2012 Nissan Juke Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

A high driving position gives some passengers a better feeling of space in the 2012 Nissan Juke, but it's still a subcompact with subpar interior room.

The front seats in the Juke are positioned high for better visibility and an SUV-like "command" driving position, and the driver seat is adjustable not just for height, but for backrest angle, too. But there's just not an abundance of head or knee room to go around, and larger adults will have to get used to rubbing against the doors and center console.

The 2012 Nissan Juke will hold four adults if it has to--it's far from the most spacious crossover on the market.

A pair of six-foot passengers will just squeeze into the rear seats, but won't be very comfortable. The rear seat bottoms are positioned high, too, but head room is scant and knee room is just okay, even after the front seats are ratcheted forward. Kids will be much more comfortable but we think it'll be tough to get car seats and boosters in there, due to the funky cuts of the door openings. By all means, if you're looking for utility, skip the sunroof, which shaves inches off the already lean headroom.

With the rear seat left in place for passengers, the cargo bay isn't very large. At 10.5 cubic feet, it's hardly bigger than the bin in the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, less than half as big as the cargo space in a new Nissan Versa or Hyundai Accent. Folding down the rear seats expands the usable space but still the cargo area is about half that of the Honda Fit. There's no usable console bin, so hiding portable electronics and the like means putting them in the glove box or under the seats.

The Juke's trim and finishes deserve special mention. They're either totally cool or extremely inexpensive. The shiny, color-shifting fabric on the seats looks like carnival stuffed animals, sometimes--the headliner, like the felt-covered cardboard it is. It's par for the subcompact course, but the latest spate of Hyundais and Kias seem to pull it off better.

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