A HIGHLY efficient hybrid powertrain has been developed by Nissan and it is making a debut in the latest version of the British-built Juke.
The set up uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor and it has created the quickest and most fuel-efficient version of the popular crossover.
Officially Nissan claims the hybrid Juke can average a best of 56.5mpg and on our drive in the new hybrid that appeared to be close to the mark with us seeing an average of 52.2 to the gallon recorded on the car's trip computer.
Compared to the petrol only Juke that is an improvement of some 20 per cent while on the performance front the hybrid is also 25 per cent more powerful. Emissions are rated at 114g/km.
The combined system develops 148bhp which gives the Juke Hybrid a 0 to 62mph acceleration time of 10.1 seconds and a top speed of 103mph.
The only compromise is with boot space which shrinks by 68 litres and ranges from 353 litres with all seats in use to a maximum of 1,237 litres to accommodate the hybrid's battery and other features.
Styling changes for the hybrid include a gloss black strip between the bonnet and grille - a feature Nissan already uses on the all-electric Leaf and will do on its soon-to-arrive Ariya SUV crossover EV and a hybrid version of the Qashqai.
There's also a new-look to the grille, hybrid badges and Nissan's new logo.
The Juke Hybrid is priced from Â£27,520 in N-Connecta trim and tops out from Â£30,150 in high specification Tekna+ specification - a Â£1,730 premium over non-electrified models.
Tekna grade versions are priced from £28,750.
Built in Britain at Nissan's Sunderland factory the hybrid is coming on stream as Nissan strengthens its electrification programme in conjunction with French sister brand Renault which supplies the special automatic gearbox and starter system for the new Juke.
Three drive modes are available on the hybrid with settings for Eco, Standard and Sport and the car is also fitted with Nissan's e-Pedal system which helps with energy regeneration and recharges the battery as soon as the accelerator is released.
It's an effective system and will reduce the vehicle's speed to walking pace without having to touch the brakes. Once a driver becomes familiar with it, single pedal motoring is possible for most parts of any journey.
An EV button allows for short periods of zero emission driving at low speeds but we found it best to leave the car to do its own thing where the car works out optimum fuel efficiency for itself.
A readout on the instrument panels shows the power flow and on a run the Juke Hybrid will be driving on electricity only for a surprising amount of time.
The rev counter is replaced by a power gauge which shows when the car is charging the battery, driving in eco mode or using only the combustion energy while there is also an eight-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dash to show other functions such as navigation, ventilation and entertainment settings as well as the car's camera display.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are all available while the Juke can also be hooked-up to the Nissan Connect service which can give smartphone readouts of a variety of functions such as vehicle locking, tyre pressures, oil levels and a handy ‘find my car' system.
The Tekna+ grade car we tried sat on 19-inch wheels - the larger of two size options being offered - and they did little to unsettle the car with the ride being nicely composed.
Nissan engineers have reworked the suspension and damper settings on the hybrid and the car handled nicely, even on some fairly untidy road surfaces.
Comfort and trim levels all round are up with the best and with a price of £30,320 for the top range grade the Juke Hybrid is a competitive addition to a range which has already notched up almost 50,000 sales since its arrival in 2019.