Nissan Juke Nismo 2013-2018 review

Open gallery

The Juke is a compact crossover with punch and presence

Three body colours are on offer: grey is standard, black or white cost extra

Wider front wings are one of the sheet metal changes but the track remains unchanged

The Nismo Juke gets a faux rear diffuser

Many exterior components are shared with the standard model

The cabin mixes a sense of purpose with a level of sophistication

The instruments are clear and easy to understand

The material quality is far better than that found in lesser Jukes

The rear cabin isn’t quite as spacious as a conventional supermini’s, but there are no complaints about access

This is the Nissan Dynamic Control system

The front-drive Juke Nismo offers 251 litres of boot space, the four-wheel-drive version has 207 litres

Two-wheel-drive versions of the Juke can sprint from 0-62mph in 6.9sec

The 1.6-litre engine outputs 197bhp and 184lb ft

Height and keen handling don’t make keen bedfellows

The Juke’s ride quality is good, however

The Nissan Juke Nismo’s brakes offer decent retardation

Nissan’s ‘generation Y’ hot crossover leaves us a bit cold

Close by Matt Prior 5 June 2013 Follow @matty_prior Share

How we test cars

The introduction of a completely new breed of performance car – in this case the Nissan Juke Nismo – is something to celebrate, but the launch of a whole new performance brand is an even rarer and more special occasion.

This road test is marking both as Nismo – Nissan’s dedicated motorsport arm turned go-faster road car specialist – arrives in the UK. And its introductory model is a hot hatchback from way out in the left field: a 197bhp Juke crossover. The Juke Nismo was replaced with the Nismo RS which gained some styling cues from the monstrous GT-R and a lick of performance fine-tuning.

Development took place at Nissan’s tech centre in CranfieldMatt PriorEditor-at-large

Nismo – Nissan Motorsport International Limited – was formed in 1984, when Nissan fused its customer and works racing departments. 

The performance division then entered the Le Mans 24 Hours for the first time in 1986, built its first bespoke racing machine in 1988, and developed its first road car – the Skyline GT-R ‘R32’ – for release in 1989. 

The Juke Nismo first appeared as a concept at the 2011 Tokyo and 2012 Paris motor shows, while the Le Mans 24 race of 2012 marked the public reveal of the performance-orientated crossover.

A barrage of questions presents, ranging from the straightforward (read ‘easy to answer’) to the other sort. What is a Nismo Nissan? Are the people who design them, develop them and build them different from those who make regular Nissans?

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What kind of performance machines can we expect them to be? Distinct from, say, a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Vauxhall VXR? How, exactly, can we expect them to drive? And how high should our expectations be of them as dynamic entertainers?

Related Nissan Juke Nismo 2013-2018 reviews

Nissan Juke Nismo UK first driveNissan Juke Nismo first drive

You’re about to find out. You’re also about to learn what happens to a high-rise supermini when you bolt in an engine from an experimental race car. Here’s a clue: it doesn’t hang about.


The Juke is a compact crossover with punch and presence

Model tested: Rating: 6

Nissan Juke Nismo 2013-2018

GoodUncompromised performanceImpressive body controlQuirky design appealBadShort on grip and agilityRelatively expensiveAverage residual values

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