NISSAN is a great innovator. This is the company that brought you the Qashqai, a motor that single-handedly spawned a whole new genre of cars. It’s as if the Japanese company knew what drivers wanted before they knew it themselves.
Customers flocked to buy and the market sat up and took notice. Which motor manufacturer doesn’t now have a range of SUV-crossovers where none existed before?
And Nissan did it again with the Juke, a real trailblazer which offered an alternative to conventional small cars by giving us the supermini SUV with its must-have elevated stance.
Once more, buyers beat a path to the showrooms and the five-door hatchback went on to inspire the likes of the Ford Puma, Renault Captur and Skoda Kamiq.
The next-generation Juke is with us, and The Best Life Project ran the rule over the new iteration, with a week-long road test of a N-Connecta model with a single-litre, three-cylinder, 115bhp petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox.
The car’s looks have undergone an update but the distinctive lines remain the same and it has bags of presence and eye-appeal.
Our model was laden with tasty, usable equipment including LED lighting all-round, high beam assist, follow-me-home lighting, interior ambient lighting, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, speed limiter, heated auto-folding door mirrors, an electrical handbrake with auto-hold, rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors, connectivity suite and wifi, a six-speaker audio system, satnav, and intelligent cruise control linked to traffic sign recognition.
Hi-tech safety features include an around-view monitor, lane-keep assist, blind-spot intervention and rear cross-traffic alert
In the style department, the car has some great details, including rear spoiler, privacy glass, 17in alloys, and body-coloured door handles and mirrors. Interior highlights include leather trimmed multi-function steering wheel and sporty seat design, while there is an eye on convenience with 60/40-split-folding rear seats, front seatback pockets, luggage light, and illuminated vanity mirrors for both driver and passenger.
Hi-tech safety features include an around-view monitor, lane-keep assist, blind-spot intervention and rear cross-traffic alert.
I shared the driving with a colleague, and he (with some discerning input from his three children) writes: ‘The Juke is one of those cars that surprises the more time you spend in it. On first impressions it comes across as a functional family car but the more you drive it, the more fun it can be.
‘An impressive dashboard display is simple and there is an added sensor when parking which allows you to view the vehicle from above – perfect for those tight spots where you might not normally be able to see exactly what is on each side, in particular the passenger side.
‘The satnav display could do with a little improvement but maybe I’m just used to my phone more than anything else. It is easy enough to use, unlike other vehicles we have reviewed of late which complicate what should be a functional gadget to help you get from A to B.
‘The heated seats and several cup holders in the correct places were things the kids were keen to point out. If you are going to buy this for the family then it certainly ticks all the boxes that matter.
‘For a vehicle that may well be suited to the inner city the Juke does come into its own on the open road, and on motorway journeys it proved well up to the mark.
‘The Juke looks impressive and is an all-rounder that should remain a great choice for those with small families who want something that not only looks good but does the simple things so very well.’
Performance figures are 0-60mph in 10 seconds and a top speed of 112mph, while returning 47.9mpg on the combined cycle (manufacturer’s figures).
Price: £25, 980 (inc options).