A few weeks back Motor Trend published a very early comparison between the Nissan Juke and the Countryman S having had the two for a short time on some German backroads. It struck us as odd in that the Motor Trend’s British freelance reporter definitively preferred the Juke’s on road performance and specifically its handling. Having driven three different varieties of the Countryman (both on the track and off) for a combined total of around 600 miles I’ve been impressed with the general performance of the car in relation to the R55 and R56 MINIs. Sure the turn in isn’t as eager and there’s more body roll due to the height and the modest increase in weight. But compared to the small crossovers and hatches I have driven (the Golf and Tiguan for instance) the Countryman felt like a resounding success.

So today’s review of the Juke from British weekly seemed both more on target based on my initial reviews. Here’s an excerpt:

>Don’t expect (the Juke to have) MINI levels of fun though. The chassis is nowhere near as talented and the steering is totally numb. This is a shame, as when fitted with Nissan‚΄ôs new 187bhp 1.6-litre turbochargd petrol engine, the Juke delivers hot hatch performance.

And in talk speaking about the Countryman vs the Juke they went on to say…

>The cool retro looks and sparkling chassis means the MINI appeals equally to both style and fun seekers. But while it has the Juke beaten in terms of heritage and driving enjoyment, its pricier, not as well equipped and far less comfortable or practical.

Again it’s all more inline with what we expect both from our drives and the positioning of each vehicle.

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