2012 Nissan Juke Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Nissan Juke Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Nissan Juke Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 188 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Nissan Juke

  • It might not be love at first sight, but a drive in the 2012 Nissan Juke will have you seeing the inner beauty of this feisty hatchback.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Lively performance; sporty handling; comfortable front seats; available all-wheel drive; reasonably priced.

  • Cons

    Polarizing styling; less cargo capacity than most rivals; limited headroom in rear seat; too much hard plastic in cabin; relatively stiff ride quality.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Nissan Juke gets no significant changes.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Good bionic frog 2011

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

bought mine new in 4/2011 and truth is i thank god haven't had any problems. I'm sorry to hear about the people who are having problems with the chain. i just got called last week from the dealer to take it in to have the chain replace which after reading the reviews i will do ASAP. i do however hate that it goes thru gas like crazy i'm looking into buying a more gas efficient car but to be honest there is nothing out there that i like or that would make me trade my Bionic frog.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 years juke

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

Got my Juke in January 2011. I must say, it got my where ever I needed to go, didn't break down, and it has ample space for what I need to transport (e.g. 8 cases of beer ;-)

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

2011 nissan juke timing chain

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

I have a 2011 Nissan Juke 37k miles. I heard a ticking noise coming from the engine so took it to the dealership this morning. I called them back this afternoon to find out the diagnosis. All they said was there is a noise coming from the motor, so we need all your maintenance records before we will touch it. First of all I dropped it off and was told they would diagnose the problem and call me. 7 hours later I called them only to be told that if I wanted them to break down the motor then I would owe them a huge bill. I asked the technician what was wrong with the juke. He says sounds like timing chain and they are not wanting to fix the problem. Any suggestions out there???????

So far so good

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

I have loved every minute behind the wheel of my Juke unless the driver in front of me is driving ten under the speed limit. I have never had a problem with the car, though I'm still under the 40k mile mark. I've put in some long trips with it and have managed about 34mpg on those trips. I average 23-25 mpg in the city. The AWD has gotten me out of some slippery situations. I enjoy the stiffer suspention and the cornering. Overall, probably my favorite of the cars I've owned.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Okay, but i'll never own

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

I bought this car to get me something with good gas mileage that was different with all wheel drive and standard bluetooth. And a sub compact size with a good fun-to-drive ratio. And it had to have a sticker of under 22k Overall its an okay vehicle, but I've been talking to people (nissan techs - to remain nameless) who've all said to trade it in after the warranty is up. That is enough for me to say I won't own another one again, but overall its not terrible. The major complaints are three: 1. MPG is not what was promised 2. Gas tank is only about 11 gallons 3. Although you don't have to run 93 octane your really should to get the best mpg's

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Engine dies after 68,000 miles

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Nissan Juke

Great driving vehicle. Enjoyed our time together. That is until it died without any warning. Guess what - it was the timing chain. No warning and no sign of any problem. It broke and left me in the middle of the highway. I was able to coast to the next exit and wait for a tow to the nearest Nissan dealer. I had no idea what the problem was. I thought it was electrical. They confirmed it was not electrical and it was the engine. But it would take 5 hours to take it apart to diagnose the problem. That means I would have to pay them $500 to tell me the engine was dead and needed to be replaced. The timing chain appears to be very common. Nissan was not helpful. It was just outside the warranty.

Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Nissan Juke Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Nissan Juke gets no significant changes.


The subcompact hatchback segment used to be all about mundane things like practicality and fuel economy. But these days, there are choices on hand to satisfy those with more whimsical leanings. The latest example of this is the 2012 Nissan Juke. Introduced just last year, this four-door cross between a hatchback and a small SUV marches to its own drumbeat and comes with no shortage of personality.

Undoubtedly the Juke's most endearing attributes are its sharp handling and brisk performance. The steering is quick and precise, and the sport-tuned suspension and available all-wheel drive give you rapport with the road. A turbocharged, 188-horsepower engine also helps make the Juke one of the quickest cars in its class, and it pulls this off while treading lightly at the gas pump (as long as you tread lightly on the accelerator).

An aspect of the Juke often described as polarizing is its sheet metal. Some find it sporty-looking and distinctive while others have compared it to a horned lizard. We'll leave it to you to form your own opinions. There's also a cargo-capacity deficit to deal with, since the Juke has much less room behind the second row than pretty much any of the models it would likely be cross-shopped against. Additionally, its sloping roof line translates into tight headroom for backseat passengers.

This segment is a competitive one with many solid picks that are appealing for various reasons. Choices like the Kia Soul, Mitsubishi Outback Sport and Scion xB are more practical than the Juke since they offer much greater cargo capacity, but the Nissan is more fun on the road. The Chevrolet Sonic and Ford Fiesta are also worth considering, but while they're cheaper and similarly entertaining, neither is as quick off the line as the Nissan. With the Mini Cooper Countryman you get performance and handling comparable to the Juke's, but the Countryman costs thousands more. In the end, this Nissan will appeal to those who want a small, affordable car that offers a bit more flavor than the usual suspects.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Nissan Juke is a four-door hatchback with an elevated ride height, that's available in three trim levels: base S, well-equipped SV and leather-lined SL.

Standard equipment on the S includes 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, air-conditioning, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The SV adds a sunroof, rear privacy glass, keyless ignition/entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded upholstery, satellite radio, automatic climate control and the Integrated Control (I-Con) system. I-Con allows you to select Normal, Sport and Eco (Economy) settings for throttle, steering and transmission (with the CVT) response. Opting for the Navigation package gets you a navigation system (based on an SD card) with a small touchscreen interface and real-time traffic, plus an upgraded sound system (with a subwoofer and a USB/iPod interface).

The SL comes standard with the above equipment plus automatic headlights, foglights, leather upholstery, heated front seats and a rearview camera.

Other options include a Sport Accessory package (rear spoiler, stainless-steel exhaust outlet and unique wheels), a Chrome package (door handles, mirrors and side molding) and an Interior Illumination package (accent lighting and illuminated door sill plates).

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2012 Nissan Juke is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-4 engine that sends 188 hp and 177 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard on the S trim. The SV and SL offer a choice of either a six-speed manual or the CVT. All three trims can also be had with all-wheel drive (in which case the CVT is the only transmission available).

In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive Juke with a CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, an impressively quick time for this class of car. An all-wheel-drive model was essentially just as quick. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined for front-wheel drive and the CVT. Opting for the manual transmission or AWD will drop those figures down a couple mpg.


The Juke's standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, the Juke stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance for a small car.

In government crash tests, the Juke received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with three stars for frontal-impact protection (four stars driver, three stars front passenger) and five stars for side-impact protection. In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Juke scored a "Good" rating -- the highest possible -- in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Within its cabin, the 2012 Nissan Juke keeps things colorful and youthful, with lots of organic curves and body-colored surfaces. Silver accents add cheerful ambience but there's no shortage of hard surfaces. This shortcoming is most noticeable on the door grabs, which are bare plastic in the second row and covered in just thin cloth up front. To its credit, the Juke's controls are large and easy to navigate, and the cabin features lots of thoughtful storage compartments.

Though the Juke's steering wheel tilts, it doesn't telescope, which means some may find it difficult to get an ideal driving position. The front seats are nevertheless well-bolstered and accommodating, though adjustments are minimal. Some may also miss the presence of a standard center armrest. In back, the seats are also well-shaped and high enough to provide ample leg support even for taller passengers. However, those more than about 5-feet-9 might find rear headroom tight due to the Juke's sloping roof line.

Behind the rear seats, the Juke offers just 10 cubic feet of cargo space, which is much less than you'll find in rivals like the Ford Fiesta (15.4 cubic feet); additionally, the Juke's tapering roof makes the space useful only for shorter items. Flipping down the rear seats expands cargo capacity to 36 cubic feet; that's 17 cubes shy of the Kia Soul and about half the capacity of a Scion xB. Even the tiny Chevy Sonic approaches it for cargo space.

Driving Impressions

With the 2012 Nissan Juke's peppy turbocharged four-cylinder, you get an engine that feels more like a larger, non-turbocharged engine in that it provides a broad spread of power. With the different I-Con driving settings, the engine's response can also vary greatly. From fuel-sipping and pokey Eco mode to fuel-swilling and fun Sport mode, the Juke's power delivery can be changed to meet your mood.

Get the Juke on a serpentine stretch of road and it's in its element, happily bounding from corner to corner. Steering is well-weighted and the suspension provides crisp response, while the big (for a car this size) tires hang in there as you push it harder.

Ride quality remains agreeable over most surfaces; still, it's stiffer than that of many others in this segment. There's audible road and wind noise at higher freeway speeds, though it's not loud enough to be intrusive.

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