Nissan Juke Tekna+

Nissan Juke, side
Nissan Juke, front
Nissan Juke, front
Nissan Juke, rear seats
Nissan Juke, rear
Nissan Juke, front
Nissan Juke, rear
Nissan Juke, interior
Nissan Juke , boot

DRIVE down any British high street and it won't be long before you spot a Nissan Juke.

Which is hardly surprising when you realise that the UK is the biggest market in the world for this distinctive quirky five-seater crossover.

So when the boys at Sunderland who build the car started work on the latest model after nine years of producing the original they must have had a few reservations.

Not that they needed to as the new Juke looks better, drives better and offers more creature comforts to buyers than its best selling predecessor.

Give the new model a cursory glance and you could be forgiven for not spotting the changes because the basic shape remains loosely the same and the signature circular headlamps have been retained.

But as with a lot of cars that evolve, the similarity is a bit of an illusion. Put an original model alongside a new one and the differences are striking.

The frontal look is far more dramatic thanks a re-styled more dominant grille, a new look bonnet and totally different high mounted signature sidelights. And for the first time you can order a Juke with a different coloured roof to that of the body.

At the rear the most noticeable difference comes with the dropping of the boomerang-style lights in favour of more conventional ones as well as changes to the tailgate.

In fact the tailgate opening is now wider to make it easier to load larger items and the new car's boot space has been increased by a hefty 20 per cent allowing it to now pack in 422 litres of luggage.

Overall the new Juke is now 75mm longer, 29mm wider and has a longer wheelbase.

And the increase in size means one of the main complaints about the original model - lack of legroom in the rear seats - has been addressed.

In the original anyone tall had to almost tuck their knees under their chin to swing their legs out of the rear doors because of the narrowness of the opening. There's no such problem with the new version.

And on the subject of interiors the Tekna+ spec model - driven here - has really gone upmarket with impressive black leather and Alcantara seats and Alcantara dashboard and gearshift surround.

An eight-inch touch screen display is set into the centre of the dashboard and when you go into reverse the split screen shows not only the image of what is behind you but also a 360 degree image of the car from above so it's hard not to be able to park perfectly between the white lines of a supermarket car park.

On the entertainment front there are eight Bose speakers including one built into each of the front seat headrests for even better sound and the car has full smart phone integration via Apple CarPlay or Google Android Auto.

All models are now powered by the same 999cc, three cylinder, 117bhp engine. And despite its diminutive size it never ever really feels lacking, except perhaps for initial take-off.

Slip it into sport mode - there is standard and eco available too - and even that problem is resolved.

In fact in sport the new Juke is really quite sharp and puts a nice bit of zip into your motoring.

A lot of work has also been put into getting the handling of the new Juke just right and it's paid off. It's a car which allows you to take sharp bends and corners at speed with confidence and there's very little body roll.

The suspension is a little on the firm side but not at the expense of comfort and there's plenty of feedback from the light steering.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Juke Tekna+

Price: £23,895

Mechanical: 117bhp, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 115mph

0-62mph: 10.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 45.6

Insurance Group: 13

C02 emissions: 118g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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