The 2013 Nissan Juke is a small crossover with a unusual groove and a healthy pop.
The 2013 Nissan Juke will satisfy some, irritate others and make those in its niche market downright giddy. Whether you think the Juke is a crossover experiment gone bad or an out-of-the-box success, the 2013 Nissan Juke doesn’t attract modest views.
The Nissan Juke is a compact crossover that seats five and comes S, SV, SL and Nismo trims.
The 2013 Juke has a polarizing design that you’ll either love, or love to hate. This small crossover features 17-inch alloy wheels, a blacked-out grille with chrome accents and turn signals that are integrated into the front fenders above the headlights. Higher trims add exterior features like fog lights, automatic headlights and a power sunroof.
The 2013 Nissan Juke features an attractive interior that’s built primarily with hard plastics. The base Juke comes with cloth seats, while leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard on the SL trim.
The front seats generally provide plenty of space, though the lack of a telescoping steering wheel may make it difficult for some to find a comfortable driving position. The back seat is on the small side for the class, with minimal head- and legroom.
With 10.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seat, the Juke’s cargo area is small even by hatchback standards. Folding the second row down opens up 35.9 cubic feet of space.
The 2013 Juke comes with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 188 horsepower. That engine is tuned to make more power in the Juke Nismo, where it produces 197 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard. All Juke models are available with all-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual is available on the front-wheel drive Juke SV and SL.
The EPA reports that the base Juke gets 27/32 mpg city/highway, while models with the manual transmission get 25/31 mpg. The all-wheel drive Juke gets slightly lower estimates at 25/30 mpg.
The Juke packs a pleasurable punch on the road thanks to its turbocharged engine. And if you have the all-wheel drive model, handling is improved as body roll is reduced.
SV and SL models come with Nissan’s I-CON system, which lets you adjust steering, transmission and throttle response with three drive modes (Normal, Eco and Sport). Engage Sport mode and you’ll get the most the engine has to offer you, which is especially helpful when you’re trying to pass a slower moving car. Eco mode helps with fuel economy, but it also decreases the Juke’s punch.
The base Juke comes standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker stereo. Available features include proximity key with push-button start, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a USB port and a touch-screen navigation system.
The Juke provides a reasonable level of technology for a small crossover, though some compromises are apparent. For example, the standard Bluetooth system works with your phone, but won’t stream audio. The 5-inch touch screen is also a little small and many complain that the navigation system’s maps load too slowly.
The 2013 Nissan Juke received four out of five stars for its overall performance in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests. The Juke was also named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Deciding on whether or not the 2013 Juke is a good value really depends on the vehicles that you are cross-shopping it against.
With a starting price of $18,990, the 2013 Nissan Juke costs less than crossovers like the base Mini Cooper Countryman ($22,000) and Mazda CX-5 ($20,995). Still, if you can do without the Juke’s optional all-wheel drive, you may find that some competing hatchbacks match the Juke’s fun-to-drive nature while offering more interior space and a lower base price.
The Juke impresses with a responsive engine, good fuel economy and nimble handling for the class. If the Juke’s unusual body style works for you, you’re going to have a good time with this little turbocharged crossover. However, there may be better choices if you want a crossover that offers plenty of passenger and cargo space.