In a fiercely competitive SUV market, with new models arriving every year and manufacturers improving all aspects of vehicle technology and design, it can be difficult to know which SUV you should choose when the time comes to upgrade your car. In this guide, we take two popular SUVs, the Suzuki Vitara and Nissan Juke head to head.
We compare them across everything from fuel efficiency to safety, drive experience and design, to help you make that all-important decision - which car should you drive away in?
Our car experts at Colin Appleyard have compared both popular SUVs across 6 key areas.
Read on to see how the Nissan Juke and Suzuki Vitara compare on fuel efficiency, technology, drive experience, design and safety.
The Nissan Juke is available with two petrol engines. The 1.0-litre engine has a claimed fuel economy of up to 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 118 g/km, whilst the 1.6-litre engine has a claimed fuel economy of up to 44.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of 131 g/km.
But how does the Suzuki Vitara compare? The Vitara has an impressive claimed fuel economy of up to 54.3mpg on the full hybrid model, and 53.2mpg on the two mild hybrid models available. When it comes to emissions on the Vitara, you’re looking at a slightly higher 120 g/km on the mild hybrids and 119 g/km on the full hybrid.
Despite the slightly higher emissions, this makes the Vitara take the clear edge when it comes to fuel efficiency, something many drivers will prioritise in the current cost of living crisis.
The Nissan Juke offers a comfortable and engaging ride. Its agile handling and responsive steering makes it easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. The Juke's suspension provides a smooth ride, even on rough roads, and the seats are supportive and comfortable. The Nissan also offers good visibility thanks to its high driving position and large windows, plus the standard six-speed manual gearbox is slick and easy to use, while the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is smooth and efficient.
The Suzuki Vitara in comparison, offers a fuss-free, easy and enjoyable ride, with all controls exactly where they should be, making adjustments on the move simple. Its higher driving position provides a commanding view of the road ahead, which SUV enthusiasts will appreciate. The Vitara's suspension is also well-tuned, providing a very comfortable ride even on rough roads. The steering is precise and responsive, although it doesn't feel as agile as the Juke at times. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the cabin is spacious and practical.
It really depends on your preference, but for us it was the Vitara which took the lead on both comfort and drive experience.
The Nissan Juke comes with a range of safety features as standard, including multiple airbags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. It also features Nissan's Safety Shield technology, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring. Higher-spec models also come with adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and a 360-degree camera system.
In Euro NCAP crash tests, the Juke was awarded a five-star safety rating, scoring well across all categories, including an impressive adult occupant protection rating of 94% and a child occupant rating of 85%.
The Suzuki Vitara similarly comes with a range of safety kit as standard, including electronic stability control, seven airbags on all models, anti-lock brakes, and traction control. The Vitara also features Suzuki's Advanced Forward Detection System, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The Vitara has yet to receive a more recent Euro NCAP crash test rating. Its latest rating is from 2015 where it was also awarded 5 stars, with an adult and child safety rating of 89% and 85% respectively.
Both cars come with plenty of safety kit as standard, however, it’s the Juke’s higher adult occupant safety rating which swayed us to crown it the winner in this category.
The Nissan Juke has a unique and quirky design that often sets it apart from other compact SUVs. It has a distinctive front end with bug-eye headlights, a V-shaped grille, and a sloping roofline. The rear of the Juke has a sporty look with a sculpted bumper and a spoiler. The Juke is available in a range of vibrant colours and has a sporty stance.
The Suzuki Vitara on the other hand, has a more conventional exterior design, with a sleek front end that features a large grille and sharp headlights. The Vitara has a boxy profile with a straight roofline and clean lines. The rear of the Vitara has a simple and understated design with a chunky bumper and vertical taillights. The Vitara is available in a range of colours, including some bright and bold options.
Step inside a Nissan Juke and you’ll see a futuristic and high-tech interior design, again with that sporty feel. The dashboard is dominated by a central display screen that controls the infotainment system, and there are circular air vents that echo the car's exterior design.
The Suzuki Vitara has a more traditional and practical interior design, with a functional layout that is easy to use. The dashboard features a touchscreen infotainment system and simple, easy-to-reach controls for the climate control and other functions.
Both cars have serious curb appeal, but it’s the Suzuki's understated, no-nonsense design that swings it for us.
The Nissan Juke is packed full with useful tech and equipment, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher-spec models also come with a 360-degree camera system, built-in sat-nav, and a premium Bose sound system.
The Suzuki Vitara also comes with a similar range of standard technology and equipment, including the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and smartphone integration. Higher-spec models also come with a panoramic sunroof, built-in sat-nav, and a premium sound system.
The Suzuki Vitara takes the lead on this one, offering that bit more on the tech front for higher spec models.
It’s an impressive 4 out of 5 for the Suzuki Vitara, making it our SUV of choice when compared to the Nissan Juke. Whilst the Nissan’s safety features fare slightly better than the Vitara’s, we felt the Suzuki overtook it when it came to over important aspects such as equipment, drive experience, fuel economy and overall design.