2017 Nissan Juke

2017 Nissan Juke NISMO RS Review

The Nissan Juke is a quick and quirky mini crossover that will turn heads for multiple reasons.
3.5 / 5
Edmunds overall rating
by Jonathan Elfalan
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Your first reaction to seeing the 2017 Nissan Juke is exactly what the manufacturer intended. The Juke makes no apologies for its controversial styling, which is part of its appeal. Nissan even took it one step further with a program that allows buyers to mix and match colors like an unsupervised kid at a soda fountain. Regardless of your views on the Juke's styling, the bottom line is it's one of the most capable performers in the compact crossover segment, so it's big fun in the driver seat.

A lot of what makes the Juke attractive lies beneath the surface, namely a spunky turbocharged engine that is powerful yet efficient. An available all-wheel-drive system with genuine rear-axle torque-vectoring means the Juke can vary power delivery between the front and rear axles as well as the left and right rear wheels for optimum traction. A taut suspension makes for great handling when the roads start to bend, and there are 7 inches of ground clearance to help facilitate some light off-road exploration. One of the main downsides of the Juke is interior space. Rear passenger legroom, headroom and cargo space is scarce.

What's new for 2017

Enhancements for 2017 Nissan Juke apply mainly to the SV trim as the previous Cold Weather package, which included heated front cloth seats and heated outside mirrors, is now standard. There are new 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels on the SV and SL grades and a special Black Pearl model with a white and black color scheme.

We recommend

For 2017, we like the midlevel Nissan Juke SV with all-wheel drive. The price jumps up a few hundred dollars from 2016, but you now get heated front seats and heated outside mirrors standard. We'd add the Tech package mainly for the Around View Monitor with moving-object detection because of the Juke's poor rear visibility. We also like the factory-installed front armrest for that extra bit of storage space. We don't really see the need to spend money for the SL trim's leather upholstery, and the Nismo models' suspension is too firm for comfortable daily driving.

Trim levels & features

The 2017 Nissan Juke is available in five trim levels: base S, SV, SL and sport-oriented Nismo and Nismo RS. All models except the Nismo RS come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (188 hp, 177 pound-feet) mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and are available with the standard front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The Nismo and Nismo RS trims offer a six-speed manual transmission option for front-wheel-drive models only.

Standard equipment on the entry-level S model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, air-conditioning, keyless ignition and entry, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch color monitor, Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration, CD player, a USB-iPod interface and a hands-free texting assistant. A handful of accessories, but no packages, are available for the S.

The midrange SV adds a sunroof, rear privacy glass, automatic climate control, upgraded cloth upholstery, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio and the Integrated Control (I-Con) system, which provides three drive mode settings (Eco, Normal, Sport) that alter throttle, steering and transmission (on CVT-equipped models) responsiveness.

The optional Tech package is only available on the SV trim and adds a navigation system with a 5.8-inch color touchscreen, NissanConnect smartphone app integration, a 360-degree camera system with moving-vehicle detection, and an upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio system with a subwoofer.

The SL trim comes standard with all of the above plus automatic headlights, foglights and leather upholstery.

Juke Nismo models include all the equipment from the SL along with a sportier suspension and tuning calibrations, 18-inch alloy wheels, high-performance tires, unique exterior and interior styling details, front sport seats, and a steering wheel wrapped in leather and synthetic suede.

The Nismo RS goes even further, with a more powerful engine, a limited-slip differential (FWD models only), bigger brakes, more aggressive suspension and steering tuning, Recaro front sport seats covered in leather and synthetic suede, and simulated carbon-fiber trim on the dash. It's worth noting that the Juke Nismo and Nismo RS models are not offered with heated seats, heated mirrors or a sunroof.

Various options are available depending on trim level, including alternate wheels, interior illumination details and a center armrest for more storage up front. And then there's the Juke Color Studio, which allows you to unleash a crayon box worth of colors with which to mix, match and accent various areas of your Juke's exterior and interior.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo (1.6L 4-cyl. turbo; 6-speed manual). NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 2017 Nissan Juke Nismo now comes with the same engine from the lower Juke trims, making 188 hp instead of 197 hp. The engine has received some tweaks, specifically in 2015, for better fuel economy and response. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Juke.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5


4.0 / 5

Acceleration4.0 / 5
Braking3.0 / 5
Steering3.0 / 5
Handling3.0 / 5
Drivability4.0 / 5


3.5 / 5

Seat comfort5.0 / 5
Ride comfort2.0 / 5
Noise & vibration3.5 / 5


3.0 / 5

Ease of use2.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out3.0 / 5
Roominess3.0 / 5
Visibility3.0 / 5
Quality3.0 / 5


2.5 / 5

Small-item storage3.0 / 5
Cargo space2.5 / 5


The Juke Nismo never feels overly quick, yet its acceleration is more like a car's than a small SUV's. Handling is decent, but we expected better from the Nismo version. With an easy clutch and shifter, the manual transmission is easy to live with.


With acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, the Juke is quick for the class. There's a bit of lag from the 197-horsepower turbo four-cylinder, but the six-speed manual shifts easily. Standard models with the CVT are likely to be slower.


We experienced a wild amount of ABS commotion during our instrumented testing, but around town the Juke's brake pedal feels normal and reasonably powerful.


We noticed some difference in assist level between the Normal and Sport modes, but not much. Overall, the steering lacks feel and doesn't telegraph what the front tires are doing.


With its short wheelbase, the Juke Nismo is a fun car to toss around. There's plenty of suspension travel and ground clearance that make it especially good on curvy, bumpy back roads.


With a light clutch, smooth throttle delivery and and an easy six-speed shifter, the Juke Nismo is simple to drive. It would be good for those just learning to operate a manual transmission vehicle.


The Juke is a pretty decent off-roader, with better-than-average front and rear clearance. The Juke Nismo, with its lower front air dam, side skirts and summer tires, is less suited for such things.


A slightly stiffer suspension and high-performance tires give the Juke Nismo a harsher ride than the regular model. The fantastically comfortable and supportive sport seats partially make up for the harshness, and the lack of road noise is impressive.

Seat comfort5.0

We've come across few seats better than these Nismo sport buckets. They're not just laterally supportive, but they're also cushy with a soft, grippy covering. The door armrests could stand to have more padding.

Ride comfort2.0

The standard Juke models can be a bit firm. With 10 percent stiffer springs and dampers, the Juke Nismo is even more jiggly and things can get a bit bouncy on rough surfaces.

Noise & vibration3.5

There's some wind noise around the side mirrors but minimal road noise, despite the high-performance tires. The Juke's short gearing keeps the engine revs higher at cruising speeds, and the seat squeaks against the center console as it makes contact when slid forward.

Climate control

The climate controls are combined with the drive mode selector, so they're a little more confusing than necessary.


Like its exterior, the Juke's cabin is a bit overstyled. Combining the climate controls with the drive mode selector is somewhat unintuitive and requires extra steps. There's plenty of headroom up front, less in the rear, and the sloping roof means cargo space is limited.

Ease of use2.0

The integrated climate and drive mode selector adds extra steps to adjusting either system. Wide Nismo seats make it a little harder to reach the seat belts, and the knob detents need to be more obvious. The leather and faux suede steering wheel feels great.

Getting in/getting out3.0

With long front doors and plenty of headroom, it's easy to climb in and out of the front seats, though your foot may sometimes hit the Nismo rocker panels. The rear doors are quite a bit smaller, so the entry/exit space is tight.


There's plenty of front headroom and a good amount of space for the driver's right knee, but restricted elbow room on the door side. The rear seat is tight, with cramped knee- and headroom accommodations. There's no rear center armrest, and the front armrest is optional.


The narrow front roof and side roof pillars make for decent front and side visibility. The sloping roof, short rear side windows, thick rear roof pillars and small rear window translate into poor rear visibility. The 360-degree camera system is a must.


There are some low-buck plastic surfaces around the cabin, and the optional center armrest feels chintzy, though we'd probably still get it. The front seats, however, look and feel superb, as does the steering wheel.


Utility is where the Juke falls slightly behind the competition with a tiny cargo storage area and limited small item storage in the cabin.

Small-item storage3.0

The optional armrest bin and door pockets are a good size, with a small front bin and glovebox. The center cupholders are about average and won't accommodate mugs.

Cargo space2.5

The trunk is surprisingly tiny for a hatchback at 10.5 cubic feet, but the rear seats fold down and there's usable underfloor storage.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.