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1.0 DiG-T 114 N-Connecta 5dr
Nissan's second generation Juke is slightly more costly and remains wilfully weird: but June Neary still likes it anyway
What are the key female-orientated cars of the last five years? The MINI, the Fiat 500 and the Nissan Juke I'd say. All have been lately updated. And all have much the same vibe as they did before. Which is either laziness on their makers' part. Or testament to how right those brands got things in the first place. Let's check out the latest Juke, the car that kick-started the trend for small, fashionable Crossovers.
It's still cute. The changes made to this MK2 model see it gain exaggerated wheel arches, a rising window line, strong shoulders and a squat rear end. The full-LED circular headlights placed high on the front bumper reference those of the original Juke's, and feature a neat Y-shaped signature which I really liked. Above them sit slim LED daytime running lights that flank the nose and a narrow grille. This MK2 model is 35mm wider and 75mm longer nose to tail than before, but most significantly, the wheelbase has increased by 105mm. It certainly appears a larger, more spacious car. The cabin's a bit bigger than that of the original car, with rear knee room increasing by 58mm and headroom growing by 11mm. Up front, sitting on top of the revised fascia is a smarter 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and plusher variants get a seven-inch colour driver-information display within the instrument panel. Out back, the hatch is 131mm wider than before and it accesses a boot that's now 422-litres in size, an increase of 68-litres over the first generation model.
The main thing wrong with the original Juke in my humble opinion was its wheezy entry-level 1.6-litre engine. Now things are much better. This MK2 model uses a 117PS 1.0-litre petrol turbo unit which is much revvier, though it doesn't take especially well to being paired with the optional CVT auto gearbox. From the manual model, expect a WLTP-rated combined cycle fuel figure of 47.9mpg and a WLTP-rated CO2 figure of 135g/km. At the wheel, the driving position is massively improved - there's at last a reach-adjustable steering wheel and smart Monoform sports seats are standard. Plus of course there's plenty of driver-assistance technology, primarily Nissan ProPILOT, the brand's semi-autonomous driver aid. This is capable of controlling the throttle, braking and steering while driving in a single lane on motorway-style roads. It's optional on N-Connecta trim cars and standard from Tekna grade upwards. In addition, the Juke gains intelligent automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, speed-limit and traffic-sign recognition, lane-keep assist and rear cross-traffic alert.
One of the reasons the Juke has sold so well is that always been relatively affordable for a car of its kind. Prices have risen with this MK2 model, but with asking prices starting from around £17,500, it's still decent value. Scope for exterior personalisation has always been key to Juke ownership, so this MK2 model can feel very bespoke if you want it to be. It's available in 11 different colours, with wheels ranging from 16-inch steel rims with covers to 19-inch alloys. Top-spec Tekna+ cars are available with contrasting finishes on the roof and mirrors, too. Buyers will also want cutting-edge media connectivity, so on-board Wi-Fi now appears, as do TomTom maps with live traffic and a voice-controlled Google Assistant. The NissanConnect remote services app is now compatible with the Juke, allowing owners to interact with their cars from wherever they are via their smartphone. Three optional interior schemes in orange, white or black introduce leather and Alcantara upholstery, too. All cars from Acenta grade upwards get the latest eight-inch infotainment unit as standard, while every car gets cruise control with a speed limiter function and high beam assist.
Willingly, yes. I'm happy it's stayed as cheeky and appealing as it always was.
|Nissan JUKE HATCHBACK 1.0 DiG-T 114 N-Connecta 5dr|
|* Excess mileage charges will apply|
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