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Why your Nissan Juke sucks in the snow

There's a good reason that your Nissan Juke, even with the AWD package, does horribly in the snow. If you're a Juke owner, you need to re-write that letter to Santa and ask for this.

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The Nissan Juke is a love it or hate it vehicle. Some people hate it, but those who love them are die-hard. So what happens when your new Juke that you love so dearly becomes Happy Gilmore on the snow and ice? Well, that love might not seem to sure anymore.

Don't worry, though, we can save your affair with your Juke with nothing more than a new item on your Christmas list: tires.

Yep, like most cars that come off the lot today, the Juke entered your life with a set of summer performance tires aimed towards highway efficiency and better MPG, but not better handling when the roads are anything other than dry and straight. In this regard, you're even worse off if you bought the NISMO package (pictured).

The original equipment for your Juke will depend on the year, model, and what time of year it was built. In all cases, it's a summertime tire with hard tread and little give. Again, great when MPG is the goal, but horrible for anything outside of flat, dry, well-maintained pavement. Most 2013 models outside of the NISMO, for example, have Eagle RSA tires on (made by Goodyear). The NISMO package has Continental ContiSports and still others may have Yokohama-made tires on them.

The options for replacements are many and where you live will determine the best choice for your Juke. If you live where ice and snow are seriously an issue every year, consider getting a second set of wheels (rims) and mounting snow tires on them specifically for winter use. If you live where snow and ice are not the norm, but may occasionally happen, then all-season radials may be a better option.

Looking through and the the Juke group on Nissan's Facebook pages, several tire choices are given as favorites from Juke owners. Also remember that the all-wheel drive option (if equipped) works best in these situations while switching to front-wheel drive in good weather can improve fuel mileage at highway speeds.

So ask Santa for some new tires this Christmas and you can fall back in love with your Juke again.

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Lee (not verified)    December 18, 2013 - 7:16PM

I replaced the tires of my 2011 SV AWD Juke at 12,000 miles after an unfortunate introduction to a large pothole. I ditched the Eagle RSA tires and replaced with a set of all season Michelin Primacy MXV4s.

I live in New Jersey where winters can range from just dustings to multiple feet of snow, so an all season was right for me.

I've taken these tires out in up to 8 inched of un-plowed snow with outissue. I have a 120 mile round trip commute and have trusted my Juke, with these tires, to get me there and back and it's not failed me yet. As a matte of fact, I just replaced these tires a few weeks ago after putting over 85K miles on them and I have all the reason to expect another trouble free winter.

Juke (AWD) + Michelin Primacy MXV4 = Winter Safety. At least in New Jersey.

fivebyfdive (not verified)    January 21, 2014 - 11:19PM

In reply to by Lee (not verified)

Just bought a 2103 s model awd and want black rims, Think I can do this and get the wife to understand, she's the primary driver and thinks the tires are a little hard for winter. The juke is a blast to drive, but NEEDS better tires for snow. WIN WIN

Pete abel (not verified)    February 16, 2015 - 5:52PM

Juke is a joke no power and AWD is like nothing going to trade this piece of shit off tomorrow won't even go up a slick hill but front wheel drive cars go right up it Nissan what a joke u must be proud

Kris (not verified)    October 17, 2015 - 1:55PM

I have no idea what you're talking about. My Juke is awesome on snow. Best car I've ever had in handling snow and the tires are the original.

kimberly zielinski (not verified)    October 5, 2016 - 6:46AM

In reply to by Kris (not verified)

I agree I have 2012 Juke SL I LOVE this car!! my first nasty winter with it was awesome this car was like a little tank, I drove thru unplowed roads,went around stuck cars, climbed a hill form hell without any problem, I am one of those "I hate driving in snow people" and had NO fear of driving in deep wet snow for the first time.. I will drive this car until it has nothing left to give, then buy another one!! their also fun in the summer when you open sun roof and put in sport mode, their not a corvette/4x4 truck, they are what they are and either you love them or don't. there not for everyone it's a personel choice, for me I give it a 10...

laura sprague (not verified)    July 28, 2016 - 11:12AM

I'm looking at a 2013 Nissan Juke S. Can I get some feedback on how it might handle in the winter? I have a 2011 Ford Fiesta SEL and I'm sliding or stuck more often than not

ElleJ (not verified)    November 30, 2016 - 11:34PM

I have a 2012 Nissan Juke with the 4cyl. turbo and I also LOVE it! I run 4-studded snow tires on it in the winter. It is a great little vehicle for getting around in the mountains to go skiing, and (for a lightweight car) handles amazingly well on the snow and ice with the AWD.

David A Richman (not verified)    March 5, 2017 - 2:12AM

I have the first year Juke SV, AWD and put on Yokohama 740AA tires. Handles great in Colorado, going up hills no problem, but remember to change from FWD to AWD when the white stuff hits!

Joseph (not verified)    January 26, 2018 - 3:49PM

What are these guys talking about. Just went through a bad winter storm involving freezing rain and the turning into snow with bad whiteouts, and this was done with all season tires on my AWD 2014 Juke SL. Had no problems at all, even when vehicles with winter were all over the road. Conclusion: People who say that the Juke is just a "piece of sh_t" , should instead learn how to drive or spend their money on learning how to drive in winter conditions. Enough said.

cynthia s. (not verified)    September 19, 2019 - 1:29PM

I love my Juke and have had it since 2012. It's still fun to drive and I live in the upper NY Northeast, Adirondack area. We opted for snow tires and my Juke is like a tank. It goes straight up a massive hill in Schroon Lake where we have a home in the woods. It's awesome. I wish they kept making them. I ready for a new one. :) Snow tires are the key especially if you are a winter enthusiast.

Alex Barrett (not verified)    October 10, 2019 - 6:18PM

We had some decent snow in the UK last winter, a rare treat, and fortunately I'd just got a new set of tyres all round. The Juke was excellent, the only roads I couldn't pass were blocked by abandoned Freelanders.

Gina (not verified)    November 23, 2020 - 10:00PM

What snow tires are ya'll using on your Juke? This car handled well with original tires in heavy snow on but I have moved to Zone 4 and dirt roads. Looking to swap out for winter tires

CPyndoe (not verified)    March 16, 2021 - 11:19AM

Anyone own a FWD Juke? Trying to figure out how well it would do in snow if I purchase all season or snow tires considering the car I'm looking at doesn't have an AWD option.

Heinrich (not verified)    February 1, 2022 - 2:35AM

In reply to by CPyndoe (not verified)

I live in the one of the coldest province in canada named alberta haha. I am driving a Fwd 6speed manual trans in icy roads, 15cms snow or more depending on the weather. I drove icy hills without an issue but i have a decent winter tires, nokian hakapelitta R3. In summer i use an all season bridgestone potenza. Just reply in this comment if you want to be enlightened haha