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Nissan Juke 2020 review: ST

Stylish and not too left-of-field, the new Nissan Juke will have wide appeal.

The new Nissan Juke has had a complete makeover, but seeing as I didn’t drive the last one I can’t compare the two, so my mission (and I did choose to accept it) was to see how the Juke fares for a family. 

It’s a small SUV and there are plenty of good ones in the market, the Juke is in competition with cars like the Volkswagen T-Cross, Hyundai Kona and Toyota C-HR

I drove the base model Nissan Juke ST which costs $27,990, before on-road costs (on par with its rivals). Here’s how it did with my family of four over seven days of driving. 

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✅ How does it look?

It seems every car company in this segment likes to push boundaries with design (though apparently the original Juke was the first to do so) and rather than the safe, family-skewed designs you’ll see on mid-size SUVs, the small SUVs have created their own forward thinking design style.

The Juke is all about looking and feeling different, from those headlights with the Y in the centre to the sleek wide lights that lead into the grille, and the angles on the back of the car, it’s the right mix between different and stylish that gets it the design nod. 

The Juke is all about looking and feeling different. The Juke is all about looking and feeling different.

Inside is quite good, too. This is the base model so there are no slick finishes and everything is plain but solidly designed. Nissan's upped the ante with circular air vents (kind of) like a Mini’s, flat-bottomed steering wheel (kind of) like an Audi’s and there are not too many fussy buttons to confuse you while driving. 

This model has fabric seats that are comfortable and while you won’t find any fancy accompaniments in here it still feels good enough on the road.

While the ST interior doesn't have any slick finishes, the design is solid. While the ST interior doesn't have any slick finishes, the design is solid.

✅ How spacious is it?

There is apparently a fair chunk more space in this model than the last and I can attest to the Juke feeling roomy enough for family of four. There isn't acres of space of course but it’s all a matter of whether you really need it or just think you do.

The front has decent leg and headroom for tall people, and it’s okay width-wise. Again, not spacious - that’s not a word I’d use here - but ample. 

  • The front has decent leg and headroom for tall people. The front has decent leg and headroom for tall people.
  • The backseat fit my two children aged six and eight nice and comfortably. The backseat fit my two children aged six and eight nice and comfortably.

The backseat fit my two children aged six and eight nice and comfortably. I could sit back there at 161cm (5'3") and there is just enough space for those with longer legs. 

The boot has seen a large jump in size from the last Juke when it was only 207L. It’s now a family-friendly 422L so it’s big enough to fit the CarsGuide pram or a suitcase, and it’s certainly big enough for groceries and school bags. 

  • Boot space is rated at 422 litres. Boot space is rated at 422 litres.
  • The cargo capacity is big enough to comfortably fit two suitcases. The cargo capacity is big enough to comfortably fit two suitcases.

✅ How does it drive?

The Nissan Juke ST has a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine and if you’re driving it around suburbia it works really well as a runaround car.

It’s not super powerful but you're not expecting that in this car and it certainly was enough to make it up my 'test hill' at a decent pace. 

The transmission is a seven-speed auto, and there is a fair bit of rollback from a starting position, which you might expect in a manual car.

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine makes 84kW/180Nm. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine makes 84kW/180Nm.

It takes some getting used to but if you were driving it all the time, you would adjust your driving to avoid rolling into any cars. 

Parking is easy due to the small size and turning circle. There’s a reverse parking camera though its resolution could be better. 

✅ How easy is it to use every day?

Most things are manually operated, like adjusting the front seats and the park brake. There are two cupholders in the front, a decent centre storage bin and a bottle holder in the front doors. Rear passengers miss out on cupholders and directional air vents. 

One thing that proved annoying during the week was locking/opening the car. If I stopped and went to get out, the front door was locked - so it didn't just lock from the outside but from the inside, too.

To open it, the indoor lock on the door didn’t work, I had to press the button on the key to get out. Frustrating, but it turns out this was an issue confined to the test car I drove.  

Almost certainly related to the same technical gremlin was the fact that from the outside of the car, I would hit unlock and try to open the door (any door). Locked. Hit unlock again. Locked. Only on the third go would the car open up.

✅ How safe is it?

✅ What’s the tech like?

There’s an 8.0-inch touchscreen that houses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can plug your phone in for instant access to its main apps, and you can easily navigate with the maps app or listen to music/podcasts/books through a streaming app.

At the centre of the cabin is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. At the centre of the cabin is an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It’s also got Bluetooth connectivity and four speakers. In short, it has all the tech you need in 2020 to make driving and communicating as easy as possible without having to touch your phone. 

✅ How much does it cost to own?

The Nissan Juke ST costs $27,990, before on road costs. Claimed fuel consumption on this model is 5.8L/100km, which is good for this size car, but it does need 95RON premium fuel. I averaged 6.8L/100km in my week of driving in the suburbs. 

It’s covered by Nissan’s five year/unlimited km warranty which is also transferable if you sell it in that time. Servicing is recommended every 12 months or 20,000km. 


The Wrap

The Nissan Juke ST is a decent family car in the lower end price bracket and delivers on the all important interior space and boot space that a family with a small SUV would be after. It’s not huge but it certainly does the job as an everyday car being driven in the suburbs. It looks good and there is thorough safety and modern technology

I gave it a family rating of 7.4 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same. They liked the look of this car! 

Likes

Exterior design
Thorough safety
Big boot

Dislikes

Faulty door locks
No rear cupholders
So-so resolution on reversing camera

Scores

Nedahl:

3.7

The Kids:

3.7

$23,490

Based on new car retail price

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