Review: Nissan Juke 1.6 - the fun starts here
Looking for a small 4 x 4? The 1.6 Nissan Juke is where the fun starts, says Steve Walker:
To look at the Juke, you'd think it had just come off a stage of the Paris Dakar Rally. The big wheels, extended ground clearance and body protection clearly hint at some all terrain ability but much of the effort that has gone into developing the car was actually focused on creating a sporty feel on the road.
The 4x4 set-up itself is Nissan's advanced All-MODE 4x4-i torque-vectoring system. As well as distributing power between the front and rear axles, it can also split drive between the two rear wheels, reducing understeer and increasing general stability in corners.
There seems to be a huge amount going on with the Juke's design but against the odds, the various elements do mesh together in cohesive fashion. The look is highly adventurous with two sets of headlamps staring out from the front end, vast bodywork bulges over the wheels and the striking dogleg roofline that slopes away violently from the top of the windscreen.
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Nissan would like you to see this car as a cross between 4x4 and sportscar, a macho alternative to a supermini for youthful urban motorists, roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful.
The Juke is certainly all of these things. True, it won't appeal to everyone but that's because it isn't supposed to. If you love it, you'll really love it. But even if the opposite is true, you have to admire Nissan for having the courage to do something different.
At a stroke, it makes other supposedly funky small cars - the Kia Soul, the Toyota Urban Cruiser, even the MINI - look rather dull and compromised. Here at last is SUV-like style for the small car sector without any SUV-like compromises, precisely the same trick the company's bigger Qashqai model pulled off in targeting bigger family-sized models in the larger market segment above. It's an approach that's worked once more here and one that will doubtless be much-copied, just as the Qashqai was. But this is the original. And if you're either young, or young at heart, I can see why you may also think it be the best.
Statistics: Nissan Juke 1.6
Price: £13,395 to £20,495
0-62 mph: 8 to 11.5
Max speed: 106 to 134
Co2 (g/km): 139 to 175
Combined mpg: 37.2 to 47.1
Ins. Grp. (1-50): 11 to 20
Length (mm): 4,135
Width (mm): 1,778
Height (mm): 1,565
Weight (kg): 1,645 to 1,860
Warranty (years): 3
Warranty (miles): 60,000
Service int. (miles): 12,500 to 18,000
Boot Cap. (litres): 207 to 251