Nissan Juke Tekna Hybrid – Reviewed

In Car Reviews, Hybrid, Nissan by Neil Lyndon

The thing I loved most about the new Nissan Juke was its reversing alarm

Car Reviewed: Nissan Juke Hybrid Tekna

When it’s being driven backwards, this car emits a light, rhythmical “chuff-chuff-chuff” sound like one of the dear old steam engines of my childhood, idling at the platform before pulling out on its way to work and oblivion.

Who could fail to be won over by such a charming device? And I would have to admit that I needed some winning over with the Juke.

The original Nissan Juke subcompact crossover SUV, dating from 2010, irked me so comprehensively that I didn’t even want to set eyes on it, still less get inside and drive. The combination of that high waistline like an Empire-line ballgown and those slim side windows like an armoured car struck me as the acme of pointlessness, of style over function. Who could resist calling it a Joke?

Plenty of people, evidently. Despite my disdain, that first Juke sold like hot dogs at a street-corner stall on an icy February day in New York. Customers mopped it up – which only goes to prove something like “what do I know about anything?”, you might say.

The second generation car from 2019 was far less irksome, more like a serious car. Sharing its platform with the Renault Captur, this Juke had solid virtues such as looks you could live with and a clam-like grip through corners.

The latest version consolidates these qualities. It’s also become a pleasure to look at. The two-tone colour job on our loan car, with the body in Magnetic Blue and roof in Pearl Black, set a more than satisfactory tone on first acquaintance.

Inside, five adults can be accommodated comfortably, but an indefensibly small rear window still hampers rearward visibility. At least in our Tekna spec test car, however, when you engage reverse, you get not only the pleasure of that chuff-chuff-chuff but also the aid of a reversing camera with 360⁰ all-around capability. Meanwhile, the eight-speaker Bose hi-fi system can bang out your favourite music with enough volume to bring on a bout of tinnitus.

The hybrid system in our car, combining a 1600cc petrol engine and a 105Kw, adds up to 141bhp, which is a perfectly OK amount of shove, with 0-60mph in fractionally under 10 seconds. However, this Juke – perhaps as a consequence of the added weight that results from the hybrid set-up – handles its powers less than competently with a noticeably jarring ride and a dithery uncertainty through corners. At the same time, the steering lacks feel and feedback. Put these characteristics together and you get a recipe for not much fun.

The hybrid Juke’s battery pack resides beneath the boot’s floor, significantly reducing load space. As a result, it would be good for holiday luggage for a couple rather than for a family. The 60/40 split for the folding rear seats also provides ample carrying space for longer loads.

At £30320, our test Juke was not so terrifyingly expensive as a lot of pretty ordinary cars that come our way, but it’s still a hefty chunk of change to lay out on a vehicle whose most endearing feature is its reversing alarm.

Author Rating 3.7/5

Car reviewed: Nissan Juke Tekna Hybrid

on the road price as tested £30,320

  • 0-62mph 10.1secs
  • Top speed 103mph
  • Mechanical 1.6-litre petrol / 1.2kWh hybrid powertrain
  • Fuel Economy WLTP Combined 56mpg
  • Power 141bhp combined engine/motor
  • Torque 148Nm@3600rpm
  • Dimensions MM 4210 L / 1800 W / 1593 H
  • CO2 emissions WLTP 115g/km
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic front-wheel-drive
  • Bootspace 354

Neil Lyndon

Motoring Correspondent

Neil Lyndon has been a journalist, broadcaster and writer on the UK’s national stage for 40 years, writing for every “quality” newspaper on Fleet Street. He started writing about cars and motorbikes for The Sunday Times in the 1980s and was Motoring Correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph for 20 years, having previously written a column on motorbikes for Esquire. He is also recognised as a leading commentator on gender politics, having published No More Sex War in 1992 – the first ever critique of feminism from a radical, egalitarian point of view.

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