2013 Nissan Juke Comfort & Quality

6.0
Comfort & Quality
Is the 2013 Nissan Juke a subcompact hatchback or a pint-sized crossover? It's both, in a way, but the combination isn't as magical as you might hope.

The high driving position is nice, giving the Juke a commanding view of the road not common in cars of similar size. On the other hand, the small exterior dimensions translate to small interior dimensions that can leave you feeling cramped.

The rear seats, for instance, can hold a pair of six-foot passengers, but not comfortably. The rear seats are a touch too high, leaving headroom at a premium; knee room is okay, but just barely, even with the front seats slid forward; if you opt for the sunroof, you'll lose even more headroom.

With seating for four--if it must--and no surplus of cargo room, the subcompact Juke isn't spacious.

The front seats, on the other hand, are pretty fair for the Juke's size, with a height and backrest adjustable driver's seat, though again head and knee room aren't abundant, but merely adequate.

Leaving the rear seats in place, cargo room is just 10.5 cubic feet, which is a touch smaller than a typical sedan's trunk. Lay down the rear seat and you'll get considerably more space, but still only about half of the volume you'll find in the Honda Fit.

The trim and materials in the cabin are a highlight, however, though they don't always quite hit the mark: shiny, color-shifting seat upholstery looks a bit cartoonish, but at the same time cool; the headliner feels just like what it is, namely, felt-covered cardboard; the plastics and switches across the dash and console are intelligently designed, but can feel a bit cheap. For a subcompact at a fairly affordable price point, some of these sins are forgivable, but at the same time, Hyundai and Kia do more with less.

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