Nissan Juke makes you smile

You've got have some sympathy for car makers, writes Iain Dooley. It can't be easy thinking up a different name for every new model. With Renault calling its compact roadster the Wind, creating something memorable has been raise to new heights.

You've got have some sympathy for car makers, writes Iain Dooley. It can't be easy thinking up a different name for every new model.

With Renault calling its compact roadster the Wind, creating something memorable has been raise to new heights. And like it or not, the approach has got people talking.

Keeping it in the family, Nissan - the other half of what the two firms affectionately call an alliance - has already got form in this department. Who would have that something called a Qashqai could have been so popular?

Now it's the turn of the Japanese maker's Juke to feel the heat of the spotlight.


You may also want to watch:


Having abandoned conventional models - Primera, Almera - some time ago to concentrate more on the increasingly lucrative crossover market, cars like the aforementioned Qashqai, X-Trail and larger Murano have done wonders for Nissan's global balance sheet. Looking like a cross between a Micra and shrunken Qashqai, the Juke's bold exterior is a world away from similarly priced cars in the hotly contested compact family market.

And it's the Juke appearance - bulging headlights, flared arches and wide stance - that it hopes will give it a competitive edge as buyers become more adventurous in their next choice of car.

Most Read

There's no question of form overtaking function with the Juke, though. The Qashqai is proof that Nissan can deliver on both counts, and the Juke is no different. While common design themes have found their way inside the car's cabin, the funky little Nissan sacrifices nothing in the name of practicality.

A genuine rival to more conventional compact cars, the juke boasts a raised driving position, supportive seats, ergonomic controls and good all-round visibility.

A flat rear load space and folding rear seats tops off an altogether impressive seat of features.

Although pitched at trendy urbanites, the car is just as comfortable on motorways and twisty country roads as it is looking pretty in stop-start city traffic.

A lot of this is down to Nissan's thorough development programme, and That the company has been producing solid handling and refined cars for some time now. Recently attention has also focussed on improving the engine choice.

Buyers seeking a flexible all-rounder will likely migrate to the Juke's 1.5-litre, 108bhp diesel option.

A proven motor in both Renault and Nissan vehicles, refinement, performance, flexibility and economy all impress. The same goes for the snappy gearshift of the six-speed manual transmission.

Petrol fans fare equally well, as Nissan offers a pair of 1.6-litre units - one turbo (187bhp), one not (115bhp). The former is expected to prove popular with many buyers thanks in part to its sensible running costs, while a Juke powered by the latter assumes the unofficial title of flagship model. In this guise you also gain all-wheel drive, which is one of an increasing number of intelligent part-time systems.

Across the range transmission choice is generous, with the diesel and turbo petrol models getting a six-speed manual and the non-turbo 1.6 petrol a five-speed manual.

With three trim levels (Visia, Acenta, Tekna) to choose from, Nissan's generosity extends to comfort and safety equipment. Alloy wheels, air-con, an MP3 player compatible audio unit, powered mirrors, stability control and six airbags are all standard.

NISSAN JUKE

Model: Nissan Juke Acenta 1.5dCi, from �15,255 on the road

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel unit developing 108bhp

Transmission: Six-speed manual transmission as standard, driving the front wheels

Performance: Maximum speed 109mph, 0-62mph 11.2 seconds

Economy: 55.3mpg

CO2 Rating: 134g/km

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter