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Car Review

Nissan Juke review

£14,935 - £26,565
710
Published: 23 Jun 2022
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Let’s start with the combustion-only Juke. The little 112bhp engine is game enough, backed up by 148lb ft. Well, to be pedantic that's an overboost figure, available for 25 seconds. But it's not such a slow car you'll be at full throttle for that time without a lift or a gearshift. The mid-rev range doesn't show much lag. You can rev to 6,500rpm but won't as the puff is spent by then.

It sounds like a triple when you work it but oddly like a four-cylinder when you don't. The acceleration stats are adequate. Zero to 62mph is 10.7 seconds for the manual and 11.8 for the auto. But the auto seems just as quick (or just as not-quick), thanks to its shifts being smooth and smartly timed – the benefits of a DCT ‘box. The manual's shift lever is a little baggy.

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WHAT ABOUT THE HYBRID THEN?

It may sound complicated – and the engineering behind it certainly is – but the best thing about the Juke Hybrid is that it’s actually quite unnoticeable on the move. You always start in e-mode so it gets off the line briskly, and then if you put your foot down, exceed around 35mph or drive for more than a mile or two the 4cyl petrol will kick in. 

It’s a quiet enough powertrain and doesn’t suffer the rubber band effect of flaring revs like CVT hybrids often do. We’d like a bit more regen when in Nissan’s e-Pedal mode – it’s nowhere near one-pedal driving – but generally the system is well-integrated and it can even stay fairly quiet under heavy load. Gearchanges are generally smooth too, although you can confuse it by asking it to drop down a few cogs with full throttle. How many Juke drivers are going to be doing that regularly, though?

CAN IT GO AROUND CORNERS?

The suspension is moderate to firm, in springing and anti-roll. That and high-geared lightweight steering are the classic recipe for making a crossover feel, superficially at least, like it's going to be fun in corners.

Luckily the Juke does back that up with a measure of actual fluency and even a little feel through the steering. The tyres grip hard but not absurdly so. And it feels nicely planted on the road, with a sense the shell and fittings are all firmly bound together.

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HOW’S THE RIDE QUALITY?

The inevitable price for the agility is a busy ride and lots of lateral rocking on lumpy straight-line sections. But it manages to take the sharp edges off ridges, bumps and small potholes and you don't get too much noise rumbling up from suspension or tyres. The old Juke's chassis was basically a drumkit.

WHAT ABOUT DRIVER AIDS?

High-end Juke versions come with a good suite of driver aids including adaptive cruise and blind-spot intervention for motorways, and surround-view cameras for the city. If the auto 'box is fitted, you've got what Nissan calls ProPilot, a follow-to-stop cruise control with lane steering. The steering assist works smoothly when it works, but it keeps giving up when it isn't sure of the road lines, even on a clear day. So why have it at all?

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T Tekna 5dr
  • 0-6210.4s
  • CO2118.0g/km
  • BHP117
  • MPG55.4
  • Price£22,270

the cheapest

Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T 114 Acenta 5dr
  • 0-6210.7s
  • CO2113.0g/km
  • BHP114
  • MPG56.5
  • Price£20,165

the greenest

Nissan Juke 1.0 DiG-T N-Connecta 5dr DCT
  • 0-6211.1s
  • CO2110.0g/km
  • BHP117
  • MPG58.9
  • Price£22,190

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