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.
- 1 Norfolk fuel update: Football match called off as crisis reaches day five
- 2 Former DJ and worker at Norfolk school was a 'deviant sexual predator'
- 3 Week's worth of fuel gone in hours at village filling station
- 4 Police probe launched after video shows officer kick out
- 5 Seaside restaurant hit with zero food hygiene rating
- 6 Nine ways to make your fuel last and avoid joining petrol station queues
- 7 NASA rocket spotted over Norfolk
- 8 Why are there queues for petrol - and do you really need to fill up?
- 9 Fuel shortages are on those who panicked - don't just blame the media
- 10 Norfolk Broads' village in £150,000 bid to buy land at auction
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.
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
CO2 Rating: 134g/km