NISSAN’S Juke is one of those cars that you either like or dislike the look of and judging by the number of them appearing on the roads this little crossover has plenty of admirers
It’s the youngest member of the Nissan crossover family, arriving after siblings Murano and Qashqai.
There is no mistaking the funky image of the Juke which is described by Nissan as part SUV and part sports car.
It comes in three grades – Visia, Acenta and Tekna – with three engine choices – 1.5 litre 108bhp diesel and two 1.6 litre petrol units producing 115bhp and a whopping 187bhp.
The test car was the top-of-the-range Tekna and it had the option of two or four-wheel drive with the power coming through CVT transmission and also offering the driver six-speed manual mode.
Direct injection with a turbocharger means there is no shortage of power in this model which can sprint off the blocks to 62mph in just 8.4 seconds and has a top speed of 124mph.
The Tekna comes with lateral torque-vectoring which Nissan says will enhance agility and reduce understeer when cornering but, possibly due to its high ride height, there was a fair bit of body roll when attempting fast driving on winding roads.
That apart, the Juke was fine on performance using the auto mode and manual gear changes, and it’s four-wheel drive could be invaluable during winter months.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say I love the look of the five-door Juke but I do like its funky style – the chunky wheels, wide tyres and robust stance of an SUV but coupe-style top-half effect which includes the falling roofline and rear doors hidden handels.
The cabin was also bright and cheerful with instruments clear and well laid out.
The Dynamic Control System allows the driver to change displays – from climate mode to D-Mode – at the touch of a button to easily change Normal, Sport and Eco driving settings and view related performance data.
Switching from four-wheel to two-wheel drive was also a simple touch-button task.
Interior space was good for driver and front passenger but although the Juke is described as a full five-seater, even three small-sized adults would be hard pushed to sit in the back.
The boot area isn’t massive at 207 litres but this expands to 786 with seats folded, giving a flat looding area.
Equipment levels are pretty good with the entry-level Visia’s standard features including 16-inch alloy wheels, ESP, six airbags, sports seats and air conditioning.
Acenta additions include 17-inch alloys, Dynamic Control System, climate control and Bluetooth with USB connectivity,
Move up to the Tekna and additional spec includes leather upholstery, Nissan Connect – sat nav, reversing camera and six speakers – and engine start button.
You’ll pay £20,595 for this range-topping model but with Juke prices starting at £13,295 you can see why they are becoming popular choices.