Nissan Juke long-term test: report 2

The original Nissan Juke was one of the best-selling cars in the UK, but this second-generation model now faces much stiffer competition. We have four months to see if it can worry the class lead...

Juke apple car play

The car Nissan Juke N-Connecta 1.0l DIG-T 117 6-speed manual Run by Louis Shaw, social media manager

Why it’s here To prove that there's more to this second-generation Juke than just distinctive looks, and that it can perform as a practical small SUV.

Needs to be Comfortable, economical and usable around town. It also needs to be able to ferry a full house and luggage on longer trips.

Mileage 2643 List price £22,395 Target Price £19,241 Price as tested £24,835 Options fitted Paint Option (£1145), Advanced Safety Shield Pack (£1000), Heat Pack (£295) Test economy 42.0mpg Official economy 47.9mpg (combined)

17 April 2020 – You’ll want to sit down for this

There’s a certain stigma attached to the word ‘cheap’, because it’s far too often followed by the words ‘nasty’ or ‘tacky'. However, in some cases, cheap can also be cheerful, and there’s no better example than my new Nissan Juke.

You only have to look at the interior: in terms of general build quality, it’s up there with the best small SUVs, beaten only by bigger, more expensive premium-badged models like the BMW X1.

Juke interior front long-term

As I briefly mentioned in my first report, there is no overstating just how much of an improvement it is over its predecessor's. The materials, while mostly hard plastics, feel substantially better to the touch, while a more thoughtful styling approach means fewer materials have been thrown into the mix, which results in a classier, more uniform design, in my opinion.

Highlights include the faux leather trim on the dashboard and door sills, circular air vents and classy-looking, aluminum-clad gearstick – which I’m convinced is higher set than it was in the old Juke, making it easier and more enjoyable to use.

Nissan Juke trim

In fact, the ergonomics in general are, frankly, spot on for a car like this. It’s a delicate balance in an SUV, be it small or large. On the one hand you want to feel like you’re sitting above the traffic, but at the same time you want to be connected to the driving experience (in other words a feeling of being in the car, rather than on top of it). The Juke somehow manages to achieve both of those sensations.

The steering wheel has plenty of adjustment, which wasn't the case in the original Juke, and paired with well-positioned pedals and that high-set gearlever, it inspires a level of confidence the moment you sink into the driver's seat.

Steering adjustment Nissan Juke

Despite the sloping roofline, visibility out of the rear is also improved which, for those of us who live in the city, is hugely beneficial for parking and general maneuvering. It's still not quite a strong point, but the optional reversing camera makes a big difference when faced with those ‘hard to judge’ spaces.

There’s plenty of head room in the front of Juke, and with adjustable seats even my six-foot friends can get comfortable. It isn’t the largest car inside, but you certainly don’t feel like you and your passenger will be clashing elbows.

Nissan Juke steering column

That's not to say it’s all roses. I’m a stickler for details, and there is one questionable cost-saving tactic which slightly irks me. The solution for covering up the steering column (while you’re adjusting the position forward and backwards) is what appears to be a piece of felt rag glued to one side of the gap. Like transparent wrapping on a Christmas gift, it does very little to hide what's underneath. Plus, it often pops out of place while you’re making adjustments.

That said, it’s a small detail. Anyone jumping from old Juke to new will be pleasantly surprised by the changes, and if you’re struggling to remember what you used to get, just take a look at the side by side comparison.

Juke side by side interior

Read more on our long-term Nissan Juke

See more long-term test cars

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