Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna review

Nissan Juke 1.6 DIG-T Tekna intercooler

What a breath of fresh air. It’s cool, it’s fun, it is no joke. I really like Nissan’s Juke.

Nissan are really good at finding and exploiting niches. Afterwards everybody (well nearly everybody) says: of course, obvious isn’t it?

Just so with the Juke. It is full of surprises. Pleasant ones.

There are three throttle settings called D-mod; Eco, normal and sport. You pick your own fuel consumption. Dial in the fun and you will know you are paying for it at the pump. The settings also affect the steering. I got over 8 litres per 100km, driving at 120km/h on the N2 and going up and down an eight storey parking garage every day. You could get close t0 7 litres per 100km if you drive in eco mode.

Driving impressions    

The turbo petrol Juke is a high riding hot hatch – 140kW @ 5 600 and 240Nm @ 5 000 via a silky smooth 6-speed manual box. Joy to drive.

In sport mode this car has a huge grin factor and is recommended to banish the blues. It grips well, feels fast and corners like a demon. The steering is good, accurate and above par.

The gearbox clutch marriage is a happy one. The Juke is a pleasure to drive. The diving position is good and the seats hold you in place.

Acceleration in sport mode when the turbo kicks in feels quick. Nissan claim 0 to 100 in 7.46 seconds and a top speed of 215km/h.

Weak points

The computer menu button is in a bad position in the instrument binnacle. you reach it through the steering wheel. An epic design fail.

This little turbo petrol engine tends to be thirsty, especially in sport mode  on an exciting road. Nissan’s claimed 6.9 litre per 100km combined consumption will be hard to match. I got nearer to 8 litre/100km.

It’s got a small boot, which is divided into a bottom drawer for your laptop and lunch box and an upper shelf for maybe 6 shopping bags. If it’s just two of you and you fold down the back seats you get a pretty decent boot. The Juke is actually a small car in the size class of the Mini and a bit larger than a Polo.

Good points

The Juke has a huge fun factor. It is nippy, cheeky and slightly naughty. The Juke has character.

When the turbo kicks in you feel the surge of power.

I like the design of both the exterior and the interior. It stands out from the crowd. The interior is very clever, cosy and practical. The exterior almost unique with flowing lines curving over very sexy hips.

The cabin is well designed and put together. It is also very different, and I think tasteful. Some will say its garish. That is their problem. I like the way different textures, colours and surfacers are brought together into a harmonious whole. It has more elbow space than its competitors and does not feel cramped.

Summary

In spite of little niggles the Juke carves a new unique niche for itself. It rules the roost. Watch it sell.

Costs as tested R261 925 for the Tekna, but base model is R203 925.  Competitors include the Mini Countryman Cooper R296 881, Suzuki SX4 R245 900, CrossPolo R234 100, Mazda 2 R212 950, Citroen DS3 R268 400 and Audi A1 R253 000.

The Juke is better value than its competitors, and I think a better buy.

It comes as standard with cruise control, auto aircon, Bluetooth, audio and cruise control on a fully adjustable leather steering wheel, data display, electric windows, immobiliser, electric mirrors and all the driving safety kit.

Warranty

Service intervals for the turbo models are 10 000km, and 15 000km for the normally aspirated. Warranties are 3 year / 100 000km. Service contract is 90 000/ 3 years.


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