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Nissan Juke

NISSAN PUTS ITS JUKES UP (some text hidden)

Nissan's improved Juke is slightly more costly and remains wilfully weird: but June Neary still likes it anyway

Will It Suit Me?word count: 75

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 look pretty much the same 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.

Practicalitiesword count: 146

The changes made to this revised model are slight. They include a more striking dark chrome V-motion grille, dark headlamp trimming and dark turn indicators on the door mirrors. And there's an even wider range of vibrant body colours. This is one of the bigger cars in its class, but it remains one of the more fashionable ones, inside as well as out. I love the motorbike-style central console that continues inside and features such as the console, door trims and other elements can be individually coloured red, white, black or even bright yellow. As for the luggage bay, well rivals offer more cargo space but here you get a still-respectable 354-litres. Versatility is enhanced with flat folding rear seat, making it easier to load large objects, while the inclusion of a two-stage floor in the luggage area makes the space on offer even more flexible.

Behind the Wheelword count: 223

The main thing wrong with the original Juke in my humble opinion was its wheezy entry-level 1.6-litre engine. You can still get that (in fact you have to have it if you want an affordable model with auto transmission) but you'd do much better to buy yourself a car fitted out with the pleasanter 1.2 DIG-T petrol turbocharged unit. This 1197cc turbo four packs a real punch, offering sharper acceleration and greater torque than the wheezier normally aspirated 1.6. A turbocharged 1.6-litre DIG-T unit is offered at the top of the range, producing 190PS and available in both front and all-wheel drive versions. Go for an all-wheel drive variant and you have the option to specify the Xtronic transmission gearbox, which further improves fuel efficiency and acceleration. Should you want diesel power, there's also a 110PS 1.5-litre dCi version. The Juke's elevated stance but diminutive overall length doesn't promise a stellar driving experience, but within a few yards you'll realise that this is a fun car to hustle about. Nissan Dynamic Control helps here; an advanced driver control system giving the choice of three different driving modes, Normal, Sport or Eco, along with instant driving information and vehicle setting controls. The torque vectoring system on the all-wheel drive model incorporates technology that Nissan initially used to such devastating effect on their GT-R supercar-slayer.

Value For Moneyword count: 341

One of the reasons the Juke has sold so well is that it's very affordable. Some rival manufacturers in this segment still wonder how Nissan can sell the Juke from as little as £15,000. It's not as if the Juke is lacking in equipment either. Standard on all models are LED daytime running lamps, a CD radio with an AUX-in socket, a gear-shift indicator and a tyre pressure monitor. The Visia 1.5 dCi and 1.6-litre DIG-T versions add alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, a drive computer and driver seat height adjustment. Go for the Acenta trim and you receive front fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic air conditioning, remote audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio streaming, cruise control and a speed limiter, along with the Nissan Dynamic Control System and chrome interior touches. It's no wonder this model has proven so popular. Top Tekna models add power folding door mirrors, light and rain sensors, keyless entry and the NissanConnect package which gives you a rear-view parking/reversing camera, an 'Around View' Monitor and the brand's 'Safety Shield' set-up. NissanConnect offers smartphone connectivity through a 5.8-in colour touch screen. The sat nav system integrates with Google to give information that ranges from weather forecasts to the location of fuel stations, hotels, restaurants and other points of interest. A clever send-to-car function also allows drivers to search for their destination on their PC at home, then send destination instructions to their car's NissanConnect system at the click of a button. The set-up includes Bluetooth audio streaming and mobile phone integration, as well as AUX-in and USB slots. As for running costs, well the 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine makes good use of its lower weight, standard automatic Stop/Start feature and fuel-efficient operation, delivering 128g/km of CO2 and returning a combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg. The 1.6-litre DIG-T petrol unit features emissions of 139g/km of CO2 for the 2WD versions. All give best to the diesel engine which returns better than 70mpg. Insurance is very competitive too, with an opening rating of 11E.

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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

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