The Nissan Juke and Nissan Qashqai are both incredibly popular cars. Striking looks, generous equipment, economical running costs and sheer driving pleasure have turned both of them into something of a phenomenon – the Juke exceeded initial sales expectations by about ten times, and the Qashqai was Nissan's fastest-selling car ever. So how do they compare? Our Nissan Juke vs Nissan Qashqai review takes a look.
Both cars have distinctive looks, but the Juke trades on its individuality: its strapline is “dare to be different”. It’s got an unmistakable aesthetic, with those high-positioned headlamps and prominent body sculpting. Wide as well as tall, despite being a smaller car than the Qashqai, it looks every bit as commanding and powerful.
The Qashqai is for those who prefer subtlety. It boasts muscular proportions and crisp contours, but isn’t quite as instantaneously recognisable as its sibling. If you want to stand out from the crowd, the Juke is definitely the one to go for. But not everybody likes attracting attention, so this really comes down to personal preference.
Verdict: For us, the Juke wins here: we're all for individuality at Carwise.
Nissan has a reputation for building tough cars, and both the Juke and Qashqai feel solid and well finished inside. Both have plenty of space in the cabin, comfortable seats, well positioned controls and the high driving position you'd expect from a crossover vehicle. Visibility is better in the Qashqai, which has fewer blind spots, though it's good in both.
One thing which may be an issue for some drivers though is that the steering wheel on the Juke only adjusts up and down, not in and out, whereas in the Qashqai it does both.
Verdict: The Qashqai has the edge, purely because it’s just that little bit easier to get comfy.
The Qashqai is the more practical choice, especially if you have a large family – the Qashqai +2, which is now only available second-hand, will seat seven. The Qashqai has a much bigger boot too: 430 litres to the Juke's 354 litres (and the boot is smaller on four-wheel-drive Jukes). Its back doors open wider, so it's easier to get in and out, and it has more headroom and more legroom in the back.The rear seats in both cars fold to provide extra cargo space – a total of 1,598 litres in the Qashqai, and 1,189 litres in the Juke- but only on the Qashqai do they split as standard in newer models.
Verdict: The Qashqai wins, but this should hardly come as a surprise - it's a bigger car than the Juke.
Both cars are refined, strong and responsive on the road, but the Juke has a stiffer suspension, less body roll and more control in corners than the Qashqai. This is to be expected given its smaller size. Where the Qashqai shines, however, is its suspension: It soaks up the bumps of British roads easily, delivering a smooth ride and plenty of comfort. The flipside is that all the extra space in the Qashqai makes it a little less agile than the Juke.
A range of engines is on offer in both: a 1.6-litre petrol, a 1.2-litre turbopetrol and a 1.5-litre diesel in newer Jukes, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrols and 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels in newer Qashqais. Fuel economy is excellent in both too: the diesel Juke returns up to 70.6mpg, and the 1.2-litre petrol almost 50mpg, while the 1.6-litre diesel Qashqai should deliver between 50mpg and 60mpg.
Stop-start engine technology is standard on the latest edition of the Qashqai, which reduces emissions. Four-wheel-drive models and automatic gearboxes are available in both cars.
Verdict: Both cars are very good on the road – it simply depends on your own needs and preferences.
Both cars are exceptionally strong on safety. The year after it was launched, the Qashqai was awarded the highest ever safety score for adult occupants by Euro NCAP, as well as a very high score for children; when it was tested again in 2014 it still scored higher than any other vehicle in its class.
The Juke also achieved a maximum five-star Euro NCAP rating. Standard safety kit on both includes numerous airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchor points, child locks in the back, a puncture repair kit, and height-adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioners, which hold you in place better in a crash. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and electronic stability control are also standard on both.
The Qashqai does, however, have a bunch of extra features, including an electronic handbrake, tyre pressure monitoring and Nissan's chassis control system, which controls the engine and brakes to help you on uneven surfaces and in corners.
Verdict: Both cars are extremely strong and will keep you and your family well-protected.
Both the latest Qashqais and Jukes come with remote central locking and an immobiliser as standard, but the Qashqai also has a Thatcham alarm and deadlocking – so that even if a would-be thief breaks a window, they won't be able to use the inside handles to open the door. Nissan calls it superlocking.
Verdict: The Qashqai is marginally stronger here thanks to the superlocks.
Both cars are generously equipped, with a radio CD player with MP3 connectivity, front and rear electric windows, power steering, and a height-adjustable driver’s seat standard across the range. The Juke also has alloy wheels and air conditioning as standard, which the Qashqai, surprisingly, does not. However, it does have a DAB radio, remote audio controls, Bluetooth, a rear spoiler, cruise control with a speed limiter and electric heated mirrors.
Verdict: The Qashqai has the edge on equipment on most models, but the Juke wins at entry-level.
Overall verdict: Although the Qashqai does beat the Juke in a lot of areas, it doesn’t necessarily suit those for whom interior space is secondary. The Juke is better for urban environments thanks to its smaller size, and they’re even when it comes to performance and safety.