2020 Nissan Juke vs. the competition: Your other subcompact crossover options
Although Nissan already launched the second generation Juke some time ago, the model that we currently have available in the Philippines remains to be part of the vehicle’s first generation. True to its sporty aspirations, the compact crossover runs on a decently powerful engine, aided by suspension system tweaked for reliable performance.
The first-gen Juke’s bonnet hides a 1.6-liter, inline four-cylinder, DOHC 16V Twin CVTC engine that pushes out 114hp and 154Nm of torque. This is mated to Nissan’s signature X-tronic continuously variable transmission (CVT), known for delivering quick and seamless shifts. The Juke wheelbase is 2520mm long, and suspension comprises an independent MacPherson system at the front and a torsion beam axle out back.
Inside, Juke drivers and front passengers are treated to track-ready bucket seats. There's also Nissan's Integrated Control (I-CON) system that lets you switch the driving mode depending on personal preference and road conditions. I-CON also manages the AC, heater, and drive information for easy switching.
As with any compact crossover, the rear cabin will hardly fit three people, so even though the brochure states a five-person seating capacity for the Nissan Juke, it likely means two adults and three children.
For safety, the Juke features a bevy of advanced systems, courtesy of the Nissan Safety Shield Philosophy. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes with EBD, dual front airbags, 3-pt. ELR seatbelts, and anti-theft system with immobilizer.
The Nissan Juke has a starting price of PHP1.02 million. Feel like shopping for a Nissan Juke? You can check out what’s available on Carmudi today. But if you’re on the market for an entirely different crossover, here are some of the Juke’s game alternatives.
One good thing about the Vitara is that Suzuki managed to keep its crossover affordable despite it being a popular nameplate and decent seller. An impressive achievement, considering its contemporaries such as the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have significantly grown in size and price.
The latest version, which launched in November 2019, is a completely-built-up unit from Magyar Suzuki Corporation in Hungary. Propelled by a 115hp and 156Nm engine with a 1.6-liter displacement, this European-bred crossover is available in two variants, both with 6-speed automatic transmission.
A unibody construction helps maximize the Vitara’s interior space. Meanwhile, a two-tone paint finish further gives the model a genuine European feel. Buyers also get to enjoy a panoramic sunroof, which reportedly has the biggest opening area in its class.
The small SUV's practical exterior extends to its interiors, delivering straightforward and user-friendly features that ensure smooth and easy operation. Both GL Plus and GLX variants come with a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Bluetooth, USB, Aux, and Android connectivity, although Apple CarPlay isn’t available. Meanwhile, the higher GLX grade radiates more upscale touch, enhanced by plush dark theme, with the leather seats enhanced by some suede trimmings for added elegance.
What lies beneath the hood of the Philippine-assembled Honda BR-V is a 1.5-liter SOHC 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine that puts out 118hp and 145Nm of torque. Imbued with Honda’s standard i-VTEC technology the power mill is further enhanced by the addition of Lift Electronic Control, designed to elevate engine performance at low and partial throttle. An Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is the BR-V’s only gearbox option.
Cabin-wise, the BR-V boasts ample headroom, legroom and shoulder room in all three rows for a full seven-people seating capacity. The third one offers easy ingress and egress, thanks to 60:40 sliding and reclining seats in the second row as well as the 50:50 reclining function in the last row. Rearmost passengers are treated to their separate roof-mounted air conditioner louver along with their own manual control.
As for creature comforts, the Honda BR-V hosts an adjustable steering wheel, steering wheel mounted audio controls, paddle shifters, front and rear center armrests, two USB inputs, and automatic climate control system to name a few, along with a 7-inch digital touchscreen display with Android Auto, Apple Carplay, and Bluetooth connectivity.
If it's a true-blue five-seater you're looking for, Honda has another subcompact crossover up its sleeve in the guise of the pricier Honda HR-V. Under its hood lies a 1.8L SOHC i-VTEC engine that outputs 140hp and 172Nm of torque. Like the BR-V, the HR-V’s engine comes solely with an Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The updated HR-V has a redesigned exterior accentuated by the Solid Wing Face design that dresses up the grille and front bumper nicely. The sharper design is one of the HR-V’s biggest selling points and will probably win many crossover SUV buyers over if looks are a priority.
The HR-V also has plenty of storage spaces with and three cup holders and four bottle holders in total—more than enough for any day’s worth of travel for vehicle’s full capacity of five people, including driver. Meanwhile, the spacious boot space provides impressive luggage-carrying capacity, so this car makes a great choice for small Filipino families who frequently go on road trips.
In addition to the leather-wrapped interiors that exude a plush sporty design, the HR-V also offers powered central locking, power windows, and power-adjustable rearview mirrors with integrated turn indicators. A 7-inch touchscreen display serves as infotainment, navigation system, and backup camera.
Sister companies Kia and Hyundai brought in an entry level crossover last year—the Stonic for the former, and the Venue for the latter. While the Stonic goes for the modern, the Hyundai Venue strikes for the traditional, with bulging proportions reminiscent of some mid-century classics.
Powering the new Hyundai Venue is a Gamma 1.6-liter Multi-point Injection (MPI) gasoline engine that dishes out 127hp and 151Nm of torque. Paired to a 6-speed transmission, the Venue’s powertrain boasts a drive mode system complete with traction control.
Inside, a two-tone dashboard design greets the Venue’s occupants and smack dab in the middle of the dash is an 8-inch audio infotainment system that’s compatible with both Apple and Android systems, complete with Bluetooth and USB connectivity while also doubling as a rearview camera when the vehicle is in reverse. Placed at the middle of the console is a three-knob air-conditioning system to ensure that room temperature is within the occupants’ comfort levels. The steering wheel and gear shift knob is upholstered in leather inside the GLS trim. There’s also a Smart Entry system to add further convenience.
A bit pricier than the Venue, the combustion engine-equipped Hyundai Kona (completely different from the all-electric version) runs on a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain is good for 147hp and 179Nm, sending all its power and torque solely to the front wheels.
Inside, an intuitive 7-inch instrument cluster display makes critical trip information visible at a glance, but there’s also the 8-inch head-up display to keep trip details within line of sight. For infotainment, the Kona relies on a floating-type touchscreen complete with built-in navigation system, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Aside from button controls, the system can also be operated with voice commands.
The Kona covers all safety bases starting with six airbags, and anti-lock braking system (ABS), and on to the SuperStructure high-strength steel vehicle chassis. In addition, the Kona boasts a slew of advanced driver assistance technologies, such as a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and Hyundai SmartSense driver assistance suite.
The latest locally available Mazda CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G gas engine that dishes out 150hp and 195Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic gearbox with Sport Mode. Like the Kona, the CX-3 is also a front-wheel drive vehicle
The interior layout of the Mazda CX-3 smartly ensures everything is within the driver’s easy reach. The addition of a new armrest further provides enhanced driving comfort. Meanwhile, the standard SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control delivers a more relaxed and balanced driving feel when the vehicle takes on corners. This is made possible by a system that adjusts power delivery, shifting the vehicle weight to where it’s needed as the vehicle makes its turns.
As for creature comfort features, the CX-3 possesses leather steering wheel, push start/stop engine, and electronic parking brake with auto hold. Seats are upholstered in fabric, though the material is far removed from your garden variety taxi seat material in terms of quality. Although Bluetooth connectivity is available in the 7-inch infotainment screen that runs on MZD Connect, unfortunately, the system doesn’t come with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.
Ford’s recently released Territory SUV is powered by the Blue Oval’s signature 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine mated to a CVT transmission with Sport mode that delivers more than 141hp and 225Nm of torque. The same engine and transmission pairing is installed on the Territory’s two variants sold locally—Titanium Plus and Ford Territory Trend.
Fitted with smartly selected style elements that complement the overall contemporary design, noteworthy exterior touches include LED bulbs for the, tail lamps and daytime running lamps, and headlamps, the latter which has an auto on/off and follow-me home feature.
For its interior, the all-new Ford Territory offers a refined riding experience, thanks to its many leathered-up surfaces and powered-up features. Infotainment is contained in a hands-free capable 10-inch touchscreen with multi-view function combined with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging functionalities.
When it comes to style and flair, few crossovers can measure up to the Mitsubishi Xpander. From its futuristic Dynamic Shield front fascia to its sophisticated and well-placed character lines, the all-new Xpander certainly looks prettier than many other vehicles in its class. The LED position lights and combination tail lamps make a great introduction to the sleek and tasteful exterior, are easy on the and the 16-inch two-tone alloy wheels finish off the overall package fittingly.
With four trims to choose from, including the top-of-the-line Mitsubishi Xpander Cross, all Xpander variants are equipped with a 1.5-liter inline-four 16-valve DOHC MIVEC engine that delivers 105hp and 141Nm of torque. A modern dashboard welcomes the Xpander’s occupants, placing great emphasis on ergonomics for everyone, especially the driver. The elevated sense of user-friendliness is matched by the use of high-quality plastic and fabric materials that help the Xpander cabin look particularly upscale for the price point.
This Chinese-made model from the British car brand is a tad more affordable than the Juke, but it offers quite the package. Available in four variants: Style MT, Style AT, Style Plus, and Alpha AT, the MG ZS crossover comes powered by a 1.5-liter, inline-four, DOHC 16-valve, DVVT engine that churns out 112hp and 150 Nm of torque. The engines come with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearbox.
The ZS' full grille and front creases add a touch of regal bearing to its "Emotional Dynamism" design. Though the 90-degree grille angle is obviously borrowed, it does help the ZS stand out from the rest of the pack, Mazdas notwithstanding.
Inside is where the affordability becomes obvious. The surfaces look cheap, and so does the infotainment system. The overall design is also likely to incite a lot of ‘meh’ reactions. Safety kit includes anti-lock braking system with brake assist, central locking, airbags and traction control.
Photos from Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, Hyundai, Ford, MG