All-new Nissan Juke turns from ‘joke’ to justified maturity

For the past decade, writes Iain Robertson, one of the most daring of new cars has led the compact crossover segment, with its avantgarde design and largely unchallenged rate of sales successes, but a new Juke is now available.

It was important to Nissan to be perceived as leading the market, rather than following it slavishly. The outgoing Juke served purpose through a likeable personality, moderate driving characteristics and an engaging sense of fun. To be frank, as the SUV based on the Micra hatchback, it lacked the space that a driver of my two metres height needs. However, based on an entirely new platform (CMF-B), it's all-change at Nissan Motor GB.

To a certain extent, were you to draw a horizontal line halfway around the former Juke, you might be able to spot where the old model ended and the new version begins. Of course, it is not as elementary as that, as the new substructure creates a significantly roomier cabin, which will only serve to enhance its practical popularity.

Nissan suggests that its newcomer is THE most-connected Nissan ever. Its safety features include Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Intervention (for the first time on any Nissan and it even guides the car out of harm’s way).

New Juke drivers also benefit from Nissan’s advanced ProPILOT technology on automatic gearbox models, which controls steering, acceleration and braking to maintain JUKE’s position in lane and a constant, safe distance from other vehicles, even in slow-moving queues. Yet, Nissan knows that its customers expect their cars to fit in with their connected lives. Thus, Juke features effortless integration of smartphones, an app to control and monitor the car, and in-car WiFi. Naturally, Apple CarPlay, or Android Auto, mirror their apps on the integrated 8.0-inch touchscreen, which also provides access to TomTom Maps & Live Traffic. Its Google Assistant includes the ability for drivers to send destinations to the car's sat-nav by talking to their smart devices.

Powering the new Juke is a 114bhp 1.0-litre turbo-petrol ‘triple’. It has bags of torque and drives through a choice of 6-speed manual, or 7-speed twin-clutch automated-manual gearboxes, the latter of which is my personal favourite, as it seems to suit the engine’s eager delivery to perfection. In that form, the Juke can manage 46.3mpg, emitting just 110g/km CO2, with a 0-60mph time of around 10.9s and a top speed of 115mph (WLTP figures). Three driving modes can be selected; Standard, Eco and Sport.

Yet, it is the somewhat softened exterior detailing that will have the greatest impact on Nissan customers, not least because it is sure to attract buyers from other brands. It is more mature and less frantic than before, while retaining the circular lamps up front, with less radical head and taillight arrays (all LED). A wide range of paint options and accessories will keep personalisation on a pinnacle and the Juke’s upmarket cabin trim more than justifies its (pre-discount) list price starting at £17,395.

FCD Summary

While the original Juke exercised a polarising effect on potential buyers, the greater normality and range of improvements of the new version will provide a compelling attraction to even more people.

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