Hi there. I'm planning to buy either a base variant Nissan Juke or the all-new Suzuki Vitara GLX. I've done my research for the most part, but have only test-driven the Juke because the Suzuki dealership here in my city still doesn't offer a test-drive for the Vitara. Just wanted your two cents on which is better in terms of fuel economy, interior, exterior, features, and the basics.
Also, there's no news of a refresh of the Juke, right? I feel one of the Vitara's stronger points is that it'll take a few years before a refresh or a new model comes out compared to the Juke. Thanks!
Unfortunately, I have yet to drive the Suzuki Vitara. My other colleagues at Top Gear seem to have positive reviews about it, though.
As for the Juke, I love this little Nissan a lot. It feels a bit underpowered off the line, but keep it in Sport Mode and it revs above 3,000rpm. And wow, it really drives very well especially on twisting and winding roads.
There are two real concerns for the Juke: First is the tiny boot at the back, and second is the low roofline for rear-seat occupants. If, however, you'll be driving alone most of the time and not carrying much stuff, the Juke is perfect. Fuel efficiency is good. If memory serves me right, I got between 12-13km/L on mostly highway driving (quite aggressively as it's the sort of car that just begs for it). City driving yielded a decent 8.2-8.5km/L.
The other is after-sales service and parts availability. A Nissan can easily be serviced outside of the dealer network once the warranty expires if you'd like to save some money. And parts are readily available in auto supply stores. Even during the warranty period, there are far more Nissan dealerships nationwide, so if you're unhappy with the after-sales service of your particular Nissan dealership, you can always bring it elsewhere.
A Suzuki, on the other hand, will be more difficult to source parts outside of the dealership network (at least compared to the Nissan). Since it has fewer dealerships, if you are unhappy with the service of your dealership, it might be more difficult to find another one convenient enough to visit regularly.
In addition (although I have no first-hand experience), Suzuki parts are said to be more expensive compared to other Japanese brands, probably due to being scarcer in source and supply. This is something long-time or late-model Suzuki owners have told me.
It's best to also ask Suzuki owners and the dealership you plan to buy from if this is true. Or at least research the cost of body or collision parts, and big ticket items such as the alternator, A/C components, and starter motor. These are factors you should consider if you plan to keep the vehicle for five or more years. Not all dealerships, regardless of brand, offer the same level of service.
Good luck! Happy car shopping, and also consider other cars as you just might find more interesting stuff out there.