Nissan are without a doubt the king of the crossover. The QashQai, in many ways the predecessor to the new Juke model, was the first of its kind, where 4×4 met family cars in a strange but somewhat logical hybrid combination. Now they have a whole section of the market, encompassing the lovers of aggressive 4x4s and those who need a practical car into one group and making them quite enjoy the journey.
Whilst the premise is clever, what do we think of the Juke itself?
Firstly, the looks. Personally, this isn’t my cup of tea – but I tend not to like any 4×4-esque model that pretends to be something it is not. The snub rounded nose seems to resemble something a little bit amphibian to me, and the overall shape leans towards bulbous and peculiar. However, after numerous conversations around the office and town, it seems that this definitely cannot be written off right away as a design fail, because there are many people who feel the shape actually gives it a sport edge, although I have always felt that angular lines would be more likely to have that effect.
As for the performance, this is rather more positive. The small size mean that this is a lighter weight sibling to the QashQai, and the reasonable engines have the ability to give you a pretty exciting drive. I wouldn’t pay much attention to the diesel versions judging from the feeling in the industry at large, it looks like the direct injection turbo petrol engine is winning hands down in this fight. With 187bhp, it’ll propel the Juke from 0-62mph in 8.0 seconds, whilst still manages to achieve the reasonable average 40mpg that will be demanded by your practical side.
All in all the Juke is a bit of a mixed bag. I wonder if it may be too small to truly square up to others patrolling crossover territory, but it is definitely a good way to have fun in a 4×4 without actually having to own a 4×4…
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