New Ford Puma & Nissan Juke vs Volkswagen T-Roc: interior
The all-new Ford Puma and Nissan Juke have the potential to take charge of the popular small SUV market. But first they have to beat the Volkswagen T-Roc...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
Each car comes with a central front armrest, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a steering wheel that adjusts for reach as well as height (whereas the old Juke’s wheel went up and down only). The Juke’s driver’s seat is the only one that isn’t available with adjustable lumbar support (you get this as standard on the Puma, while it’s a £70 option on the T-Roc), and after a while you do start to bemoan the shortage of lower back support.
The Juke also makes do with a fiddly lever to adjust the backrest angle; the other two have wheel adjusters that are much easier to use when you’re making minor tweaks. Meanwhile, although the T-Roc’s seat is firm yet supportive on a motorway drive, around corners you find yourself clinging to the steering wheel to stop yourself from sliding sideways. The Puma’s driver’s seat is the best both for cradling you in bends and cushioning on longer runs.
You also get a full digital instrument panel in the Puma. You have to pay £430 to add this to the T-Roc; otherwise, both it and the Juke come with conventional analogue dials.
Small SUVs – at least those without a premium badge – haven’t, until now, been championed for their snazzy interiors. This is something we’ve often criticised the T-Roc for, because while everything inside feels as well screwed together as the Forth Bridge and will probably prove just as durable, sadly it’s also about as plush. Seriously, the sea of shiny, hard plastic you’re faced with leaves you feeling as flat as a two-day-old glass of Coke.
Ford has at least tried to dress the Puma a little more lavishly; there are some soft-touch surfaces, but these are intertwined with some flimsier plastics that feel a bit low rent. So, well done Nissan. This Tekna+ model has some really swish touches, such as Alcantara trim on the dashboard and seats, gloss black plastic trims and smart, chrome-rimmed turbine-style air vents. There are still some harder plastics, but these are not at the forefront like they are in the other two.
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