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Nissan tweaks Juke to give it fresh appeal

06:00 02 October 2014

NIssan Juke

NIssan Juke's mid-life facelift

PA

Nissan’s Juke has been given some tweaks as part of a mid-life makeover but there’s enough to keep buyers interested, says Matt Kimberley of the Press Association.

What’s new?

If you’re looking for the design changes, bring a magnifying glass. There are new bits at both ends of this updated Juke, but they’re nothing major. Bigger news comes with a new personalisation programme, allowing owners to customise their car with coloured plastic trim inside and out.

There are also a bundle of updated engines, including a new turbo petrol option – the DIG-T 115. This one, though, is fitted with the latest version of the 108bhp 1.5 dCi diesel, which has been tweaked for even better fuel efficiency.

Nissan Juke Acenta Premium 1.5 dCi 110

Price: from £17,865 (range from £13,420)

Engine: 1.5-litre, 108bhp, four-cylinder, turbo diesel

Transmission: Six speed manual driving front wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 11.2 seconds; top speed 109mph

MPG: 61.4 combined

CO2 emissions: 109g/km

Looks and image

As before, you’ll either love it or hate it. The looks are probably the most controversial of any mainstream car, but it doesn’t seem to have affected sales with almost 35,000 finding homes in Britain last year alone. With the new interior customisation options, there’s the chance to make each Juke look more or less unique – a big selling point and potentially a reason for existing owners to upgrade.

Because of its polarising looks, its image has a little edge to it that buyers like, and even though it’s now a common sight, many people still see it as a cool choice.

Space and practicality

Front wheel-drive versions like this benefit from a 40% boot space boost thanks to ditching the spare wheel well and adding a second luggage compartment. Overall, the amount of stuff you can fit into it is amazing, but since it’s over two levels you do need to put some thought into your packing in order to get the most out of the space.

The cabin is pleasantly spacious, and four average-height adults should be comfortable until the road gets bumpy, at which point the guys in the back might find their heads within regular bashing distance of the roof.

Behind the wheel

Carrying four people is bad news for driving enjoyment, because for all the dainty diesel’s quietness and refinement at urban speeds, it struggles to haul a full car and fuel economy suffers badly. Get rid of passengers and real-world economy should be good.

Under normal circumstances the dCi lump is very pleasant, cruising smoothly and growling a little under acceleration. There’s plenty of kit to enjoy using on the move, from driving mode selection to sat-nav, and even cruise control for those motorway slogs. Some of the switchgear feels a bit cheap, though, which is a bigger issue the higher up the range you go.

Value for money

The entryJuke looks good value, and by making sure higher models have lots of tempting technology, the more expensive choices stay justifiable. The available space is an impressive statement of value, too, but the Juke does have stiff competition from newer rivals. Its fresh impetus of fuel economy should keep it popular.

Who would buy one?

Like most high-volume cars, this one pulls buyers in from all walks of life and personality types. But Juke buyers will definitely go into dealerships already in love with its looks, before weighing the purchase up against their needs for size, space and practicality – areas in which the Juke does well. Young families are prime candidates, as well as older buyers looking to downsize into something funky. This car summed up in a single word – independent.

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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