For interior comfort, ‘monoform’ seats – like those in the latest Qashqai – are standard and can be specified with Alcantara or leather upholstery. There are better-quality plastics, too. These were a necessity given that rivals now include the Seat Arona and Skoda Karoq, both of which come with excellent (if unexciting) Volkswagen Group interiors.
Our Juke uses a 115bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that’s taken from the Nissan Micra and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Not that there’s any choice: the 1.0 DIG-T unit is the only powertrain currently available on the Juke, although more are anticipated, including a plug-in hybrid variant. Don’t expect a fully electric version. A seven-speed automatic is an option, but 60% of buyers opt for the manual.
We’ve gone for the mid-range Tekna trim, which makes up a third of sales. It adds £5100 to the cost of the entry-level Juke Visia but includes so much equipment that it’s hard to think what else you would need.
Highlights include a 360deg camera, eight Bose speakers, sat-nav, privacy glass and very kerbable 19in alloy wheels. There’s also a host of driver assist systems including emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, blindspot intervention and traffic sign recognition.
Our only option is the £1145 twotone pack, which brings metallic rust paint and black roof and mirrors. It’s a feature that a third of buyers choose and, in my opinion, shows the Juke’s styling in its best light. We recently gave the Juke the full road test treatment, in which we acknowledged that the new car has “mellowed and matured agreeably enough” and has “gained some practicality and good manners to address the most conspicuous vulnerabilities of the original version”. Its 3.5-star rating puts it behind rivals including the Ford Puma, VW T-Cross and Seat Arona.
Now my job is to see how it fares in day-to-day life. Will passengers young and old be comfortable in the back? Is the extra boot space usable? Will the infotainment system hold its own against strong competition?
In my first few journeys around town and on the motorway, the Juke has been a pleasant enough place to be. Over the coming months, though, I’ll be setting the Juke sterner challenges in order to prove itself as a take-anywhere daily driver.
It has been a busy few months for new crossover hatchbacks but, among the arrivals we’ve seen since the Juke road test (Peugeot 2008, Renault Captur and Ford Puma), it’s only the Ford I would definitely choose over it. I like the Juke’s visual attitude but also appreciate how much more practical it has become – and missing out on the Captur’s four-pot turbo engines may not be a great loss.
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Nissan Juke Tekna 1.0 DIG-T 117 specification
Specs: Price New £22,495 Price as tested £23,640 Options Two-tone Fuji Sunset Red paint with Pearl Black roof, mirrors and shark fin antenna £1145