Mini Countryman vs Nissan Juke

Background

The Mini Countryman SUV is the first subcompact crossover style of vehicle produced by BMW under the Mini marque, first launched in 2010. It was then given several facelifts before the launch of the second generation model in 2017. After an update in 2020, the current Mini Countryman feels like the grown up and more serious sibling to the Mini hatchback.

The Nissan Juke is the brand's subcompact crossover which saw launched in 2010 and is currently in its second generation. The original Juke was known for it's unique looks and was popular with those who appreciated it's style but also those who were looking for something with a higher driving position. Thanks to its dimensions it's always been a great alternative to a large SUV.

For those unsure of which will suit them best in the battle of the small crossovers, our guide will take you through both models and highlight the differences between them so that you can decide which will be best for your needs.

Design and Interior

At first glance the two cars are strikingly different in design and style. The Countryman is very obviously a Mini with it's retro styling and iconic squared shape.

Looking purely at dimensions, the two models are actually very similar. The Juke is longer and taller but the Countryman is wider. Both will accommodate taller passengers in different ways as a result. The Mini will offer more legroom whilst the Juke will offer more headroom. The Countryman has three isofix points, two in the rear seats and an additional one available in the front seats, compared to only rear points on the Nissan Juke.

When comparing the Mini Countryman vs Nissan Juke for boot space you can expect 450 litres and 422 litres respectively. If you opt for the hybrid of either model it reduces the boot space to 405 litres for the Countryman and 350 litres for the Juke but the loss of space is unavoidable due to the space needed for a battery for hybrid engines.

The Countryman and the Juke have wildly different interiors, with the former keeping Mini's iconic quasi-retro feel whilst the latter has a more traditionally modern approach to it's style. This is reflected directly in the centre console and dashboard where Mini opts for it's iconic rounded screen and toggle switches and Nissan opts for a more familiar set up that is similar to other cars and brands in appearance.

The Mini Countryman does have more personalisation options available which includes a range of exterior paint colours, changing the size and styling of the alloys, choosing different colours for the bonnet stripes and mirror caps, if you don't like the standard cloth seats you can upgrade to a leather or leatherette instead (depending on which model you've chosen) all to suit your own style better.

Equipment

Driver convenience and support systems are held in high regard by buyers and Nissan have pipped Mini to the post by including several more of these as standard features in the Juke.

These include traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, intelligent lane assist, and intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition. Whilst these aren't integral to being able to drive your car, they are incredibly useful and some drivers do expect to see them in new cars.

A key difference comes at entry level, however, where the Nissan Juke lacks any kind of centre screen in the console which really sets it back in comparison. In place you have a standard digital radio which has Bluetooth, a USB port and AUX connectivity.

Contrastingly the Mini Countryman has kept it's circular 8.8 inch touchscreen in the centre of its console. It's now updated to support Apple Carplay, Mini's ConnectedDrive Services, and is finished with an LED surround light to make it stand out. Additional finishes, such as a leather multifunction steering wheel and 40/20/40 split rear seats for better access, continue to set the Countryman apart from the Juke.

New Nissan Juke Hybrid

Performance

Both the Nissan Juke and the Mini Countryman have petrol and hybrid engine options which allows you to choose greener options by removing diesel altogether.

Looking at the petrol options, Mini gives you a choice between either 1.5 litre 136HP, 2.0 litre 178HP, or the 2.0 litre 360HP John Cooper Works engine, whilst the Juke's only offering is a 1.0 litre 114PS (112HP). Three will give you a combined mpg in the forties whilst the John Cooper Works falls into the thirties but the Countryman has higher CO2 emissions with all engines.

The Countryman engines also have more torque, which means that you can use higher gears at low speeds and will allow individual wheels to have improved grip and handling in the all wheel drive option. The Juke, unfortunately is currently driven by the front wheels only, with no all wheel drive option available, which can be a deal breaker if you're looking at small SUVs.

Comparing the two hybrid offerings sees the Countryman come out on top. It's CO2 emissions are as low as 41 g/km and a combined mpg of 156.9 from a 1.5 litre petrol 125HP engine. It also has an electric only range of approximately 35 miles, ideal for running around town or doing the school run.

The new Nissan Juke Hybrid comes with 143PS (141HP) and offers up to 56.5 combined mpg and CO2 emissions of 114 g/km. Not quite as efficient for fuel consumption as the Countryman or as great for the environment.

Summary

The Mini Countryman and the Nissan Juke are very clearly very different cars designed to give you different a driving experience in each one. The Mini stays true to its brand with classic retro styling and incredible performance whilst the Juke offers more practical driver support up front.

Both are good fun to drive with relatively similar proportions for cabin space, although the Countryman has more to offer in terms of cargo room and the Juke has a higher ground clearance.

Our teams at John Clark Mini Aberdeen and Tayside and Specialist Cars Nissan in Aberdeen are always on hand to offer advice and answer any further questions that you may have!