2024 Nissan Juke ST-L (car review)

In the humdrum that seems to be proliferating new cars, some vehicles stand out. They straddle lines, unsure of where they’re supposed to fit in. The Nissan Juke ST-L is one of these, challenging the norm in looks, drive and presence.

One-part mini-SUV, one-part hot hatch; one thing is for sure, it’s different. The Magnetic Blue paint on our example really is the pick of the colour palette, but is joined by eight other shades, if it’s not your thing.

Other than the frontal treatment, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of familiarity with current Nissan design language either. With a stubby rear which carries the benefit of a generous opening for boot access, the hidden rear door handle is in the C-pillar.

- Advertisement -
Suzuki V-STROM 800DE

The short overhang up front, which houses a combination of LED daytime running, head and fog lights means it looks purposeful but fun; a hard balance to strike, especially for the pint sized package that it is.

Against the dazzling blue, chrome highlights and blackout treatments, sit monstrous 19-inch brushed-alloy and black 5-spoke alloy wheels, shod in 225/45 R19 Hankook rubber. They look good but add to the confusion on intent.

2024 Nissan Juke ST-L
2024 Nissan Juke ST-L

One certainly wouldn’t be going anywhere rugged with this combination. Despite that, they do look the part and come with the bonus of extra grip afforded by the tall and wide rubber. We’ll leave the handling for now though.

We were thankful for the excellent 360-degree camera as we couldn’t bear the thought of kerbing the aforementioned wheels. You can view your surroundings on the 8.0-inch screen inside what is both a comfortable and stylish cabin.

The dark charcoal, leather-accented front sports seats take pride of place on the front row and seem huge against the rest of the interior. Luckily, they were comfortable once the various levers were manipulated to take advantage of the 6-way manual adjustability.

They also had just enough bolstering to carry both sporting pretence and comfort. The centre console houses a traditional shifter and is flanked by a lovely painted metallic-silver garnish panel that really sets the space off.

Under the earlier mentioned screen are three round air conditioning vents which are surrounded by the same finish. This writer can’t remember the last time he saw this sort of look in a mainstream vehicle, but it really is a nice touch that we really enjoyed.

2024 Nissan Juke ST-L
2024 Nissan Juke ST-L

In cabin storage is a different issue. Some will say it’s a small car, you can’t expect too much, and that’s fair. But there really isn’t much room for items, much less a spot to put your iPhone when it’s connected to the single USB port to gain access to CarPlay.

Ours ended up in the cup holders, which resulted in a mess of cables. Many of the controls are through the screen, and thankfully the system was logically laid out and easy to use. Tunes are handled by a 6-speaker stereo, which provided reasonable outputs and fidelity.

Rear passengers will enjoy the wide entry, but adults may struggle to get comfortable on long journeys without the front seats being moved forward enough. Despite the size of the front seat backrest, the space didn’t feel small or confined.

If the lack of room isn’t an issue, the absence of vents may be. We found the climate control system to be a little under-powered, even when sitting up front. Rounding out the interior is an impressively large 442-litres of boot space with the seats up.

You can expand that to 1,305-litres with the rear row folded down. We recall someone commenting on the car one afternoon; the question was along the lines of it looking fast. And we agree with the sentiment, but the truth is, it simply isn’t.

dash
Inside the 2024 Nissan Juke ST-L

Under the bonnet of the Juke sits a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged engine. Official outputs are 84kW of power and 180Nm of thrust. If we look back not so long ago, these would’ve been solid numbers for an atmospheric engine twice its size.

Its Achilles heel is the 7-speed dual clutch transmission that sits beside it. While the benefits of a DCT are clear, with fast up shifts and manual functionality (through paddles), the issue is severely pronounced at take-off.

Similar to the concern this writer expressed with the MG5 not so long ago, it would appear that a low capacity turbocharged engine is simply not suited to this type of gearbox. Maybe it’s turbo lag, maybe it’s purely the torque deficiency. Either way it’s downright frustrating.

Pleasingly, once on the move, the Juke is actually fun to drive. Shifts are direct and gearing is appropriately spaced. The low rpm tractability is actually quite impressive at main-road and highway speeds.

It will sit in top gear at 100km/h and still have enough puff to adjust speed where required. Sinking a right foot doesn’t reveal a fire-breather, but it’s peppy enough to pull itself through some twisties and take advantage of what is a nice chassis too.

front seats
Inside the 2024 Nissan Juke ST-L

Although feeling a little underdamped at times, the Juke is faithful to driver inputs, quickly tucking the front end in with a smidge of unsurprising understeer when pushed. Those oversized tyres provide far more mid corner grip than required as well.

Official fuel usage figures from Nissan claim 5.8-litres/100km, but we weren’t able to better than 7.9. The cost of having fun we guess. In a car of this size safety is important, and the Juke has things well covered.

Standard equipment includes everything from front and side airbags, to intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot and rear traffic alert.

If you’re looking for a unique small car with some character and great usability, check the Juke ST-L out. Full of features and funky, at a driveway price of $39,076, with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty. It might just be the ticket.

You can build your own on the Nissan Australia website, or find out more from your local dealership. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

boot
Inside the 2024 Nissan Juke ST-L

Our test vehicle was provided by Nissan Australia for review purposes. Pictures courtesy of Andrew E Hempsall.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
7.5
Exterior styling
7.5
Interior look and feel
7.5
Technology and connectivity
8
Family friendliness
8.5
Value for money
8.5

SUMMARY

Pros - great interior; fun to drive; pleasing aesthetics.
Cons - DCT does not suit the drivetrain; chassis could handle more power.
Kalen Ziflian
Kalen Ziflian
A lifelong motoring enthusiast, Kalen has a passion for anything with wheels and a motor. His passion lies in collectible Japanese performance vehicles but he’s been known to enjoy off-roading touring and camping across Australia.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Social Media

5,142FansLike
839FollowersFollow
53FollowersFollow
267FollowersFollow
933SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisment -
2022 Aprilia Tuono 660

Hottest Reviews

- Advertisment -
Oakley

Trending Now

- Advertisment -
CFMOTO 450MT

DON’T MISS A STORY

Sign up for our newsletter and get the latest car and motorbike news and reviews, in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisment -
Honda CB750 Hornet
- Advertisment -
OnlyCars
Advertisement
CFMOTO 450MT
<strong>Pros -</strong> great interior; fun to drive; pleasing aesthetics.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> DCT does not suit the drivetrain; chassis could handle more power.2024 Nissan Juke ST-L (car review)