Nissan Juke 1.6 CVT, Volkswagen Cross Polo 1.2 TSI (DSG) Review
Small-wheel drive

Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
21 Jan 2013

Both pint-sized SUVs appropriate for our urban jungle, but which one is better?

Introduction, Exterior

The snooze button is a dangerous tool, I tell ya; pushing five minute just to enjoy an extra ounce of the most deeply pleasurable slumber imaginable, tempting you each time to “take just another five minutes”. Then another, and another, until finally you’re forced into imagining the prospect of an imminent sacking.

So, with only a few minutes left to get ready, you stumble into the shower, spray on some perfume, iron your clothes, dress deliriously, grab a super-duper quick breakfast before rushing out of the house, fumbling for the car keys and bracing yourself for the next circle of hell: the drive through early morning traffic to office…

Does it have to be like this? (Ok, maybe every Mondays for some.)

According to Nissan and Volkswagen, you don’t have to make the journey ‘through hell’ an unpleasant one.

What we have here are two concrete jungle busters, albeit in a small package, to seize the day: The Nissan Juke 1.6 and the Volkswagen CrossPolo TSI 1.2, both with automatic transmissions. Just make sure you don’t doze off at the wheel.

The rumours that Arnold Schwarzenegger will drive a Nissan Juke in Terminator 5 are a bit exaggerated. After all, the Juke is hardly menacing – nor is it all that cohesive. It seems to have bits stuck on it here and there, and its lines don’t exactly flow. But, what the hell, it’s a small SUV, a lifestyle vehicle; not a replacement for the Singapore Arts Museum and it does get its share of fans, us included. 

It’s fun, it’s fresh and that frog-like silhouette does bring a smile to the face, which is something rivals like the Daihatsu Terios or Skoda Yeti can’t quite manage…

The opposition the Juke faces – VW’s CrossPolo – isn’t exactly dull. Indeed when the CrossPolo is parked nose to tail behind the Juke, it look very dissimilar. The CrossPolo looks more squarish and angular although the alloys do a better job of filling the wheelarches. At the back, its unique, huge square lights give it a solid, substantial look. 

That aspect is repeated with a big lower air intake, complimented by a slim, black grill. The CrossPolo’s nose is much more restrained than the Juke’s, but it is still overall a fairly funky-looking little thing.

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Engine Capacity 1598cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Bore x Stroke (78 x 83.6)mm
Power 116bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque 158Nm @ 4000rpm
Power to Weight 77.3 bhp per ton


Acceleration 11.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 178 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 16.7 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Manual
Drive Type FF
Steering Hydraulic


Body Type SUV
(L x W x H)
(4135 x 1765 x 1570) mm
Wheelbase 2525 mm
Kerb Weight 1500 kg


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs


Engine Capacity 1197cc
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 105bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 175Nm @ 1550rpm
Power to Weight 83.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 9.7s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 190 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 18.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 7 -speed DSG
Drive Type FF


Body Type 5 Door Hatch
(L x W x H)
(3970 x 1698 x 1488) mm
Wheelbase 2470 mm
Kerb Weight 1251 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 45 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs