CAST your mind back a decade.
There were saloons, hatches, estates and largish four-wheel-drives. Oh yes, the crossover had also arrived, but only a short time before.
Then along came the high-riding Juke from Nissan - a sort of small hatch on stilts. Well, sales of the rather strange looking model took off...like a rocket.
Much the same as its big brother, the Qashqai, managed to do a few years earlier. A gap in the market had been discovered and the compact SUV was spawned, to be followed by countless copycat examples.
Now the second generation Juke is with us, some 10 years later giving the original model an unusually long life span.
Bigger, more frugal and better finished, the latest Juke retains the bold in-your-face styling but it somehow looks more assured-looking, more confident. Of course it's up against some stiff competition now. The VW T-Roc, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur to name just a few.
One of the chief criticisms of the original was its poor packaging, particularly rear legroom and luggage space. Both these moans have been addressed thanks to the slightly larger dimensions. The boot now holds a generous 422 litres with seats up and 1,305 litres when the rear seats are folded, and legroom in the for back seat passengers is noticeably more spacious.
The engine has been downsized to a three cylinder, one-litre yet has increased power at 115bhp alongside stronger economy - 44.1mpg - and lower emissions of 116g/km.
What's more it's better to drive, though it still has some way to go beat the VW in terms of fluid handling and outright performance.
First the little three-pot engine is an absolute gem, delivering ample torque alongside sprightly through-the-gears acceleration so long as you don't mind using a few revs. 62mph comes up in under 11 seconds which is up to the class average.
Coupled to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox complete with steering wheel paddles, the Juke picks up its heels well. Three drive modes are available by throwing a switch - eco, normal and sport.
There's little cornering roll which is no bad thing, but the ride tends to be a tad joggly over indifferent surfaces. Smaller diameter wheels than the review car's 19-inch alloys would probably improve the ride.
Steering is more weighty and communicative than that of most high-riders.
Big improvements have been made in cabin design and quality. Soft-touch surfaces abound and the Tekna driven here has leather seating and two-tone dash - very racy. A central touchscreen dominates the fascia with a row of soft keys for quick access below. All are easy to use and logical.
The turbine-like air vents on the dash, which match the front lights, are an imaginative and pleasing touch.