What is it?
The all-new Nissan Juke, of which we’ve driven one variant before – a not especially pokey diesel variety, sampled abroad.
This version is a tad more relevant to the Juke’s supposed purpose of being a crossover between an SUV and – get this – a sports car. A 1.6 turbo with 188bhp provides what should be a hot-hatch level of shove.
At a touch over £17,000, the 4.1-metre-long Juke is of hot-hatch price and length, too, yet funkier looking than most. The styling cuts some width from the rear cabin and the boot, but I suspect not drastically enough for it to be a deal breaker. The cabin’s cutely designed, too.
Do you feel, though, slightly unsettled about the idea of a cross between an SUV and a sports car? Me too. From a marketing viewpoint, I can see the appeal. But from an engineering or driving perspective, you can imagine the compromises.
What’s it like?
It’s certainly no full SUV. This test Juke is a front-wheel-drive model with road tyres, but at 1300kg and 1570mm it’s still heavier and taller than something sporting ought to be.
So it seems to me that Nissan has done the obvious thing to get it to display some dynamism, and made it hard. Too hard.