By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.9
In the 2013 Juke compact SUV, Nissan has created something really quite extraordinary. It's a small SUV – smaller than a CR-V or RAV4 – that is part people-carrier, part off-road dune buggy and part sports car. The Juke can accommodate four people, or its rear seats can be folded to form a fairly large and level cargo floor. Powered by a small 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and offering a choice of a manual gearbox (front-wheel drive only) or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Juke struts its sporty credentials. This sporting nature is bolstered by the variable throttle settings and an enthusiast-oriented sport suspension, two features that further distance it from more pedestrian compact SUVs.
If you're looking for a small 5-door SUV that is easy on gas, can tackle snow and mud with ease but that has more personality than a Subaru Impreza or Suzuki SX4, the 2013 Nissan Juke is worth a look. Cutting-edge audio, navigation and communication options are a welcome bonus.
Beyond its unconventional styling, the 2013 Nissan Juke may not hold much appeal to those who require a big back seat and copious cargo space. If you want something stylish, fuel-efficient and roomy, the Kia Sportage makes an excellent alternative, as does the Mini Cooper Countryman.
A rearview monitor (SV trims) and revised Rockford Fosgate Ecopunch audio system (SV and SL) are added to the 2013 Nissan Juke's Navigation Package.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Nissan Juke SUV's taut suspension is adept in minimizing body roll and lean, with only a minimal trade-off in the areas of ride comfort. The electric-assist power steering...feels pretty spot-on, although we'd still prefer a hydraulic setup in a car like this. The Juke's big standard wheels and tires combined with its wide front and rear track also aid in stability, but those same tires do create a fair bit of road noise. When equipped with Nissan's "intelligent" all-wheel-drive (AWD) package, the Juke gains a torque-vectoring setup and a CVT transmission usually found only in much more expensive vehicles. AWD Jukes also ditch the base car's torsion-beam rear axle in favor of more desirable independent rear suspension. The Nissan Juke's raised driving position, oversized side mirrors and good driver sightlines make it easy to maneuver in all but the tightest confines.
I-CON (ADVANCED-INTEGRATED CONTROL) SYSTEM INTERFACE
Standard on the Juke SV and SL, Nissan's slick I-CON interface/display toggles between "Climate" and "D-mode," each with its own specific graphics. In the former, I-CON commands all heat/air functions while the latter features Normal/Sport/Eco settings that appropriately revise the electronic mapping for throttle response, transmission shifts and steering feel.
INTELLIGENT AWD WITH TORQUE VECTORING
Available on all three Juke trim levels, Nissan's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system can create up to a 50/50 front/rear power split and also distribute torque from side to side on the rear axle to improve handling and reduce understeer when cornering.
If you're into cutting-edge interior styling, the 2013 Nissan Juke SUV is the poster child for the compact SUV segment. From its molded plastic center console that mimics a motorcycle's fuel tank to the multifunction ventilation controls that, with a push of a button, change to become the Sport/Normal/Eco mode throttle controls, the Juke's interior is a visual smorgasbord. Don't look for much in the way of cargo space because with only 10.5 cubic feet, there isn't much. However, folding the rear seats flat creates 35 cubic feet of space, more than enough to fit all of your toys.
The 2013 Nissan Juke is a vehicle you either instantly fall in love with or run screaming from as fast as you can. From its big-eyed bumper-mounted headlights to the elongate clear plastic turn-signal/parking lights that run the length of the fender tops, the Juke appears otherworldly. Move to the side, and a roofline that squats low as it moves rearward is accented by color-keyed integrated rear door handles giving the 5-door Juke a coupe-like appearance. A single-piece hatch with electronic release opens to reveal the Juke's rather tiny cargo hold.
Beyond first-rate powertrain/suspension/vehicle dynamics elements shared with its SV/SL kin, even the base Juke nets Nissan's Xtronic CVT automatic transmission plus power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, cruise control, keyless remote entry, a multifunction steering wheel, trip computer, vehicle security/immobilizer systems and front/front-side/side-curtain airbags. The SV adds premium upholstery cloth, a power moonroof, automatic climate control, the I-CON multifunction controller, satellite radio, a USB port and privacy glass, while SL trim includes the Navigation Package, leather upholstery, heated front seats, fog lights, and auto on/off headlights.
Nissan's decision to develop three definitive variations on the Juke theme keeps the formal extras list on each to a minimum. The sole choice for 2013 Juke S buyers consists of front- (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). At the SV level, that list expands to include swapping its standard 6-speed manual transmission for the CVT and adding the Navigation Package that brings an SD-card-based navi system with 5.0-inch color LCD screen, rearview monitor, the Rockford Fosgate Ecopunch system and USB connectivity. The fully loaded SL limits its configuration alternatives to front/AWD and/or 6MT/CVT transmissions.
All 2013 Nissan Jukes are fitted with a 1.6-liter "DIG" (Direct Injection Gasoline) inline 4-cylinder that boasts the trifecta of modern engine tech – direct fuel injection, turbocharging/intercooling and variable camshaft timing – here on both the intake and exhaust side – to deliver an impressive mix of performance and economy. Generating a stout 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque from 2,000-5,200 revs, it matches well with the CVT automatic (which includes S-mode that serves up six "virtual" gears) and the 6-speed manual gearbox, and can comfortably handle the added weight of the AWD system. A manual-equipped FWD Juke can sprint to 60 mph in around seven seconds, while the CVT and AWD each add about a half tick to that baseline figure.
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
188 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (FWD, manual), 27/32 mpg (FWD, automatic), 25/30 mpg (AWD, automatic)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the 2013 Nissan Juke compact SUV starts just under $21,000 for an entry-level S model, with the SV beginning closer to $22,000 and the top-line Juke SL opening right below $25,000. To make your best deal, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price at KBB.com that shows the typical transaction price paid for the Juke in your area. While more conventional, but less-powerful and in many cases less well-equipped rivals like the Subaru XV Crosstrek, Suzuki SX4 Sportback and Toyota Matrix XRS Sport can be had for about the same or less, none can match the performance of any Juke variant. The Juke's distinctive exterior styling remains a bit of a long-term wild card here, but historically Nissan vehicles have done a reasonable job of holding their comparative value over time. We suspect the SV will fare best in that particular arena.
By JayPep on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,226overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun, sporty, not a bad price, great handling"
Cons: "no parts on hand for minor traffic accidents"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The car is great, don't get me wrong. The drive is fabulous in a '13 6 speed MT Nismo. She Jukes left, she Jukes right, the handling is phenomenal. The Nismo trim really adds to the car. The rear spoiler, 18" rims, LED DRLs and skirting make the Juke look more aggressive and sporty. The interior looks awesome with the Nav and lights packages, but don't be fooled at the faux suede - it's only on the front seats. The rear passenger seats are cloth. Just don't get into a fender bender with a brand new Nissan, because parts are backordered for 5-6 months. Nissan consumer affairs doesn't assist their customers once the sale has been made."
By me on Monday, March 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Gas mileage"
Cons: "Not spacious, no air vents in the back seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"If space is what you are looking for, don't bother. This car provides great gas mileage and great aesthetics. It's a hybrid between an SUV and a car, but really it has more feature of a car. It has satellite radio (but don't be fooled, it comes with an optional monthly subscription) and nice sound overall. I recommend this car to anyone interested in a mid-priced, sport-looking car :)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Rog on Thursday, February 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 850overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Best small, AWD car for the money, by far"
Cons: "Rear interior lighting, lack sunroof, all seasons"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"The NISMO is underrated by most reviewers because their focus, in the end, is almost entirely performance oriented, meaning given that it doesn't do 0-60 in 6 seconds or under, or doesn't do as well as some sports cars in the g-ratings, other handling tests. (In fact the most ubiquitous review on Youtube, by two guys out in the desert running 0-60 times clock in at about 9 seconds, which is pure nonsense. Their clock has to be wrong because other reviewers correctly give time at about 7-7.3 seconds). Most reviews also subtract points because of the size of the back seat. In fact, NISMO is excellent car, good deal better than regular Juke, which I owned and traded in for the NISMO. As to Jukes generally, first, and foremost, it is meant to be small, for narrower streets in Europe, to keep weight down for gas mileage purposes, and to get the most out of a small in size engine. And the CVT is fine, especially for stop and go city traffic. Apparently, they sell very well in Europe. It is also meant, I believe, to be a fun commuter car, and practical - its limited length makes it much easier to find parking spaces on streets, and to get in and out of spaces in suburban mall shopping centers and underground garages with posts everywhere. I park in all those places and it works well for those situations, whereas people trying to park or "unpark" in larger cars often can't maneuver well and hold everyone up. As to the NISMO in particular, I have the AWD with CVT transmission. AWD system, as in regular all wheel drive Juke, is excellent. In a snow storm, in my prior Juke, I had no problem pushing a 3 series BMW up a commuter route slope to get it out of the way of a stream of rush hour traffic it was blocking. The suspension is more firm than regular Juke, and lowered a bit, but comfortable, and causes car to handle much better than regular Juke. I switched out the summer tires for performance all season tires which helped - it feels solid as a rock due to beefed up suspension and tires, it turns corners on a dime, and is also quieter than the 2011 Juke I traded in. Gas mileage appears to be about the same as prior Juke, despite slightly more powerful engine. Despite what other reviews say, the extra torque and horsepower make a noticeable difference, no doubt in part because they also reprogrammed other engine settings to get the most out of the engine. The LED daytime running lights are a plus - not just for the looks but because tests indicate it is safer to have some sort of fulltime lighting, because it makes cars more noticeable. Interior is also improved a good deal. The seats are quite good, though I thought the seats in my 2011 Juke were very good, and most plastics and cloth of higher quality and better looking. Car could use better interior lighting, though 3 lights on ceiling above driver are a good deal brighter than those in 2011 Juke. Would be very helpful to have light over backseat, but one can take care of that with LED batter powered motion-sensor light one can buy at any hardware store. I think car retails a little high, given it does not have, or even offer, a sunroof or heated seats for cloth seats. ,And it would make far more sense to allow buyers to get all season tires. The summer Continentals it comes with are at retail, very expensive, about $250 each, and car is not fast enough to warrant them. I put on Kumhos, $130 tire, and their great - handle as well as the summer Continentals, and more comfortable. If Nissan used a performance all season, would thus make lower price for the car feasible. With slightly lower suspension, exterior modifications, my wife does not call NISMO a clown car. She called the 2011 Juke a clown car. Re insurance, my collision went up about $60 a year. That's it, barely a dent in total premium. If you want performance, either get a NISMO RS soon to be released, or a 2015 WRX, also about to hit the market. But as a more than ample daily car, plenty of power, very good handling, good gas mileage(I get about 25-26 mph mostly city driving,) AWD and a relatively inexpensive price, NISMO is hard to beat. (2011 Juke was pretty reliable so I expect the same on this new car)"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Jman on Monday, February 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Super fun to drive & very well equipped."
Cons: "No center arm rest & inadequate interior lighting"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had my 2011 Juke SL for exactly 3 years and just hit 60,000 miles. It's been a great car and probably the most fun to drive out of the dozen or so vehicles I've owned in my driving lifetime. I'm very satisfied with it. I do have some suggestions for improvements: I wish it had a center console armrest and a dead pedal and I wish it was just a little bit bigger and the interior lighting is horribly inadequate. You can't see anything in the back seat at night (my wife loses her purse back there every time) and the rear cargo area also needs overhead lighting badly. I rated the quality a bit low because at 60,000 miles and barely 3 years old we found the exhaust system needs to be replaced already. The long exhaust pipe connected to the muffler and the muffler itself are all rotted and they broke apart from eachother so it sounds like I'm driving an old clunker. It's not covered under warranty and my dealer says I'm the first Juke owner they've seen with this issue and they had to order parts and can't tell me how long it'll take to get them. The new parts cost about $480 plus labor and will be covered for life once installed by my dealer which is good. I'm disappointed they used such a poor quality exhaust system on the Juke and I'm very embarrassed to be driving it right now because it's so loud. Anyway, I'll be getting it fixed and plan to keep the Juke for a few more years providing nothing major goes wrong."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By JukeFan on Tuesday, February 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun, fast, compact, unique,"
Cons: "gas milage for size, interior design"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"When I saw the ad for the Juke, I knew it was for me. I've never been a "car person" and never thought I would want a new car (all previous cars were used). However, I loved the Juke and now that I own one... I still love it but there are some compromises that one should be aware of: 1.) Interior lighting is almost non existent. I had to install sticky lights for the back seat and trunk. 2.) The glove box is comically cavernous. It is narrow and DEEP which makes storing stuff in there a mess. If you store things in the front they fall out the sides when the compartment is open. Super annoying. 3.) No arm rest and the compartment to store things in the center console is not convenient/easy to use. 4.) Gas milage is not what it was advertised as and I've read other reviews that say the same thing. I use a additive/fuel injector cleaner which helped but I'm running about 24-26mpg. However, despite all that I still love the car. The exterior design is so unique and gets some attention. The engine is great. I love having the turbo power and the handling is pretty good too. I love having the AWD especially with this winter we're having. The car is small enough to park in those city spaces that other cars have to pass up, but I was still able to bring home my 10 ft long carpet."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By ray a on Sunday, January 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, power, look."
Cons: "Needs premium gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My juke always turn heads, its sporty design is so unique, has the look of a bulldog puppy, aggressive, fun to drive, ready to take on the world. The only issue is room space, not a complain to me because that's what I wanted. Love it."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful