Nissan Juke

The quirkiness and sense of fun of the original Juke’s interior design was toned down a little this time around, and it was augmented by a pretty clear effort to add some richer material and technological allure. There’s still plenty of visual character and a little bit of fun factor in evidence, though, and both can be dialled up beyond the level of our test car if you opt for range-topping Tekna+ trim.

While the design flair hasn’t been allowed to take over, or to prevent the Juke from delivering passenger space or ambient perceived quality to make it competitive with its rivals, there are still plenty of curved, bulbous surfaces distributed throughout the cabin. That’s quite a contrast against the flat-faced Kamiq and the drab Vauxhall Crossland. The gear lever’s encircling within a ring of ambient lighting is a nice touch, too. 

You sit high and slightly bent-legged at the controls, with better visibility of the world outside than you get in a traditional hatchback like the Clio. The instruments are analogue dials, with a good-sized digital drive computer screen positioned between them that can display the usual choice of trip computer or in-car entertainment information. The ritziest small crossovers now offer fully digital clocks, of course – but the Juke’s instrument binnacle is far from antiquated and it’s clear, simple and easy to configure to your liking.

Nissan’s use of leather and chromed plastic smacks of an attempt to lift the Juke’s ambience upmarket, which is moderately successful, although perceived quality is a little inconsistent. More impressive is how much extra space has been found inside the car relative to what was a pretty impractical showing previously.

Although the Juke isn’t the best-packaged or most accommodating car in its class, it no longer gets the wooden spoon for second-row occupant room or for boot space. Taller adults can sit line astern now pretty comfortably, whereas they wouldn’t have had a hope of doing so before. The car’s 422-litre boot is respectable for capacity, too – up 20% for volume on the last car, better than the Puma (401 litres, discounting its underfloor Megabox) and equal to the Captur (422 litres) and made accessible by an adjustable-level floor.

The hybrid loses 68 litres of space, owing to the placement of its 1.2kWh drive battery, but it’s still larger than that of the Captur E-Tech (326 litres). Rear seat space is more generous than in that car, too.

Nissan Juke multimedia

Only the very cheapest, Visia-grade Jukes go without a 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system. You needn’t venture beyond one-up Acenta trim to get that, and it includes smartphone mirroring for both Apple and Android phones, as well as NissanConnect live information services and a rear-view camera.

N-Connecta spec includes TomTom sat-nav with live traffic information, and it’s a pretty good system that’s simple to programme and set up and easy to follow – much as most are likely to use it.

It’s a shame that the addition of the hybrid to the Juke line-up didn’t bring with it the integration of the more modern screen used in the latest Nissan Qashqai and Nissan Ariya. As it stands, the 8.0in system feels outdated graphically, although it’s unlikely to offend either.

You only get the Bose Personal Plus surround audio set-up if you climb all the way to Tekna grade. It’s not the best reason to spend the extra money, although it does create a convincing sense of width to its surround sound music reproduction.

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