2016 Nissan JUKE Expert Review

4.2 Overall Score
Performance 4.3 Comfort 3.6 Styling 3.8 Value 4.2

Editor's Overview

Nissan's smallest crossover SUV still looks like nothing else on the road with style you'll love or hate, and it prioritizes sporty performance over passenger- and cargo-carrying utility. The 2016 Nissan Juke offers a lot of fun for around $21,000, and is even available in souped-up Nismo RS form that packs 215 horsepower.

You'll Like The 2016 Nissan JUKE If...

If you want a small SUV with zippy performance, wild looks and a price that even a student could afford, put the Juke on your shopping list. The availability of all-wheel drive (AWD) across the line is another plus, as is a manual transmission for driving purists.

You May Not Like The 2016 Nissan JUKE If...

If the ability to accommodate people and gear is more important to you than zippy performance and unconventional appearances, look to the Honda HR-V, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Trax or the larger Nissan Rogue. All have more interior space than the cramped Juke.

What's New

Apple-compatible Siri Eyes Free functionality is now standard, and two new "Stinger Edition by Color Studio" models join the line with even more over-the-top color schemes.

Interior Features

The 2016 Nissan Juke's 5-passenger interior is nearly as wild as its exterior. The molded plastic center console mimics a motorcycle’s fuel tank, and the multifunction ventilation controls change to become the Sport/Normal/Eco mode with just the push of a button on models with the nifty I-CON system. It's a lot of fun for the driver and front passenger, but rear-seat passengers will be cramped. Instead, fold down those rear seats to expand the paltry 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space to 35.9 cubic feet, more than enough room for several shopping bags. The steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope.

Exterior Features

For better or worse, the 2016 Nissan Juke looks like nothing else on the road. Try to describe it, and you're bound to bring up an animal descriptor. Is it a frog? An insect? Whatever, a lot of people think it's downright cool. The front end is an outrageous affair with streaking headlight housings, while its rear is nipped and tucked. From the side, the roofline squats as it moves rearward, accented by color-keyed, integrated rear-door handles that give the 5-door Juke a coupe-like appearance. Nismo variants can sport an aerodynamic body kit, while top-line RS versions boast red brake calipers.

Driving Impressions

With its standard turbocharged engine, tight suspension and quick steering, Nissan’s Juke feels less like a traditional SUV and more like a zippy hatchback. This all adds up to a crossover SUV that's fun to drive on twisty roads and city streets. It's less suited for miles and miles of highway use, so if you need an Interstate traveler you might opt some something bigger, quieter and less twitchy. Thanks to its small engine and low weight, the Juke gets good fuel economy. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) models use a solid rear axle and have notable torque steer under acceleration, but opt for the torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive (AWD) system and you'll get an independent rear suspension and no torque steer. Juke Nismo and Juke Nismo RS models offer a 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential on FWD models, while top-line Nismo RS models get more power and improved handling.

Pricing Notes

The 2016 Nissan Juke has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $21,000, a tempting price for a spry, turbocharged crossover SUV with egregious style. That climbs to around $31,000 for an AWD Juke RS. Newer rivals such as the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Chevy Trax and Fiat 500X are in line with the Juke, while a bare-bones Jeep Renegade undercuts the Nissan, and the more premium Mini Countryman starts around $2,500 more. The Kia Soul is another great alternative that has stylish looks, more space and a starting price $4,000 less than the Juke. The larger Subaru Crosstrek starts slightly higher but packs more room and versatility. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Juke. The Nissan Juke's residual value is expected to be quite strong, and its 5-Year Cost to Own figure lower than most.

Notable Equipment

The 2016 Nissan Juke is available in five trims: S, SV, SL, Nismo and Nismo RS. The least expensive Juke S still comes nicely equipped with push-button start, rearview camera, AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with 5-inch color display and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, Siri Eyes Free compatibility, continuously variable transmission (CVT) and expected amenities like air conditioning and power windows. For roughly $2,000 more, we recommend the Nissan Juke SV trim, which adds the nifty I-CON climate/drive-setting controls, power moonroof, premium cloth seating, rear privacy glass, leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic climate control.

Notable Options

Climbing to the SL trim adds leather seating, larger 5.8-inch display with navigation and voice recognition, a pounding Rockford Fosgate audio system, heated front seats, automatic headlights and Nissan's impressive AroundView bird's-eye rearview monitor. The Juke Nismo gets sport tuning for better handling, 18-inch wheels, a unique front grille and synthetic suede seat trim, while the top-line Juke Nismo RS packs a more powerful engine, Recaro front bucket seats and Nismo-specific exhaust and brakes. Cold Weather and Tech packages are available for SV models. The "Color Studio" program for SV variants allows the choice of vibrant color schemes.

Favorite Features

I-CON (INTEGRATED CONTROL) SYSTEM INTERFACE

The I-CON display, standard on all but base models, allows the driver to toggle functions in an unexpected and impressive way. With the ability to seamlessly switch its button readout, the same display is used for climate control and "D-mode" adaptive throttle settings. It looks pretty cool, too.


INTELLIGENT AWD WITH TORQUE VECTORING

While Nissan's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive is good for enhanced traction in foul weather, it's just as good for improving handling on dry pavement, and should be a must-get for those looking for the ultimate in cornering from their compact SUV.

Under the Hood

Two engines are available for the 2016 Nissan Juke. The standard-issue engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 188 horsepower; it's in all Juke models except the Nismo RS. The top-line Juke Nismo RS gets a more powerful version of the same engine, offering 215 horsepower with the manual transmission and front-wheel drive (FWD), or 211 with the automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (AWD). In standard Jukes, the CVT automatic includes an S-mode that serves up six "virtual" gears, simulating gear changes; seven in the Juke Nismo, and eight in the Juke RS. The Juke is quite fuel-efficient, but Nissan recommends feeding it pricier premium unleaded gasoline.


1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4

188 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

177 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-5,200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/32 mpg (FWD, automatic), 26/31 mpg (AWD, automatic)


1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Nismo RS)

215 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (FWD, manual)

211 horsepower @ 2,000 (AWD, automatic)

210 lb-ft of torque @ 3,600-4,800 rpm (FWD, manual)

184 lb-ft of torque @ 2,400-6,000 rpm (AWD, automatic)

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (FWD, manual), 25/29 mpg (AWD, automatic)

Editors' Notes

When it debuted five years ago, the Nissan Juke was ahead of its time – a subcompact- crossover SUV with sporty ambitions and high style that stood out in a sea of larger, blander SUVs. Nowadays the subcompact-crossover SUV segment is booming with fresh arrivals like the Mazda CX-3, Honda HR-V, Chevy Trax, Fiat 500X and the Jeep Renegade. But to its credit, the Juke continues to zig where others zag. Nissan's smallest crossover SUV still looks like nothing else on the road with style you'll love or hate, and it prioritizes sporty performance over passenger- and cargo-carrying utility. The 2016 Juke offers a lot of fun for around $21,000, and is even available in souped-up Nismo RS form that packs 215 horsepower.

Road Test Video Reviews

2016 Nissan JUKE Owner Reviews

4.49
45 Reviews
67% 18% 13% 2% 1 star 0%
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Reliable little tank This little car is surprisingly stronger than she looks.

My Juke has the strength and capability to go pretty much anywhere. I can load the backup with 2 large dogs and camping gear and not worry about having enough space. Also, living in central WI its Drivability is awesome snow rain or shine. The deepest snow or slippery ice is no longer daunting. The only issue I've had is with the premium gas requirements. It's not always available and can mess up the engine sensors. This does not affect drivability however. I love my Juke and will probably not trade it for anything but a newer model.

- Susan T

I like the camera to help when you back up.

I have a 2016 Nissan Juke. It was used when I got it with 31700 miles on it by 60,000 it had to have a new transmission. It's a very small car. I can barely get more Grandkids car seats in the back seat. When going shopping you can't do a lot because there's no room. Manufactures put the passenger side seat belt in wrong it's twisted and you can't get it out it has no cubby holes to set sunglasses ect. The one thing that I do like about it is it gets very good gas mileage.

- Melody C

Small but delightfully sporty.

I love my juke, however the ride is rougher than I had initially expected, especially on country routes, but I enjoy the feel of the turbocharged engine and athletic handling on the highway. The interior quality is low, though that is not my main interest in a vehicle. The fuel costs are also higher than my previous vehicles, due to it requiring premium fuel. Overall, the juke fits my needs and I have very few issues with performance or reliability.

- Danielle W

Great car but there are no vents in the back seat.

I had researched compact SUVs prior to making the visit to the dealer and the first one that caught my eye was the juke. The juke is compact but has enough space for everything that I need. I currently don't use it to haul any children but I think that it would do just fine as a family car having two kids in the back although there are not any ac or heat vents in the back seat. I also love that the car has the option to switch between 2wd and AWD.

- Mckenzie M

Nissan Juke 2016 reliability

The Nissan Juke is a fantastic vehicle for a two people. The backseat is relatively small, but the seats can fold down for more optimal storage space. I used it to travel across the country and its speed, performance, and gas mileage were great. After an additional 3000 miles, the only maintenance it needed was an oil change. The Juke handles well, and is lightweight and sporty in maneuverability.

- Hunter P

My second Nissan is the best one

I haven't had any problems. The vehicle is very reliable it starts right up in very cold weather. The seats are cloth but they are very comfortable. The backup camera is very helpful. The car has Bluetooth capability. I can play the music on my phone through the car stereo. The car has all wheel drive. The car has push button starts and I can use 2 wheel drive or all wheel drive as needed.

- Destiny W

Sleek and edgy I love having a eco mode and a turbo boost with sunroof

My car is very reliable. I have not had any issues with it and gas is so economical. I love that it has an eco mode and a turbo boost with a sunroof and I can get anywhere without hesitation. Besides it having a sleek exterior the car is a smooth drive wherever I go. Definitely love to take this on long road trips.

- Jennifer K

Love this car. Most fun and reliable car ever.

Really love the size and smooth ride. The sleek look and controllability is amazing. Love the bluetooth and backup camera feature. Also the keyless start and door unlock is extremely helpful. The gas mileage is amazing and cost very little to fill it up. The AC and Heat help to make for a very comfortable ride.

- Susan C

This vehicle is one of my favorites. Tied with a jaguar and a hummer.

I really have not had any problems with my car. I bought her/him (depends on who’s driving) in Hawaii got shipped to Bahrain for a couple a years, then spent three years in Vermont with my parents in Vermont, until they drove her back to me in Virginia. Drives like a dream still and love her more everyday.

- Kevin O

Reliable, but not perfect

My car performs perfectly and is mostly comfortable, my only complaint is that I would like a little more luxury. I have cloth seats and would prefer leather. My volume dial for the radio is overly sensitive but nothing that I complain about. I get about 32 miles per gallon and the car runs perfectly.

- Kyla L

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