2013 Nissan Juke

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2013 Nissan Juke. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Advanced AWD system
  • Brake-pedal feel

The Bad

  • Cramped interior
  • Basic cabin materials
  • Small cargo area
  • Sluggish automatic transmission
  • Premium fuel recommended

Notable Features of the 2013 Nissan Juke

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Available six-speed manual transmission
  • FWD or AWD
  • Available backup camera
  • Upgraded stereo option
  • New Midnight Edition

2013 Nissan Juke Road Test

Kelsey Mays

The 2013 Nissan Juke leaves a few shoppers smitten — but I'm not one of them.

Our editors' love/hate relationship with Nissan's baby crossover continues. The Juke packs entertaining performance thanks to a punchy, turbocharged four-cylinder and an optional all-wheel-drive system that's as advanced as ones you'll find in cars from Acura and BMW. But beyond that, our praise runs thin.

A NISMO Juke from Nissan's motorsports division joins the lineup for 2013; it makes 9 extra horsepower and comes with a number of other performance modifications. Other changes between the 2012 and 2013 Juke are few; click here to compare them, or here to compare the NISMO with the Juke's other three trim levels — S, SV and SL. We drove an all-wheel-drive Juke SL.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Still an Odd Duck
If weird is your thing, the Juke is water to the parched. Even from an automaker known for the bizarre (see: Cube, Murano CrossCabriolet) the Juke stretches the believable. Those fanglike protrusions atop the hood house parking lights and turn signals — not headlights. The headlights flank the grille farther down. The optional fog lights occupy a Swiss-cheese framework of bumper openings. We've tested a number of Jukes since the car's late-2010 arrival, and it always generates conversation. One editor said it's so ugly, it's cute. I prefer to skip the last two words.

Shoppers should also note that the Juke is small. ...

The 2013 Nissan Juke leaves a few shoppers smitten — but I'm not one of them.

Our editors' love/hate relationship with Nissan's baby crossover continues. The Juke packs entertaining performance thanks to a punchy, turbocharged four-cylinder and an optional all-wheel-drive system that's as advanced as ones you'll find in cars from Acura and BMW. But beyond that, our praise runs thin.

A NISMO Juke from Nissan's motorsports division joins the lineup for 2013; it makes 9 extra horsepower and comes with a number of other performance modifications. Other changes between the 2012 and 2013 Juke are few; click here to compare them, or here to compare the NISMO with the Juke's other three trim levels — S, SV and SL. We drove an all-wheel-drive Juke SL.

For a photo gallery, click here.

Still an Odd Duck
If weird is your thing, the Juke is water to the parched. Even from an automaker known for the bizarre (see: Cube, Murano CrossCabriolet) the Juke stretches the believable. Those fanglike protrusions atop the hood house parking lights and turn signals — not headlights. The headlights flank the grille farther down. The optional fog lights occupy a Swiss-cheese framework of bumper openings. We've tested a number of Jukes since the car's late-2010 arrival, and it always generates conversation. One editor said it's so ugly, it's cute. I prefer to skip the last two words.

Shoppers should also note that the Juke is small. Overall length is just 162.4 inches, which is about even with commuter hatchbacks like the Honda Fit or Nissan's own Versa Note. Small crossovers, ranging from the Ford Escape to the Kia Sportage, are all at least a foot longer. The Juke offers little payoff in tight spaces, though: Its 36.4-foot turning circle ranks among the bigger crossovers, not the hatchbacks.

The size does make for a tight interior, where the wraparound cockpit limits knee space. And aside from our test car's decent leather upholstery and a few inventive painted accents, the cabin feels as low-budget as a planetary scene on the original "Star Trek." Grainy, hard plastics cover the dashboard and upper doors. The headliner seems like it was formed out of egg-crate material. Rear passengers have modest headroom and cramped legroom, plus crude door cutouts in place of padded armrests. Adults' knees will dig deep into the front seatbacks, where a horizontal crossbar prods their knees. Some may wish Scotty could beam them anywhere else.

The Juke's features, too, seem half-baked. The steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope. Switches for the optional heated seats sit below the center armrest — an annoying location that you'll have to lift the armrest to access. The standard Bluetooth works your phone, but it doesn't stream audio. C'mon, Nissan — this is 2013.

But a Quick Duck, At Least
The Juke's turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder redeems the experience, as does the available all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive proactively sends more power toward the outside rear wheels to sharpen midcorner handling and diminish understeer — similar to what BMW's xDrive and Acura's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive systems do. The Nissan's nose still pushes, but you can bring the tail around with steady gas through a corner. Still, some drivers will find the body roll to be too much for a sporty car. The NISMO Juke aims to address that with a lowered, sport-tuned suspension, but we have yet to evaluate it.

Nissan also tuned the NISMO Juke to make 197 hp and 184 pounds-feet of torque, versus the standard Juke's 188 hp and 177 pounds-feet of torque. The standard drivetrain provides snappy acceleration, but the optional continuously variable automatic transmission removes some of the fun. Power feels binary; if you can get past the initial turbo lag and wait for the CVT to pick up revs, the Juke scoots. Below that, however, power feels modest. Alas, the CVT is the only transmission available with all-wheel drive. Front-drive SV, SL and NISMO models come standard with a six-speed manual.

EPA-estimated gas mileage is a decent 27/32/29 mpg city/highway/combined with the automatic, or about 2 mpg less with the manual. All-wheel-drive Jukes get an estimated 25/30/27 mpg. Those figures are decent, ranking just ahead of the Mini S Countryman and beating other small SUVs by a wider margin. If mileage is high on your list, however, go with a conventional compact hatchback. Many have combined EPA mileage in the low 30s — and they seldom prefer premium gas, as both the Nissan and Mini do.

On the Juke SV and SL, Nissan's Integrated Control ("I-CON") system has Sport, regular and Eco modes that affect accelerator and transmission response. Sport pegs the CVT into brief, fixed ratios to simulate a conventional, fixed-gear automatic, which gives you the sensation — however contrived — of engine revving. Eco mode, by contrast, relaxes accelerator response to increase gas mileage, but incurs even more lag when pulling around slower traffic. The system purports to change steering feel, too, but I observed little difference between the modes.

All-wheel-drive Jukes have a four-wheel-independent suspension, which improves — in theory — on the front-drive Juke's independent front and semi-independent, torsion-beam rear. Still, anyone who travels long distances should look elsewhere; the Juke rides firmly, with plenty of road noise and twitchy steering that requires periodic corrections to stay on course.

Safety, Features & Pricing
The Juke earned top scores in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's front, side-impact, roof-strength and rear crash tests, making the model an IIHS Top Safety Pick. IIHS has yet to administer its small-overlap test, however. Standard safety features include six airbags and the required antilock brakes and electronic stability system. Lane departure, blind spot and forward collision warning systems — fast-growing options among newer cars — remain unavailable. The Juke's reliability has been average. The Juke S starts around $20,000 including the destination charge, and it comes well-equipped for that price. Standard features include the CVT, cruise control, air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels and a CD stereo with iPod/USB connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls and Bluetooth phone (but not audio streaming) connectivity. The front-drive SV, SL and NISMO come with a standard six-speed manual; all other variations, including all-wheel drive models in any trim, have the automatic.

Check all the factory options and an all-wheel-drive Juke SL runs about $27,000; the NISMO costs a few hundred dollars more, but it lacks heated seats or leather — features included on the Juke SL, alongside a standard navigation system and backup camera, which are optional on the NISMO.

Juke in the Market
The Juke is a bit player. In 2012, Nissan sold about four Rogue SUVs — a model that hasn't recently been redesigned — for every Juke. We wouldn't be surprised if Nissan scuttled this crossover after a single generation.

But this is an automaker that seems committed to oddball products, and it's possible we could see a second-generation Juke in a few years. All that does little to broaden the appeal of today's car, which remains a niche vehicle for a specific buyer.

Send Kelsey an email  



2013 Juke Video

It takes a special kind of vehicle to arouse the sort of comedic disdain Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays exhibits toward the love-it-or-hate-it 2013 Nissan Juke.

Latest 2013 Juke Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Loved my Juke the speed, and just the stylish look

by Mdg4 from San Diego, CA on October 19, 2018

My Juke met all my needs, the performance was awesome. People always ask me about my car, I only have good things to say. It's unfortunate, that Nissan will longer produce the Juke. I love the car so ... Read full review

(5.0)

I have loved this car ever since I first drove it.

by Juke Lover from Iowa City, IA on October 1, 2018

This car is reliable, fun, sporty and zips along. Great sound system and even more fun with the sun roof. It is very well taken care of and I am sorry to have to sell it. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Nissan Juke currently has 2 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Nissan Juke S

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Nissan
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    6 years/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    84 months/100,000 miles from original new-car in-service date

  • Powertrain warranty

    84 months/100,000 miles (includes LEAF electric vehicle system and powertrain)

  • Dealer Certification Required

    167-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Juke received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker