Test Drive: Nissan Juke 1.5 dCi MT Acenta image

The Nissan Juke has been a path opener in the B-segment for crossovers (J-segment) and the competition is being produced after a few years since the Juke made its world debut. We have recently tested the mid-range version of the Nissan Juke, the 1.5 dCi MT Acenta.

Engine / Transmission

Besides the petrol versions, the Nissan Juke is also being offered with a diesel engine, in the shape of a 1.5 dCi, which is producing a total output of 110 HP at 4,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque at 1,750 rpm. The unit is mated to a six-speed manual transmission which is optimized for fuel consumption but, even so, the short shift is quickly noticed and even if it doesn’t make any sense in a crowded city, the gearbox pays once you will try to see what the Juke has to offer.

Fuel Consumption

The Nissan Juke has a 46-liter fuel tank and the Japanese automaker says that the model is burning an average of 4.9 liters of fuel every 100 km. In the real world, these figures are higher, just like in every other car out there, and in the city the fuel consumption goes up to 7.5 liters burned every 100 km, while on the highway the Juke needs just 5.6 liters, a figure achieved with the AC on and cruise control set at 100 km/h. The fuel consumption went up to 6.1 liters on a mountain road where we wanted to see what the Juke has to offer and despite being pushed almost to the limit, the model refused to burn more.

The Ride

The Nissan Juke has been developed for urban use so our guess was that it can offer some level of comfort while going over speed limiters or small holes in the asphalt but the truth is that the crossover will shake your last meal and you will find out that parts of your body, which you didn’t knew that were there, will start to annoy you.

That weird suspension comes to a common good sense on a mountain road where it will help you feel just about every grip but you will quickly be sorry that you wanted to test it on tight corners because the seats don’t have any side support, which is OK on a family sedan but not on a crossover aimed towards young people.

The visibility offered by the Nissan Juke is superior to what we can find now on the market in this segment and you will feel like driving a Hummer H1 near a VW Touareg when passing by a Renault Clio or an Opel Corsa. The Juke needs a rear-view camera but unfortunately it’s only available on the top of the line version so you may want to save some more money before going to your local Nissan dealership.

Interior Design

The cabin of the Nissan Juke looks like a strip club with a lot of colored gizmos, soft curves and cup holders but we liked it because it’s aimed, just like we said above, towards young drivers. The center console has been painted in a dark red but this is because the model we tested came with the sports package, and if you will get the regular version, the color will be changed to grey.

The Nissan Juke is a fun place to be in; you will be mesmerized of the climate control design which is displaying a G-meter counter at the touch of a button, of the chromed and aluminum accents and of the overall feel of a young entry into the market. The buttons are where they are supposed to be and even if we can find some common features shared with the new Micra, they aren’t so noticeable and they won’t end up annoying you.

We pretty much liked the driving position which is lower than we initially thought and this means that the Juke’s maneuverability is good. The seats don’t have any side support and this will be felt during tight cornering. We didn’t like that Nissan isn’t offering a front center armrest which would be more than useful in long trips and we also noticed that the audio system, besides making a lot of noise, doesn’t have the option of folder browsing, so you will have to keep pushing the “forward” button in order to get to your favorite track.

Equipment Level

The Juke Acenta is the mid-range version of the crossover and it’s coming with a center display which is being used for the climate control, for showing info taken from the trip computer and transformed into a graphic and it’s also revealing a G-meter counter. The model is also getting cruise control, speed limiter, USB, AUX, Bluetooth (which refused to accept my phone), a multi-function steering wheel and more, including a lot of storage spaces, which will be highly appreciated.

Likes / Dislikes

The first time when you see a Nissan Juke you can’t help noticing its unique exterior design and if you look at it just like an 18-year old would when his parents ask him if he would like to own a Juke, than you understand its purpose. The same thing goes with the interior design, which “breaths youth”. The fuel consumption is also receiving a huge plus, along with the driving position, the noise insulation for its class, the stiff suspension which is more suitable for a young person, the good amount of torque available at low revs, the G-force counter which will make you test it at least once and the live colors found throughout the cabin.

On the other side, you can feel a small vibration in the steering wheel coming from the diesel engine, the front seats don’t have a side support, the audio system isn’t brilliant in this version, the radio antenna will make you lose the signal even in the center of the city, you won’t get a center armrest, the audio system won’t let you browse through your folders, there are no Xenon headlights and the Juke can under steer badly and just when you won’t expect it, so I don’t recommend it as a first car for a young driver. The most irritating thing was the center console which probably became loose and it was trying to “communicate” with me constantly. Plus the seat upholstery doesn’t seem to have a long life, even if the model we tested has done just over 40,000 km.

The starting price of the Nissan Juke is 15,500 euros but the version we tested was priced at 19,300 euros.