We update our comparison of two fun, urban favorites: the Honda Fit and the Nissan Juke
If it seems like you’re constantly being passed and harassed on the highway by little boxes zipping around on wheels, you may be right. The re-emergence of popular subcompact cars has been one interesting thread in the U.S. car marketplace in recent years. While Honda always had a stake in this part of the game (remember the Civic Subcompact?), it stepped it up a notch with the introduction of the Fit (known in some international markets as the Jazz) for the 2002 model year. Success and envy breed imitation and other carmakers have worked hard to challenge Honda in this market. One that does a pretty decent job is the Nissan Juke. As you research your options for considering a fuel-efficient, fun car to drive, use Reply! to help you find the facts you need to conduct a Honda Fit vs. Nissan Juke comparison.
Here’s an update for 2014:
2014 (2013/2015!) Honda Fit overview
It’s a bit of a misnomer to offer a straight up 2014 comparison between the Honda Fit and the Nissan Juke. Honda essentially pulled the Fit from its inventory for the 2014 model year in order to make some significant upgrades. (Honda did introduce an all-electric version of the Fit in 2014 known as the Fit EV.) The Fit will be back on showroom floors for the 2015 model year, so we’re offering a bit of an overview of the 2013 Fit and a sneak-peek at what the major upgrades for 2015 will be.
The 2013 Fit was a subcompact, four-door hatchback available in two trim levels: Fit and Fit Sport. The base Fit came standard with 15-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split backseat (folding seatback, flip-up seat bottom) and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.
The Fit Sport added some nice upgrades standard, such as 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a rear spoiler, sporty styling elements, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, transmission paddle shifters (when you opted for the automatic transmission), a driver armrest, floor mats and a six-speaker sound system.
The Fit (in every option) comes with a peppy 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that kicks out 117-hp and 106 pound-feet of torque. The Fit comes with a five-speed manual transmission, but you can opt for a five-speed automatic.
Gone are the days when subcompacts were deathtraps and the Fit leads the way in a number of safety categories. The 2013 Fit came standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active head restraints. In government crash testing, the Fit received four out of five stars for overall crash protection from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranked the 2013 Fit a Top Safety Pick in the subcompact/small car category.
Fun and fuel efficiency are the strongest selling points for these cars, and some folks may be a bit disappointed in the gas mileage ratings for the Fit. The base level Fit delivers 33-mpg on the highway and 29-mpg in city driving. Select the automatic transmission option and you’ll see that economy go to 35-mpg on the highway and 28-mpg in the city.
2015 Fit highlights
After stepping off the stage for the 2014 model year, the 2015 Fit will steal the show in this class. There have been substantial improvements in power, fuel economy, technological features and even a few tweaks to make the ride even more stylish. Fit lovers will have four distinct trim/style options in 2015:
- Fit LX
- Fit EX
- Fit EX-L
- Fit EX-L w/Navi
The 2015 Fit still carries the 1.5L, four-cylinder engine, but Honda has wrung a bit more power out if it and it now delivers 130-hp and 114 pound-feet of torque. The standard drivetrain is still a stick, though it now comes in a six-speed manual, and you can still opt for an automatic if you want to pay a bit more.
Fuel ratings for the 2015 Fit perk up somewhat. The base standard package gets you 37-mpg on the highway and 29-mpg in the city. The automatic package will get you 38-mpg highway and 32-mpg city driving.
Honda has even managed to expand the interior of this already-roomy (for its class) option, borrowing some design and configuration ideas from its own lines like the Accord and Civic.
2014 Nissan Juke overview
Nissan has taken to categorizing its Juke as a “crossover” vehicle (perhaps to get it on the SUV bandwagon.) It also stresses how fun this car is to drive (and it is!) Most cars in this price and fuel economy range can be yawners. The Juke is no yawner.
The 2014 Nissan Juke comes in four trim/style levels:
- Juke S
- Juke SV
- Juke SL
- Juke Nismo
- Juke Nismo-RS
Standard equipment on the entry-level S model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-only steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. The SV adds a sunroof, rear privacy glass, keyless entry/ignition, automatic climate control, upgraded upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio.
The SL comes standard with all of the above plus automatic headlights, foglights, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The Nismo is slightly more powerful and also has a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, unique exterior and interior styling details, and front sport seats.
That lovable, turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine generating 188-hp and 177 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels powers the 2014 Juke. (The Juke Nismo model has the same engine but it's tightened down a bit in order to pump out 197-hp and 184 pound-feet of torque.
A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard on the S and SL trims. The SV and Nismo offer a choice of a six-speed manual or the CVT. All four trims can be had with all-wheel drive, but to get this you must opt for the CVT.
With all that pep and power, you’d think you may have to compromise on efficiency, but you don’t. The front-wheel drive and the CVT models of the Juke get you 32-mpg on the highway and 27-mpg in the city. You’ll lose a little by selecting the AWD models with 30-mpg on the highway and 25-mpg in the city. Opt for a manual transmission powertrain and you’ll see 31-mpg in the highway and 25-mpg in the city.
Safety is a premium with Nissan and the Juke is no exception. The 2014 Juke comes with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
In government crash tests, the Juke received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, from the NHTSA with three stars for total frontal-impact protection (four stars driver, three stars front passenger) and five stars for total side-impact protection. The IIHS tagged the Juke with its Top Safety Performer label in its “small car” category for 2014.
Prices and warranties
Lining up these two models on a price basis is, again, a bit tricky since there were no 2014 Honda Fits rolled off the assembly line. While there are great deals to be found out there on slightly used 2013 Fits, it might be a better comparison to list what Honda expects to charge on a starting MSRP level for the new line of Fits. We can tell you that the entry-level 2013 Honda Fit came with a starting MSRP of $15,425. Compare that to the starting MSRPs listed for the upcoming 2015 line of Fits:
- 2015 Fit LX -- $15,525
- 2015 Fit EX -- $17,435
- 2015 Fit EX-L -- $19,800
- 2015 Fit EX-L/Navi -- $20,800
While the exact prices you’ll wind up paying will vary depending on where you live and the incentives that can be offered to you by local dealers, here’s what you can expect as the starting MSRPs for the line of 2014 Nissan Jukes:
- 2014 Juke S -- $19,170
- 2014 Juke SV -- $20,990
- 2014 Juke SL -- $24,470
- 2014 Juke Nismo -- $23,170
- 2014 Juke Nismo-RS -- $26,120
As for warranties, these two vehicles are very similar in how they are protected while you own and drive them.
The 2014/2015 Honda Fit comes with Honda’s standard warranty, covering:
- 3-year/36,000 mile new-vehicle limited warranty (bumper-to-bumper)
- 5-year/60,000 mile limited powertrain warranty
- 5-year/unlimited miles corrosion warranty
- 3-year/36,000 mile warranty covering any Honda accessories added to your new car
Honda offers 24-hour roadside assistance that backs up that 3-year/36,000 mile initial limited warranty.
The 2014 line of Nissan Jukes is covered by the standard Nissan warranty, offering:
- 3-year/36,000 mile limited bumper-to-bumper warranty
- 5-year/60,000 mile limited powertrain warranty
- 5-year/unlimited miles corrosion protection warranty
Nissan will also offer you an extended warranty plan (at additional cost) to help cover your 2014 Juke beyond the standard warranty.
A quick comparison
While it remains difficult to make an accurate and fair comparison between a 2014 Nissan Juke and a Honda Fit (especially since there really is no such thing as a 2014 Honda Fit), you can get a sense of how these two stack up by making a direct comparison in a few key areas between the 2014 Nissan Juke S and the 2015 Honda Fit LX (with CVT option). Here’s where they stand:
- Power – big advantage to the Juke
- Fuel Economy – big advantage to the Fit
- Safety – pretty dead even
- Room and comfort – a slight advantage on legroom and headroom to the Juke, but the Fit has incredible amounts of storage and cargo capacity for its size and really outpaces the Juke
- Standard amenities – a slight edge to the Juke (for instance, the standard sound system has six speakers to the Fit’s four)
- Price – substantial advantage to the Fit
Put simply, sizing up the 2014 Nissan Juke vs. Honda Fit comes down to if you want more power and if you’re willing to pay for it (both in terms of up-front costs and fuel economy down the road.) Otherwise, you really can’t go wrong in your search for a fun-to-drive, sporty sub-compact if you were to take either option. To get a real sense for which car works best for you, take a test drive. In fact, Reply! can help you find local dealers eager to get you behind the wheel of either a Honda Fit or a Nissan Juke.