If your budget is under $20K, you have some interesting, even some quirky, vehicles to choose from--especially in the crossover SUV market. So, let's compare a pair of these unique models by putting the 2017 Hyundai Veloster and the Nissan Juke up against each other in a head-to-head comparison. Which one offers the best option for you?

2017 Hyundai Veloster vs Nissan Juke


The Veloster is a four-door compact car, but by no means in the conventional sense. Instead of being a sedan or a coupe, it's actually something of a mash-up of styles. At first glance, the Hyundai is a sporty little hatch with a hint of coupe about it, but then you see it has one door on the driver's side and two on the passenger side. It's an attractively unique look that turns heads.

Some subcompact crossovers are inevitably looking alike, but not the Nissan Juke. While the design might not be as bug-eyed and startling as it was when first launched, it's still a design that buyers either love or hate. Neither of these two will appeal to everyone, but the Veloster's hatch/coupe mash-up style has a wider appeal.


At the end of the day the Veloster is a compact hatch, so we can't expect huge amounts of interior space. Front seat passengers do particularly well, though, with 43.9 inches of leg room and 89.8 cu.-ft. of passenger volume isn't too bad either. The back seats are a little tight for taller adults, but the style of the interior and quality of the materials are more than acceptable for the price.

Even those who don't like the looks of the Nissan could possibly forgive it if the interior was one of those that are inexplicably spacious--but it isn't. There's only slightly more headroom than there is in the Hyundai, and the Veloster has the edge in most other dimensions. The interior trim and materials are a bit of a mixed bag too, so another round has to go to the Hyundai.

Engines & Performance

The Veloster borrows its engines from the Accent, but the performance lives up to the styling--perky and more than a little entertaining. Base models get a 1.6-liter inline-four developing 138 horsepower, but Veloster Turbo models are where the real fun lies, with 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. You'll get a choice between a manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and turbo models can get to 60 mph in around seven seconds.

Drivers will find that the Juke is quite a lively performer, too, with the base engine a 1.6-liter turbo that puts out 188 horsepower. You can get it with front or all-wheel drive, but a CVT is the only transmission. Nismo models up the power ante to as much as 215 horsepower, but, since there's also nearly 100 other revised components too, those models do come at a price. The Juke has a little more power available but it's also heavier, but the availability of all-wheel drive just gives it the win here.


The IIHS gives the Veloster top marks in three of its crash tests, but it doesn't get a Top Safety Pick rating because it only achieved Marginal for the small front-overlap test and Acceptable for side-protection. But that doesn't stop it getting a full five-star rating overall from the NHTSA.

Although the Nissan did reasonably well with the IIHS, it still didn't get a Top Safety Pick rating and it only gets four stars overall from the NHTSA, so this is another victory for the Veloster.

Learn More about the Hyundai Veloster

Those who don't like the way the Nissan Juke looks would probably be less critical if it was great in every other way--but sadly, that's not the case, especially up against a competitor like the 2017 Hyundai Veloster. The 2017 Hyundai Veloster might be a more niche vehicle with its unique door arrangement, but more people ought to give it a chance. The Veloster is fun, stylish, practical, and actually has more room in side than the Juke. In this head-to-head, the Hyundai Veloster is clearly the winner.