Nissan’s plans for ‘crossover’ world domination take another step forward, as the Japanese manufacturer unveils the new Juke, a supermini that’s part SUV and part sportscar.
The Nissan Juke features radical styling, an interior inspired by motorbikes and a top spec turbo petrol engine with four-wheel drive. It’s aiming to shake up the supermini segment, and should give even the and brand-new Audi A1 some serious competition.
Nissan’s crossover pedigree
If there’s one thing Nissan knows how to do really well it’s build a game-changing crossover. The Nissan Qashqai has been phenomenally successful competing against ordinary family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf.
Now it’s the Juke’s turn in the supermini sector. Not everyone will like the way it looks – but they won’t be able to ignore it, and nor will they mistake it for anything else on the road.
Helping the inside keep up with the outside, the Nissan Juke features a transmission tunnel modelled on a motor bike fuel tank, complete with high-set gearlever and cup holders.
A new Nissan Dynamic Control System features a screen and buttons that change function depending on mode. In one mode they control the air conditioning, in another the driving experience (Normal, Comfort, Sport and Eco are offered), while trip computer data and other settings are also accessed through the system.
Quality and attention to detail are said to be high throughout the five-seater cabin, with a wide selection of materials and finishes incorporated into a striking overall design. On a practical note, the Juke offers 251-litres of boot space and split-fold rear seats.
New turbo petrol power
Powering the new Nissan Juke at launch will be a choice of one diesel and two petrol engines.
The diesel is a 108bhp version of Nissan (and Renault’s) familiar 1.5-litre dCi turbo, while the entry-level petrol is a revised version of the existing 1.6. Now with ‘dual injection’ for improved combustion, this generates 115bhp.
At the top of the range is a new 1.6-litre turbo petrol with direct injection. It’s 187bhp output makes it as powerful as an ordinary 2.5-litre engine, but with greater efficiency.
The very top spec turbo petrol Juke will include Nissan’s latest All-Mode 4x4i drivetrain, everything else makes do with front-wheel drive only. A manual gearbox is standard, with CVT automatic transmission optional on the petrols.
Performance and economy figures have not yet been released.
Custom options but normal trim levels
The Juke will be offered in Nissan’s familiar Visia, Acenta and Tekna trim levels, and include a comprehensive level of standard equipment.
Aimed at younger buyers and urbanites, it is expected to bring new customers to the Nissan brand. They will be able to personalise their Juke with optional accessories ranging from a wide choice of alloy wheels to bodywork detailing, illuminated door sills and tailpipe finishers.
Geneva show debut
However, it is still said to be extremely car-like to drive, with a centre of gravity much closer to a regular supermini than an SUV.
The Nissan Juke makes its official public debut at the Geneva motor show in March. It goes on sale later this year – pricing and specification details to follow.
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