NISSAN'S trendy Juke is now available as a hybrid, making it more powerful and certainly more economical.
The British-built SUV - it's made at Nissan's Sunderland factory - combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to give a far more enjoyable drive than the pure petrol version and a far more refined one too.
Not only is it smoother and quieter but you get some 20 per cent better economy. Official figures show it averages 56.5 mpg but during a week's motoring I regularly averaged more than 60 mpg.
This is one hybrid that really does deliver, and it's surprising just how often it's running on electric rather than using up petrol.
The Juke has been around for a while but the hybrid version is a bit of a revelation and a car that you soon warm to.
With 25 per cent more power than its petrol sibling it will hit 63 miles per hour is a very respectable 10.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 103 mph.
The Juke has become a bit if a cult car and it's not until you drive one that you notice just how many of them there are on our roads. In fact since the original version first made an appearance in 2019 some 50,000 have been built.
The new hybrid distinguishes itself from the petrol model with a new look grille and a gloss black strip between the grille and the bonnet, not to mention hybrid badges adorning the rear and both sides.
Inside it's both stylish and functional with a saddle stitched faux leather covered dashboard, high-backed front seats with integral headrests and nice body-coloured inserts surrounding both the high mounted touch screen and the gear shift.
And close to the gear shift is a button which allows you select from three driving modes, eco, standard and sport.
There's also a button which lets you to switch on the e-Pedal system, which is effectively one-pedal driving where depressing the accelerator increases speed but releasing it brakes the car to help with energy regeneration and boost the battery.
Unlike with some cars the system doesn't bring the Juke to a complete halt - you have to use the foot brake for that - but with practice and thinking ahead you can often get away without having to use the brake at all when slowing down.
The only annoying thing is you have to engage the e-Pedal system every time you start the car as the default setting is with the pedal switched off.
To Nissan's credit the same thing doesn't apply to the lane assist system. Once you switch it off - as I tend to - it stays off until you re-engage it. If only other manufacturers would follow suit.
On the road the new Juke is both nippy and - with a small turning circle - highly manoeuvrable. And despite its height it has impressive handling and ride with little body roll even on fast bends.
A reversing camera makes parking simple and the fitting of a power meter - marked charge, eco and power - instead of a rev counter allows you to see just when the battery is being re-charged.
With its concealed rear door handles the Juke has sleek, coupe-like lines and good interior space, although you do lose some luggage space because of the battery, with the boot having 354 litres rather than the regular car's 422-litres.