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Crossover SUV battle: Juke vs ASX

17.03.2015

RECENTLY I had the opportunity to drive two small crossover SUVs that don’t traditionally compete with one another. I couldn’t help but compare the two vehicles because despite the fact that they offer the consumer two very different packages, they still satiate that ever-growing small SUV/crossover market.

→ The contenders

The cars in question are the recently revised Nissan Juke and Mitsubishi’s ASX, which also went under the knife earlier this year.

→ Style matters

In terms of design you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a car more unique than the Juke but at the same time the ASX is a clean-looking modern interpretation of a crossover SUV. Both models have received light revisions to their respective façades. However, I would certainly take the more conservative ASX in the looks department.

→ Inside counts

In terms of interior - apart from the MyLink infotainment system and its Rockford Fosgate sound system - the Juke has the ASX well and truly beaten. The Mitsubishi comes with leather seats but the cloth/suede combination in the Juke looks and feels the part. The solidity of the build and even the seat comfort, the Juke feels the superior product.

In terms of roominess, the ASX beats the Juke; there’s more space for occupants and a bigger boot, which makes the ASX the more utilitarian choice of the two.

→ Engine and gearbox

Here’s where it gets interesting… it’s a case of old versus new school in terms of the powertrains in each car. The Juke gets a thoroughly modern 85kW/190Nm 1.2-litre turbo petrol box and a slick six-speed manual while the ASX gets a 110kW/197Nm 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine with a five-speed gearbox.

It wasn’t difficult to choose a winner here because the ASX had immediacy about its drive with no lag, while the Juke took time to spool and could be frustrating.

In terms of consumption, I saw around 9.0 litres/100km in the ASX and around 8.5 litres/100km in the Juke due to the fact that it must be kept on the boil more often than not. The Juke will also lose out in the range stakes as it has a smaller fuel tank.

→ Comfort and convenience

Both cars enjoy features such as cruise control, Bluetooth, electric windows, USB, five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and a host of airbags. The ASX for its premium price tag provides things like rear PDC, hill hold assist, rain sensing wipers, heated front seats, climate control, auto lights, LED rear lights and a panoramic glass roof.

→ Verdict

Choosing a winner between the two vehicles was tough especially when I considered that the Qashqai could be had for similar money to the Juke and the ASX. The Juke does present something unique although a case could then also be made for the new Kia Soul. This brings me to my conclusion… buy a Qashqai as it combines the best attributes of both the Juke and the ASX.

→ Service and warranty

Both vehicles come with a three-year/100 000km warranty while the ASX trumps the Juke in the service plan department with the five-year/90 000km plan, while the ASX gets a three-year/45 000km plan.

Article written by Sean Nurse
17.03.2015
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