Designing and delivering an innovative car for public consumption is the goal of many manufacturers. Most will not take the chance and simply follow a trend introduced by someone else, the risk of failure reduced dramatically in the process.
This cannot be levied at Nissan, who’ve given us Qashqai, a weird word that introduced the world to the phenomena of ‘crossover’ and elevated motoring. Ten years ago, Nissan gave us Juke, a B-segment ‘compact crossover’ that put a whole new visual profile to the street, some ten-thousand Juke’s finding Irish homes.
The Latest Juke loses some of the angles of the former and while it is undoubtedly a ‘Juke,’ it faces in this new decade with its distinctive front Y-shaped LED’s standing guard on either side of the Nissan ‘V-Motion’ grill.
On a short but comprehensive test drive at its launch, this 2020 Juke will have a wider appeal than the inaugural model. You step into its well-appointed interior with ease, the popularity of crossovers over the conventional hatch/saloon explained in that one step in and step out motion.
Having introduced the world to compact, elevated driving, the Juke is now joined by some territorially protective company. The inaugurator must now fight its corner with a vengeance. This second-generation Juke is easy to recommend and is a must on the drive list for anyone shopping in this segment.
Design: Compact Crossover
Format: 5-door, 5-seat
Trim Grades: XE, SV, SV Premium, SVE, N-Design
Engine: 1.0 litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol
Road Tax Band: A4
CO2 WLTP rating: 135g/km for manual; 138g/km for the automatic
Road Tax: €200
Boot Space: 422 litres – 1088 litres with rear seats folded
Entry Model Price: From Juke 1.0T XE – From €21,995
Some of the Competition
Toyota C-HR, VW T-Cross, SEAT Arona, Hyundai Kona Citroen C3 Aircross, KIA Xceed, Mazda CX3, Peugeot 2008, Jeep Renegade, Opel Mokka, Renault Captur, Honda HR-V, Fiat 500X, Ford Puma.
This new Nissan Juke is built on the CMF-B platform and is produced at Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland, U.K. Definitely different, but undoubtedly Juke, this 2020, second-generation, has a visual appeal that will capture more into its net than previously. Customers can range of 20 colour combinations with matching or contrasting colour combinations for body, roof and interior.
Its street stance is less divisive, the LED, Day Running Lights, (DRL), please the eye, as does the coup floating roofline, covert rear door access and tasty 19” alloys – shy it is not.
Quality. I could leave the interior on that word alone, such is the materials used, their placement, all allied to a fit and finish that welcomes and cossets in equal measure. Long-legged folk like me will appreciate the increase in rear-seat knee room by 5.8 cm, more height back there by 1.1 cm, with a twenty-percent increase in luggage capacity to 422 litres.
At the front, you sit into monoform seats with a single-piece backrest, head restraint built in, which can be trimmed in Alcantara or leather. For those who like their music, the two front seats can be ordered with a Bose Personal Plus audio system, with speakers built into the head restraints, the audio controlled by the ‘floating’ 8-inch infotainment display.
Thinner A-pillars offer an increase in the driver’s field of vision, the view between the windscreen and door frames not as restricted as heretofore.
On the road
The three-cylinder, one-litre turbo-petrol is not lacking in enthusiasm, its 117bhp and 180Nm of torque well capable of delivering calm and serenity, or dispensing with tarmac with more alacrity than might be assumed from so diminutive a unit.
Driven through a smooth action six-speed manual or a very pleasant, dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic. Handling is dependable and only those who should have chosen the GTR, will find issues with what it offers.
“D-Mode” is available from SV Premium and allows drivers to switch between three modes, Standard, Eco and Sport, adjusting the response of the car depending on the road or the driver’s mood. On my short afternoon drive in the new Juke, I left it in Standard, with a brief visit to Sport on a motorway merging lane – lots of revs and controlled aggression.
The tech menu on the new Nissan JUKE outlined a plethora of advanced driving assistance technologies and infotainment options. Safety features include Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Recognition, Intelligent Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Intervention.
Blind Spot Intervention warns drivers when there is a vehicle hidden from view alongside them and nudges the Juke back into the lane to prevent a collision.
Juke also gets Nissan’s advanced ProPILOT technology, which semi autonomously keeps the JUKE in lane and maintaining a constant, safe distance from other cars, even in slow-moving queues.
The Juke’s infotainment system includes smartphone integration on the eight-inch display, to your Apple or Android, an app to control and monitor the Juke, and in-car Wi-Fi for data-hungry passengers.
Driver’s not using the phone’s navigation can access TomTom Maps & Live Traffic. The Juke’s Google Assistant compatibility offers a wide range of commands, including the ability for drivers to send destinations to the car's navigation system by talking to their smart device.
Juke Trim Levels and Pricing
The Juke is available in 5 different grades – XE, SV, SV Premium, SVE and N-Design. The entry-grade XE model will be available from €21,995 rising to €26,950 for the range-topping fully equipped SVE and N-Design grade versions.
· XE – From €21,995
· SV – From €23,650
· SV Premium – From €24,650
· SVE – From €26,950
· N-Design – From €26,950
Tony Toner is a member of the Association of Professional Motoring Press and a voting juror on Irish Car & Irish Van of the Year.