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In The Driving Seat

By Tim Barnes-Clay Motoring Writer


Love it or hate it, Tim Barnes-Clay can’t quite make up his mind about the Nissan Juke.


admire Nissan for being different. It stands out from the crowd at the moment because it has dared to produce a car which is definitely like Marmite.

And it is certainly an odd vehicle. At first glance, it doesn’t appear fast, but it is; it doesn’t give the impression of being comfortable, but it is. Do you see where I’m going here?

said, if you’re going away on holiday or business, it is adequate for your flight case and your partner’s travel bag – so long as the luggage is small and rectangular.

The two-wheel-drive version I tested could easily work for someone who wants a slightly zany company car to stick out from the convoy of German executive models on the daily commute. It is also an ideal vehicle for pure leisure; if you’re

dynamism, offering British motorists an alternative to the traditional, uninspiring hatchback.

It seems that innovation is central to every part of the Juke’s design and, inside, you are greeted with the ‘Nissan Dynamic Control System’. This is a central command and display module like no other; it allows you to alter dynamic drive settings as well as easily control functions such as climate control. Plus, the system adopts different displays, colours

into towing, this little motor will pull up to 1200kg (braked). And there is also a four-wheel- drive available which will, in wintry or muddy surroundings, give plenty of extra grip.

As I write this, I still can’t decide whether I like the car or not. It is fun to drive – mainly because it zips away from a standing start easily, albeit in a highly-strung manner. On the other hand, I don’t like the lack of load space because, as a dad of two, I need a boot which is bigger than the Juke’s. That

So, what is the Juke all about? Well, the idea is that it brings all the benefits of the popular Qashqai into a more compact package. It is what’s known as a ‘Crossover’ vehicle because Nissan has merged the rugged appeal of an SUV with the emotive appeal of a sports car. As the fourth such model in Nissan’s European range, the car injects some much-needed

and functions, depending on the mode selected. It all adds to the fun of being behind the wheel of this nonconformist, yet very capable, car.

The Juke on test here has enough room for four and, with its 1.6 turbo and 188 horses under the bonnet, it’ll undoubtedly set all occupants’ pulses racing. With a 0-62mph sprint of 8.0 seconds and a top speed of 134mph, you can feel that Nissan meant this car to have a ‘hot-hatch’ character. And, surprisingly, it’s no juice-guzzler, returning a very reasonable 40.9mpg on the combined cycle.


Issue 32

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