Nissan Juke 1.5 dCi driven
You know there's a 'but' coming when someone lists all your great attributes – 'you're funny, smart, good-looking, but…'. Almost before the word is uttered you know the 'but' will ultimately deliver the final judgement.
Take the Nissan Juke 1.5 dCi. Surely there isn't a better looking crossover on the market? It's also fun to drive, comfortable and reasonably equipped.
The new 109bhp diesel engine is economical, too, yet it doesn't detract from the car's sportiness. It's responsive, has plenty of power and the car retains the nimble handling that we like so much in the petrol Juke models. Also, whereas the short gearing of the 1.6 petrol makes for high revs and lots of noise, this is not an issue with the diesel. It sounds a little rumbly, true, but it's a refined motorway cruiser and road- and wind noise are not issues.
Entry-level Visia versions are also reasonably well equipped, with alloys, air-con and electric windows. Most buyers will opt for Acenta trim, however, which gets climate control, Bluetooth, an iPod connection and Nissan's Dynamic Control System, which lets you alter the steering and accelerator settings to be sporty or eco-friendly.
So here it comes…. the but. The diesel version is £1300 more expensive than the 1.6 petrol. If you spec the most popular Acenta trim with metallic paint, you are looking at spending the best part of £16k on a Juke. Think of what else you can get for £16,000 – our current car of the year, the Audi A1, for example. Also the diesel's official average fuel economy of 55mpg doesn't look that impressive compared with the 1.6 petrol's 44mpg either.
Finally, there's not a lot of space in the back and, despite the list price, some of the cabin plastics feel cheap.
There's a lot to like about the Juke 1.5 dCi, but…
What Car? says
There's a lot to like if you think the price is right