2012 Nissan Juke Review
The 2012 Nissan Juke stands out from the pack with its unique look and slot-car performance. However, reviewers say its tight back seat and small cargo hold may limit its appeal.
Take a quick glance at the 2012 Nissan Juke, and you may think it offers the utility and space of a hatchback or an affordable compact SUV. However, practicality is not the Juke’s strongest suit. Consumer Guide says, “Despite its SUV-influenced design elements, Juke gives up some practicality in exchange for its expressive attitude in that it's not as space efficient as many small hatchbacks.”
Test drivers agree that while the Juke offers less cargo space and a smaller back seat than many of its competitors, the Juke excels with a powerful engine, confidence-inspiring handling and available all-wheel drive. As a result, reviewers often compare the Juke with performance-oriented hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTI and the Mini Cooper.
While its exterior styling is polarizing, reviewers also find a few things to debate about inside the Juke. While standard features such as Bluetooth make the Juke seem like a great value, some comment that the interior’s printed fabrics and hard plastic panels do not exude quality. In addition to a small cargo bay, the Juke also offers less small-item storage than many competing small cars. So while the 2012 Juke succeeds as a driver’s car, it lacks the practicality of cars that offer more space for passengers and their gear.
Other Cars to Consider
While the Juke carries some distinctive SUV-inspired DNA, its price, nimble handling and torquey engine make it well-matched to affordable small cars. If you like the Juke’s performance, but would prefer a small hatchback with a timeless design, check out the Mini Cooper. However, be aware that you’ll have to buy a Cooper S to match the Juke’s power, and the Mini’s price can escalate quickly with options.
If you’re looking for a car with all-wheel drive stability rather than pocket-rocket performance, consider the Subaru Impreza. Like the Juke, the Impreza’s athletic handling earns reviewer praise, but it’s not as powerful. However, the Impreza stands out with good fuel economy, standard all-wheel drive and a spacious interior.
Nissan Juke: The Details
The 2012 Nissan Juke carries over unchanged from the 2011 model with three available trim levels: S, SV and SL. All models have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and optional all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission come standard, while all-wheel drive models feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT). See the full 2012 Nissan Juke specs.
- "Get past the styling and the compact Juke proves to be a fun little SUV." -- Car and Driver
- "If you're looking for a vehicle that performs like a racy little coupe, can tackle snow and dirt trails when asked and starts around $20K, the 2012 Nissan Juke CUV has you covered." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Nissan's five-seat Juke small crossover is about 20 inches shorter than the Rogue, the previous smallest crossover in the automaker's lineup, but it packs a more powerful engine and a sophisticated available all-wheel-drive system that together give the Juke a decidedly sporty bearing." -- Cars.com
- "It blends the ride height and looks of a crossover with the soul and sensibility of a hot little hatchback, making for a truly fun-to-drive machine." -- MSN
- "It's funky and powerful, with an attractive base price." -- Edmunds