- Enjoyable driving experience
- Attractive design
- Good performance
The Juke has become a bit of a cult car, and it’s not until you drive one that you notice just how many of them there are on our roads. In fact, since the original version first made an appearance in 2019 some 50,000 have been built.
Powertrain and Performance
The British-built SUV, made at Nissan’s Sunderland factory, combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to give a far more enjoyable drive than the pure petrol version and a far more refined one too.
Not only is it smoother and quieter, but you get some 20 percent better economy. Official figures show it averages 56.5mpg, but during a week’s motoring I regularly averaged more than 60mpg.
This is one hybrid that really does deliver, and it’s surprising just how often it’s running on electric rather than using up petrol.
The Juke has been around for a while, but the hybrid version is a bit of a revelation and a car that you soon warm to.
With 25 percent more power than its petrol sibling, it will hit 62mph in a very respectable 10.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 103 mph.
And close to the gear shift is a button which allows you to select from three driving modes, eco, standard and sport.
There’s also a button which lets you switch on the e-Pedal system, which is effectively one-pedal driving where depressing the accelerator increases speed but releasing it brakes the car to help with energy regeneration and boost the battery.
Unlike with some cars, the system doesn’t bring the Juke to a complete halt – you have to use the foot brake for that – but with practice and thinking ahead you can often get away without having to use the brake at all when slowing down.
The only annoying thing is you have to engage the e-Pedal system every time you start the car, as the default setting is with the pedal switched off.
To Nissan’s credit, the same thing doesn’t apply to the lane assist system. Once you switch it off - as I tend to - it stays off until you re-engage it. If only other manufacturers would follow suit.
On the road, the new Juke is both nippy and – with a small turning circle – highly manoeuvrable. And despite its height, it has impressive handling and ride with little body roll even on fast bends.
Design and Practicality
The new hybrid distinguishes itself from the petrol model with a new-look grille and a gloss black strip between the grille and the bonnet, not to mention hybrid badges adorning the rear and both sides.
Inside it’s both stylish and functional with a saddle stitched faux leather covered dashboard, high-backed front seats with integral headrests and nice body-coloured inserts surrounding both the high mounted touch screen and the gear shift.
With its concealed rear door handles the Juke has sleek, coupe-like lines and good interior space, although you do lose some luggage space because of the battery, with the boot having 354 litres rather than the regular car’s 422 litres.
Equipment and Technology
A reversing camera makes parking simple and the fitting of a power meter – marked charge, eco and power - instead of a rev counter, allows you to see just when the battery is being re-charged.
With the N-Connecta trim, you'll also benefit from automatic climate control, NissanConnect services, rearview camera, and a 7-inch full colour TFT screen combimeter, to name just a few of the extensive features included with the Juke.
Driving the Juke Hybrid was very enjoyable, and it's head and shoulders above the standard petrol car, with a character all of its own.
The N-Connecta trim in particular is a great middle ground to choose with the Juke, providing you with plenty of features and performance whilst not being as costly as the higher-grade specifications.