux, as well as power windows, electric mirrors, rear-view camera and the split folding rear seats is thrown in. All this you get in the S trim, but there’s also the SL – both of which come with 117bhp 1.6-litre engine with prices from AED66,250 and AED75,700 respectively.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

The model you see here though is the SL Turbo (AED79,500) with leather pack (AED84,750). This also has a 1.6-litre engine but with the help of the Turbo it puts out 190bhp giving it a 0-100kph time of 7.8 seconds (3.7 seconds quicker than the naturally aspirate car) and good for 215kph. This is definitely the one to get.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

What’s it like to drive?

There’s remarkably keen response to the helm and turn is effective with manageable understeer. Despite its higher ride height it behaves like a hot hatch with tenacious grip, even though it clearly lifts and merrily spins an inside wheel when you floor it off an apex – which of course is indicative of the ready application of decent torque (177lb ft at your disposal from just 1600rpm).

2015 Nissan Juke – review

Best of all though – and I’m not saying that I suddenly like CVTs or that Nissan has perfected its version – but the CVT transmission is actually a massive improvement. I welcome the pretend step-changes – there’s still a bit of blurring of ratios, but the response is good and the thrum is a little more acceptable.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

Verdict

It’s not the most capacious of family crossovers, but few look as cheeky – and this one now backs up the style with a genuinely entertaining and slightly unhinged drive. It is a four-seater (for normal sized adults), there is plenty of luggage room, the ride is decent, and with its higher ground-clearance you can even rough-road it a little, despite only being front-wheel drive, without concern.

2015 Nissan Juke – review

I wasn’t really expecting to like this car, but found myself quite taken with its cheeky nature and frisky performance. If you’re going to get one (and you should definitely put it on the shortlist) then I’d strongly urge you to opt for the turbo. If you can do without the leather pack, you get a great new car for under AED80k!

2015 Nissan Juke – review

2015 Nissan Juke SL Turbo – The Specs

Price: AED79,500-84,750  (US$22k-23k)
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo, 190bhp @ 5600rpm, 177lb ft @ 1600rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 7.8secs, 215kph, 6.0L/100km
Transmission: 6-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight:  1300kg

Let us know what you think of our 2015 Nissan Juke review below

5 responses to “2015 Nissan Juke review”

  1. Paul White says:

    Juke has always been nice and we have one in our family. Upon showroom visit, looking around the new one, the only difference we found and advised by the sales team was the front and back cosmetic changes with different styled rims. I quite don’t understand all the other improvements you have mentioned. Interior space is EXACTLY the same and rear headroom is very bad for tall people. Two stage folding and flat folding seats have always been there. I was also told that there is no changes made mechanically, so hows does it drive better than the previous one now?

    I have to say it looks better than the one we have.

  2. Paul White says:

    Also, what’s with the red interiors on the Yellow car. That is absolutely wrong and you didn’t mention that at all.

    Looks like a paid review then.

    • admin says:

      [Shahzad] I did mention the interior colour in the video review. They assure me that there is more luggage space in here than before, probably be simply reprofiling the rear luggage compartment. The rest I guess are tweaks to the drivetrain and suspension. But then I last drove the car when it was first launched five years ago, so there may also have been interim changes. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Alan says:

    I am planning to get a juke or a renault captur. Which one would you recommend?

    • admin says:

      [Imthishan] Juke if you have the cash, it’s a nicer car to drive, especially if you get the Turbo. But the Captur is extremely good value and slightly cheaper to run in the long term. In other words, pick your priority – performance or parsimony!

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