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2013 Nissan Juke Review

This review was written when the 2013 Nissan Juke was new.

Reviewers like the 2013 Nissan Juke's available all-wheel drive and sharp handling, but say its tight cabin and small cargo space may limit its appeal.

The Juke has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission. Test drivers like the power the turbocharged engine delivers, and say it helps the Nissan Juke get up to highway speeds and pass without hesitation. All-wheel drive is optional on all models, and reviewers like the extra road grip it provides.  With the CVT, the Juke averages 27/32 mpg city/highway, which is better than competitors like the Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V. The Juke is also one of few compact SUVs that requires premium gasoline. Both the manual and CVT receive positive reviews for being smooth. In addition, test drivers say the Juke has responsive steering and strong brakes, which makes it fun to drive. Overall, reviewers find that the Juke’s performance is athletic. They caution, however, that the Juke’s agility comes with a bumpy ride.

Several auto writers are disappointed that the 2013 Nissan Juke's cabin is made with so many hard plastics. Features include a standard USB port and Bluetooth, as well as optional amenities like a Rockford Fosgate audio system and navigation. Reviewers like that the 2013 Juke’s climate and audio systems are easy-to-use. They also think the navigation system is simple and add that the optional stereo’s sound quality is good. The five-seat Juke is one of the smallest crossovers on the market, and as a result, it’s not the most utilitarian vehicle in its class. Several auto critics say that even the front seats don’t have enough head- and legroom, and that the rear seats will be out of the question for most adults. Cargo space is also minimal, but reviewers think the available space is useful once the rear seats are folded.

  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Radical styling, a peppy turbocharged powertrain, nimble handling, and available all-wheel drive give the Recommended Nissan Juke a distinct, sporty personality that stands out among similarly sized subcompact and sporty/performance cars." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "As ugly as it is, the Juke is no joke. It's one of the fastest, best-handling, best-equipped small cars available in the U.S. market." -- The Washington Post (2011)
  • "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 (2011)

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Other SUVs to Consider

If you like the Juke’s quirky exterior, check out the Mini Cooper Countryman. The Countryman costs a few thousand dollars more than the Juke, but reviewers say that it’s fun to drive and practical. Additionally, the Countryman offers a bit more cargo space than the Juke.

The Mazda CX-5 gets good fuel economy, just like the Juke, but it’s also a lot more spacious inside. Along with these attributes, reviewers say that the CX-5 offers athletic handling and a high-quality interior.

Compare the Juke, Countryman and CX-5 »

Details: 2013 Nissan Juke

The 2013 Nissan Juke comes in S, SV and SL trims. All models have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A continuously variable transmission is standard, and a six-speed manual is optional on all trims with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional on every trim. Aside from the addition of the new NISMO trim, the Juke hasn’t changed much since its introduction for the 2011 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011 to 2013.

See the full 2013 Nissan Juke specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/21/14

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