2011 Nissan Juke vs 2011 Kia Sportage (On Paper)

2011 Nissan Juke Long-Term Road Test

2011 Nissan Juke vs 2011 Kia Sportage (On Paper)

August 11, 2011

Nissan Juke vs Kia Sportage.jpg

The Nissan Juke is a surprisingly affordable little thing. It has a lively engine and lots of equipment, but then it's also in fact a little thing. The back seat is crunched and the trunk isn't what you'd call cavernous. As such, I thought I'd take a look at a larger, more practical compact SUV that also offers a value proposition and interesting styling: the Kia Sportage.

I used our long-term Juke SL AWD as a starting point. Though it's not possible to find an apples-to-apples Sportage in terms of equipment, the closest trim level is the EX AWD. That starts at $26,200 with destination versus our Juke's MSRP of $25,890. OK, now the fun begins.

So, here's what the Juke offers that the optionless Sportage does not. The Nissan has leather upholstery, a sunroof, keyless ignition/entry and the compact navigation system. Furthermore, it gets better fuel economy, has more power and is quicker from zero to 60 by more than 2 seconds.

The Sportage gets a telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a front center armrest and a power driver seat. These items are not presently available on the Juke. Of course, the Sportage also gives you a more usable back seat and trunk as well. Now, you can get the Juke's extra items through a pair of options on the Sportage. This results in the price rocketing up to $30,100, though to be fair, you get additional items not found on the Juke like a cooled driver's seat, a panoramic sunroof and an auto-dimming mirror. If you want the turbocharged four-cylinder, that'll bump up the price to $32,200.

Now, should you want to compare the Juke to something a little closer to home, a Rogue SV AWD starts at $24,710 and when optioned to almost identical levels as our Juke, it costs $28,610. It too would be bigger, but also slower (and not as distinct looking).

So, which would you buy? Frankly, I think the Juke makes a pretty compelling case for itself in terms of value, but does its advantages outweigh the Sportage's or Rogue's?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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