Nissan would like you to see this car as a cross between 4x4 and sportscar, a macho alternative to a supermini for youthful urban motorists, roomy yet compact, robust yet dynamic and practical yet playful.
The Juke is certainly all of these things. True, it won’t appeal to everyone but that’s because it isn’t supposed to. If you love it, you’ll really love it. But even if the opposite is true, you have to admire Nissan for having the courage to do something different. Very different.
To look at the Juke, you’d think it had just come off a stage of the Paris Dakar Rally. The big wheels, extended ground clearance and body protection clearly hint at some all terrain ability but much of the effort that has gone into developing the car was actually focused on creating a sporty feel on the road.
The 4x4 set-up itself is Nissan’s advanced All-MODE 4x4-i torque-vectoring system. As well as distributing power between the front and rear axels, it can also split drive between the two rear wheels, reducing under steer and increasing general stability in corners. Whether front or rear-wheel-drive, the Juke has the ground clearance and chunky tyres to help it cope with the high kerbs and traffic calming measures that litter our urban centres.
Here at last is SUV-like style for the small car sector without any SUV-like compromises one that will doubtless be much-copied, just as the Qashqai was.
But this is the original. And if you’re either young, or young at heart, I can see why you may also think it be the best.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Nissan Juke 1.6
PRICES: £13,395 - £20,295 - on the road
INSURANCE GROUPS: 11-12
CO2 EMISSIONS: 147g/km
PERFORMANCE: Max Speed 111mph / 0-60mph 11.0s
FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 53.3mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Twin front/side airbags, ABS, brakeforce distribution [est]
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE ?: Length/Width/Height: 4135/1765/1570mm.