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Nissan Juke Hybrid N-Connecta
Click to view picture gallery“Nissans eye-catching compact
  SUV the Juke now boasts self-
  charging hybrid power. Supermini
  sized it may be, but it fits a lot of
  car into a very socially acceptable
  package...”


GRAB YOUR ATTENTION the Juke certainly does with its sharp, high-riding styling and town-friendly size. Its sophisticated hybrid drivetrain will soothe your green conscience while its five-seater capacity, large loadbay, easy-peasy driveability, and 55mpg will satisfy on more practical levels.

First off, that hybrid powertrain. Well, for a start, it's a proper hybrid electric vehicle, unlike many cars wearing 'hybrid' badging which are really faux-hybrids using only light electrification. The Juke Hybrid is, as Nissan themselves put it, 'Fuelled by petrol; driven by electric'. As such it sports a compact 1.6-litre petrol engine teamed with an electric motor and a 1.2kWh battery pack.

The Juke's smart hi-tech set-up allows it to run either with the electric motor powering the front wheels while the petrol engine keeps the battery topped up, or with the petrol engine and electric motor working in tandem to deliver power to the driven wheels.

Fuelled by petrol;
driven by electric.
As such the Juke Hybrid
sports a compact 1.6-litre
petrol engine teamed
with an electric motor
and a 1.2kWh battery.
The Juke’s smart hi-tech
set-up allows it to run
either with the electric
motor powering the front
wheels while the petrol
engine keeps the battery
topped up, or with the
petrol engine and electric
motor working in tandem
to deliver power to the
driven wheels...”
All you need to do though is simply get in, press the Start button and drive away. Do so and you'll be rewarded by seamless progress wherever you go at whatever speed you choose. Another incredibly big 'plus' is that Juke Hybrid owners are spared the hassle of ever having to plug-in because between the regenerative braking and the compact petrol engine (which can also act as a generator) the battery pack is always being topped up.

The Juke Hybrid can also — for two miles at up to 34mph — run on pure electric alone: simply press the 'EV' button on the dash. The hybrid system will, whenever possible, drive using silent electric power, particularly when pulling away. If the battery runs down during EV driving the system automatically switches back to its hybrid mode. So whatever happens you're fully covered and need never think about what's going on below decks.

Another useful innovation that comes with the hybrid Juke is E-Pedal. To engage, just press the button between the front seats which allows one-pedal driving using only the accelerator — lifting off in this mode sees much stronger than normal regenerative braking kick in to seriously slow the Juke, if necessary, right down to a complete stop. Because of this 'E-Pedalling' is perfect, and best reserved for, smooth, stress-free driving in 20mph zones. For the record, the regular brake pedal can still be used should circumstances demand a full emergency stop.

Power-wise the Juke Hybrid hits the benchmark 62mph from standstill in a brisk 10.1 seconds and runs to 103mph. Although the Juke uses a hybrid set-up it feels like a full-electric unit that's delivering the power — it's got that same effortless pure EV surge, something made even better by slick gear changes courtesy of the Juke's electronically controlled, multi-mode, clutchless autobox.

Not only is everything in the powertrain tickety-boo but things just keep getting better because, officially, 55.4 is the mpg number you could regularly be seeing. During our week's testing we recorded an average 51.4mpg without even trying which is more than acceptable given we spent a lot of time in busy traffic in and around Plymouth as well as covering plenty of miles up, down, and round Devon's convoluted lanes. Some more very good news for drivers who hate visiting forecourts: a full tank of unleaded should sustain the Juke Hybrid for getting on for 500 miles between fill-ups.

Approach the Juke and the door auto unlocks for you. Entry (and exit) is also a breeze. Once you're settled in the cabin you'll sure be impressed. It's all smartly finished in high quality materials with fine fit and finish, and the dash is both stylish and appealingly laid out. Everything is exactly where you need it and expect to find it.

In the real world the
Juke’s ride is impressive
and a good fit with its
confidently chuckable
handling — it’s as nippy
as it’s grippy, feels
confident making quick
direction changes, and
sticks to your chosen line
all the while exhibiting
poised body control even
through tight and
twisty turns.
And while mean city
streets might seem like
its natural habitat,
out on the open road it
feels and acts agile
and sporty...”
Add to that an intuitive infotainment touchscreen 'free-standing' at dash central plus clear, easy-to-read driving information on the digital instrument panel directly ahead of the driver. And it is good to see that not just your road speed and selected gear are always shown but also the posted speed limit, plus the wheel's multifunction buttons are all clearly marked. Appreciated too is the proper knob on the main screen for map zooming — so much quicker and more accurate than finger-spreading-style.

And let's not forget the sporty seats with decent bolstering and good built-in support that together with height adjustment on the driver's seat ensures an A1 driving position with fine visibility both to the front and sides. Height adjustable seat belts add to the 'bespoke' feel while the smaller-diameter flat-bottomed sports steering wheel feels great in your palms. You also enjoy plenty of legroom and a full fist of headroom.

The act of driving is satisfyingly sweet with the stubby P-R-N-D selector lever falling nicely to hand. You can also choose between EV (pure electric), Eco, Standard or Sport driving modes. A no-fuss electric parking brake with auto hold is a welcome addition (it also applies automatically when Park is selected, or the ignition switched off). And you don't go short on in-cabin storage: along with a good-sized glovebox you'll find large siamesed cupholders, a handy bin beneath the centre armrest, and bottle-holding door bins.

Comms are comprehensive with a NissanConnect 8-inch touchscreen entertainment system plus a 7-inch full colour TFT digital driver's panel. There's also NissanConnect Services and NissanConnect navigation with TomTom Traffic, DAB radio, six speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, an Aux-in and two USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto, WiFi and voice recognition for Nav, Audio and Information voice control. Talking of which, spoken directions are infallible and countdown prompts unmissable and well timed.

The mid-range N-Connecta trim ensures plenty of 'goodies' including climate control and keyless start (Intelligent Key with walk away lock and approach unlock functions), Monoform sports seats, Drive mode selection (Sport, Normal, Eco + EV), e-Pedal (switchable one-pedal driving), multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, cruise control and speed limiter, four electric windows (one-touch-op for the driver), front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, heated powerfolding door mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear privacy glass, rear spoiler, shark fin antenna, and alloy wheels.

With a 4.2-metre nose-
to-tail footprint and
seating for five,
a thinking person will
not be expecting a boot
big enough to sleep in!
And they’d be right.
But before you complain
be aware that you still
get 354 litres of luggage
space, which is more
than enough for most.
There’s also a dual level
boot floor, and folding
down the 60:40-split
rear seatbacks opens up
a 1,114-litre loadbay.
If that’s not enough,
you can tow a
braked 750kg...”
The Juke scored a five-star EuroNCAP rating and is well kitted out for safety with automatic Intelligent Emergency Braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), lane-departure warning, dynamic vehicle control, Electronic Stability Programme, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring, LED headlights, auto lights, auto dip/main beam switching, driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, rain-sensing wipers, an SOS button you can use to directly contact the emergency services, hill-start assist, and ISOFIX child seat anchorage points on both outer rear seats. If you want even more, upgrading to the range-topping Tekna and Tekna+ versions adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert (to warn you of vehicles that are about to cross your path when you're backing out on to a road).

Unexpectedly, despite its compact dimensions, rear passengers get decent head-, knee-, and foot-room plus comfy and supportive seats with backrests set at a relaxing angle. You can even fit in three side-by-side. The bottle-holding door bins can double as cupholders plus there's a small storage box and a charging USB point. Exiting, like entering, is hassle free, courtesy of large door apertures and the practical rear seat base hip-points; another benefit of the Juke's higher-set ride height over normal superminis is that the higher placed seat squabs are easier if you're using child seats.

The Juke rolls on a set of dramatic-looking 17-inch alloy wheels shod with Bridgestone rubber and their 60-profile 'comfort' sidewalls definitely help the ride, which feels fine from any of the seats — one of our test team suffers from a seriously bad back and there were no complaints at all from her! Like most cities, Plymouth has plenty of not so good blacktop to go round but the Juke's suspension saved us, damping out the worst effects of tatty tarmac and pesky potholes.

In the real world the Juke's ride is impressive and a good fit with its confidently chuckable handling — it's as nippy as it's grippy, feels confident making quick direction changes, and sticks to your chosen line all the while exhibiting poised body control even through tight and twisty turns. And while mean city streets might seem like its natural habitat, out on the open road it feels and acts agile and sporty. The brakes do a sterling job, too: discs all round, vented at the front, they serve up powerful and feelsome braking.

With a 4.2-metre nose-to-tail footprint and seating for five, a thinking person will not be expecting a boot large enough to sleep in! And they'd be right. But before you complain be aware that you still get 354 litres of luggage space, which is more than enough for most. There's also a dual level boot floor (about five inches between the lower and upper settings); and folding down the 60:40-split rear seatbacks opens up a 1,114-litre loadbay. If that's not enough, you can tow a braked 750kg.

This new hybrid Juke is very persuasive indeed, and its self-charging character is just the job for those drivers keen to go green but who are put off by the UK's often erratic and city-centric public EV charging network. The Juke Hybrid makes a fine all-rounder, is satisfying to drive and as enjoyable on long trips as it is around the houses. A definite win-win! ~ MotorBar
.
Nissan Juke Hybrid N-Connecta | 27,250
Maximum speed: 103mph | 0-62mph: 10.1 seconds | Test Average: 51.4mpg
Power: 141bhp | Torque: 151lb ft | CO2: 115g/km

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