16.8.2010 Nissan Juke review
Motorists want more fun and emotion from their cars, says Nissan. Nissan was proved correct with its Qashqai ‘crossover.’ Some 80% of buyers have never bought Nissans before. And with strong advance orders for its smaller brother, the Juke, also being built in Sunderland, this SUV blended with sports coupe looks set to be another winner. Despite the avant-garde styling the technology is proven stuff and so should leave Nissan’s reputation for reliability unsullied. It’s not a bad drive, petrol models are more pleasant than diesel. Second hand values should be good.
Review by Russell Bray for WhatGreenCar.com
Compared to the most potent 134mph, 187bhp 1.6 litre turbo-petrol; the 1461cc, four-cylinder 108bhp turbo-diesel was rough and noisy and hampered by a notchy six-speed manual gearbox. Diesel version achieves 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds and has a 110mph top speed. Co2 rating is 134g/km. Normally aspirated 115bhp petrol engine is expected to be the best seller with near identical 0-62mph and top speed. All-wheel drive, as opposed to front-drive only, available with (CVT) continuously variable automatic transmission.
Light power assisted steering – heavier if you select sport mode – means you don’t feel the Juke’s 1225kg kerb weight and parking is no sweat either. But despite the hype it’s no sports car with plenty of body lean in corners and a firm and jiggly ride on the German roads tested on. Our riverbed roads will be worse. Nissan’s Sunderland engineers say the 1.6 non-turbo petrol handles best, partly because the engine is lighter but frustratingly there were none to try.
Much more interesting than your average hatchback ‘crossing’ the lower half of a sports utility vehicle with the top half of a sports coupe. Result looks rather beach buggy though concealed rear door handles make the Juke look a litte coupe like. Despite the big wheels and chunky styling the Juke, a smaller brother to the Qashqai, is a full 20cms shorter than a Ford Focus. Unusual front light treatment means the Juke is distinctive even at night. Length 4135mm. Width 1765mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Front cabin a close fit because of ensconced sports car-like styling. Seats fine but steering wheel only adjusts for angle, not for reach, which might be awkward if you are tall. Motorcycle inspired instruments (and centre console which is shaped like a fuel tank!) okay to read. Centre display for heating/ventilation also shows functions such as fuel consumption or cornering g-force and adjusting driving characteristics between sport, normal and Eco. Easy to use but set too low down from the driver’s line of sight.
All Jukes have alloy wheels, air conditioning, electric windows front and rear, 60/40 split folding rear seats, CD/radio, electronic stability programme (ESP) and six airbags. Acenta models gain larger wheels, Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, USB audio connection, leather covered steering wheel, body-coloured door mirrors, cruise control and Nissan Dynamic Control System which lets the driver alter the car's dynamic settings and climate control. Metallic paint is £400.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official figures: Combined figures only available at present. Nissan says 55mpg for the diesel manual while CO2 emissions of 134g/km put it in band E at £110 road tax per year. Other consumptions: 44mpg for petrol manual, 41mpg for the turbo petrol manual and 37mpg for the CVT turbo petrol 4x4. Insurance groupings still awaited. Warranty covers three years/60,000 miles.
The 1461cc eight-valve diesel engine, with 108bhp at 4,000 rpm and 177lbss ft of torque at 1,750 rpm, delivers good fuel economy and low emissions (CO2 is an OK but not great 134g/km). This common rail engine has a fuel return rail and control unit for improved fuel efficiency. Injection pressure is 1,600 bar. Improved glow-plug performance speeds up cold start performance. Emission control systems include a diesel particulate filter (DPF), with a fifth injector for regeneration and cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR). WhatGreenCar rating not available until full emission figures released.
Model tested: Nissan Juke 1.5dCi Visia
Body-style: Five-door SUV ‘Crossover’
Engine/CO2: 108bhp 1.5 litre turbo diesel / 134g/km
0-60mph:0-62mph: 11.2 seconds. Top speed 110mph
Trim grades: Visia, Acenta, Tekna
On-road price: from £12,795. Test car £14,180br />
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles
In the showroom: September 24
Review rating: 3.5 stars
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