Nissan has had the Juke for a few years now arriving in Australia in 2013 from memory. Originally based on the cute and different Nissan Micra, the Juke followed the concept of bulking up and playing in the SUV segment. When it was originally launched it was daring in style and advanced in features. However of late it has been lagging in sales.
Is style and the ability to personalise their car enough for buyers. In reality it isn’t a lot different to the Toyota CH-R yet somehow hasn’t captured the buyer preferences as much. Updated in late 2018 with yet more personalisation options and extra safety features, Nissan is hopeful that this will revitalise its flagging sales.
JUKE is available in seven colours including Ivory Pearl*, Pearl Black*, Platinum*, Gun Metallic*, Magnetic Red and the new Vivid Blue* and Arctic White. There are two interior trims, the graphite cloth on the ST and black leather-accented, grey stitch on the Ti-S.
Juke is different. Very different. Before I start to describe it, let me say I actually like the look. However it looks like it is a cartoon car. It has overly muscular wheel arches, a rounded rear end that Kim Kardashian would be proud of and the bonnet and grill are, um, very different.
The 2018 updates include a darker chrome V-Motion front grille, and headlights, tail lights and indicators that have a smoked finish. Nissan has added LED fog lamps and the Ti-S drives on new 18-inch black-gloss alloy wheels.
Nissan has also introduced myJUKE personalisation pack options. Offered exclusively on JUKE Ti-S, there are three personalisation pack options including Power Blue, Energy Orange and Tokyo Glossy Black that feature colour highlights on the front and rear bumper, alloy wheel inserts and mirror caps.
The rounded theme continues inside, with everything from air vents to the centre stack displaying the theme. Front seats are surprisingly comfortable and manually adjustable for both. The steering wheel likewise is comfortable in the hands. In front of the driver the comfortable steering wheel frames the instrument binnacle, heavily rounded on top and two large dials, with an awkward shaped MFD between.
The centre stack is again round shaped with dual screens. I’m not sure why they needed two, my thought is that form overruled function. It appears busy and slightly messy but seems to work, and some younger drivers really liked it.
Rear seats are in the occasional plus two category as there is minimal leg room. The shape of the roof line also means that taller passengers are going to be very uncomfortable.
Boot space is good though, with versatile options. You can pack in larger pieces of luggage or longer, bulky gear thanks to modular 1/3 – 2/3 folding seats and a 2-level adjustable cargo floor.
Juke TI-S features include with halogen headlights, LED daylight running lamps, the three drive mode selector Nissan Dynamic Control System, auto door lock, auto off headlights, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming systems, USB connectivity and a leather accented steering wheel and shift knob, cruise control, climate control air conditioning, two ISOFIX points and automatic door locks.
The range-topping JUKE Ti-S adds 18 inch black-gloss alloy wheels, auto-fold side mirrors, heated seats, intelligent key with push button engine start, a 5.8 inch touch screen display, sat nav with traffic monitoring and digital radio.
Drive and Engine
The Juke Ti-S is powered by the 4 cylinder 1.6T petrol engine that produces power of 140 kW @ 5600 rpm and torque of 240Nm @ 1500-4500rpm. This is matched to the AWD X Tronic CVT. Juke also has Nissan Intelligent 4×4 with torque vectoring system.
Around town the Juke is nimble and zippy with reasonable ride and handling, however if pushed, loses its shape easily and the steering is somewhat vague and indirect.
The AWD version definitely makes the Juke feel more planted and slightly heavier and I would leave it in this format if possible. I didn’t do the fuel comparison, but I doubt it will make much difference.
One feature I liked is that the cameras make parallel parking easier with Around View® Monitor. Since all obstacles aren’t stationary (shopping carts, we’re talking to you), Moving Object Detection® keeps an eye around your Nissan JUKE Ti-S.
Towing at 1200kg and a tow ball weight of 125kg means that it is useful for the jet skis or lightweight camper etc.
Last tested in 2011 with the FWD version had a five star ANCAP safety rating. However Juke brings some updated features for 2018, including: Front, front-side and curtain airbags, Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Traction Control and Vehicle Dynamic Control, Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Warning are also standard equipment on the JUKE Ti-S, along with a 360 degree Intelligent Around-View® Monitor with Moving Object Detection. It does however miss out on recent innovations like AEB which would be required for an updated similar ANCAP rating.
- Very stylish – compact yet internally spacious
- All engine combinations
- Road handling and agility
Not so Good Bits
- Some internal plastic trim
- No Air conditioned seats
- Long and very expensive options list
Nissan Juke is designed for the urban warrior. It is all about expressing your personality outwardly in a smaller SUV style that is more at home in the streets of Surry Hills or St Kilda. It is absolutely for the inner-city single or couple that wants something a little different. Best seen parked outside their favourite coffee boutique, they may take it for the occasional weekend to the northern beaches or even the ski fields.
It is a little long in the product life cycle now and compared to the rest of the offerings in this very competitive segment shows that age. It is smaller than others and relatively pricey as a result.
Around town it is zippy and comfortable. Inside it is a little dated and probably falls into the acquired taste category. However if your motoring screams ‘look at me’ and you like to be visibly different, then the Nissan Juke Ti-S may just be for you.
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FACTS AND FIGURES: 2019 Nissan Juke TI-S AWD
- Engine: 1.6 L 4Cyl Turbo in line petrol producing 140kW/240Nm
- Transmission: CVTAWD
- Warranty: 3 Yr./ 100,000 km plus Roadside Assist
- Safety: 5 Star ANCAP (2011)
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $33,840 MLP*
*MLP – Manufacturers List Price includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of any options.