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)
By Patty on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Peppy, fun to drive, unique looking,front is roomy"
Cons: "turbo engine runs sluggish in very cold weather"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This peppy smaller suv has been fun to drive. I like the looks. I haven't had any problems with the car but it had 2 recall for minor issues. I used regular unleaded gas instead of premium without any problems."
By Catmantoo on Friday, February 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, Appearance, Value"
Cons: "Not really any other than limited interior space."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. I own a 2013 Juke S (the lowest price Juke) and it has everything I need in a car. I love the styling of the vehicle and am always getting complements. I also love the Atomic Gold color that I got, since it is very rare for this vehicle. The only thing better than the styling is how well it runs. It is super solid and very responsive. There really is nothing that I don't like about this car. It may not be for a family, due to space constraints, but there aren't many other vehicles that are as much fun to drive."
12 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Brandi on Friday, January 30, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fast, safe, sporty, loud speakers, comfortable,"
Cons: "passenger space,trunk space,gas mileage,lighting"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I just purchased this car 2 months ago. I have a 12 year old and a newborn(still in a rear facing car seat, of course) and a husband. There is no room in the trunk to go on a vacation for a long period of time, unless we pack light. All of my groceries do not fit in the trunk either.. It is a headache most days getting the carrier/carseat in and out of the back seat. This is not a family car. BUT on the other hand.. It is fast, loud, and drives great. I feel like we are pretty safe when I am on the road. The mileage they told me is not what I am getting. They said 32-36 mpg highway, I think I only get 200 miles per full tank.. Which makes me question.. How big is the tank?!?! It is pretty comfortable on long trips. Not enough lighting in the back of the car. Last but not least I LOVE making phone calls from my steering wheel.. :)"
5 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Sparkles on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Back has restricted area for hauling"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Dependable. Easy to maintain. Good mileage. Excellent for one person who doesn't need the room of a larger SUV"
14 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By JUDE on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,950overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "VERY BASIC CAR, FUN EXTERIOR, EASY PARKING HANDLIN"
Cons: "NO CONSUL STORAGE, BAD STORAG ACCESS, SO SO MILEAG"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"INTERIOR --CANNOT ACCESS DOOR SIDE POCKETS UNLESS EXIT CAR. CANNOT RETRIEVE ANYTHING DROPPED BETWEEN SEAT/CONSUL. GET OUT ,BEND DOWN GET UNDER SEAT. NO ROOM FOR WINTER COAT BETWEEN STEERING WHEEL AND DRIVER. DIFFICULT TO ACCESS SEAT BELT IF DRIVER SEAT AT 90DEGREE FOR LUMBAR SUPPORT. MILEAGE 19 CITY. HANDLES WELL. STARTER CAR. GOOD FOR IN CITY USE."
25 people out of 36 found this review helpful
By Jukester on Saturday, December 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great handling experience."
Cons: "Interior is noisy."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"From the moment I saw my first Juke, I had to have one. My first was a 2011, mine being one of the very very few driving about up here in rural Maine. The first Juke was fun, fast, and for the most part, worth my time and money. I did find it would pull upon sudden acceleration. I figure this must have been something others experienced too, for as my newer 2013 Juke (yes, I bought another), has a little blue sticker on the back bumper suggesting better drive control. The 2013 does drive much better. The only problem I've experienced thus far, is bounce and squeak in the rear suspension. I'll have that looked at next service. I love my Juke. I feel confident when driving it in inclement weather, including slush and snow. The different traction control options and my power over them gives me a greater feeling of control."
18 people out of 31 found this review helpful