- Great to drive round town
- The e-Pedal offers near-single pedal driving
- Funky design
- Engine gets quite vocal at higher speeds
- Some competitors offer superior economy
- Quite pricey
There’s no denying the success of the compact Nissan Juke – since it landed on UK shores back in 2010, it has gone on to sell more than 340,000 models.
Now in its second generation, Nissan has decided to add hybrid technology to the mix.
While standard cars are available in trims called Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna+, the hybrid model is only on sale from N-Connecta upwards. There is, however, a launch Premiere Edition that is limited to just 750 models.
While there are subtle design changes to highlight the hybrid model, most of the new technology can be found beneath the bonnet
On The Road
The Juke Hybrid shares some of its new technology with Renault following an alliance, but it certainly maintains its own individuality.
It matches a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder 93bhp petrol engine with a 48bhp electric motor that is powered by a 1.2kWh battery to offer a combined output of 143PS.
We tested the mid-grade Tekna model and it could complete the 0-62mph dash in 10.1 seconds and maxed out at 103mph.
The car always starts up in EV mode and can be driven in purely electric guise up to speeds of just over 30mph, but if you press heavily on the accelerator, the petrol engine will kick in. This transition is beautifully seamless and barely noticeable.
The acceleration is nicely responsive and this car has been designed with lots of city driving in mind. We tested the Juke Hybrid in Milton Keynes – a town renowned for its roundabouts and the Juke proved to be beautifully balanced. Activate the e-Pedal button and you can almost drive using just the accelerator as the regenerative braking is increased.
Then when faced with the open road, the Juke can easily coast at 70mph on motorways and is happy being pushed into twisting bends on B roads too where the grip is good.
The 10.57-metre turning circle is just perfect if, like me, you tend to ignore the sat nav instructions and need to make a number of U-turns!
The Nissan Juke has always offered a fun-packed performance and the hybrid version maintains that tradition. It’s a compact crossover city car with bundles of attitude.
The automatic transmission features four speeds in ICE and two speeds in EV working in tandem. The result is smooth, responsive acceleration without being over-aggressive and the car feels nicely composed with an impressive suspension system smoothing out uneven road surfaces.
Our car was riding on 17-inch wheels which were a perfect match. We did have a test drive in the limited Premiere Edition that featured 19-inch wheels and this was far less refined. It felt bumpier, and cornering was less impressive with more body lean.
The engine note does get quite raspy when driven with a heavier right foot and there is also a little wind noise from the side mirrors at higher speeds, but the refinement levels are quickly restored with more gentle handling.
An EV mode button can be pressed and that will see the car move to totally electrified performance provided the speed remains below 34mph.
In addition, there are drive modes called Eco, Standard and Sport that slightly alter the reactions of the car. And special mention to the perfectly weighted steering that offers ample driver feedback.
While much of the Nissan Hybrid’s design is the same as the second-generation model that was introduced in 2019, there are a number of distinctive features to highlight the car’s hybrid technology.
For example, the front grille hides an active shutter that only opens when the petrol engine needs to be cooled. There is hybrid badging at the rear and side of the car, along with an electrified brand signature.
As with the ICE version, the five-door Juke Hybrid still boasts rear door handles that are flush to the bodywork, privacy glass, a new keyless entry system along with some additional colour options.
As standard, models from Tekna+ upwards have 19-inch alloys, but our test car was fitted with 17-inch wheels as a no-cost option. These are not so striking to look at, but the ride and handling is far better.
The interior is neatly laid out with sporty seats, ambient lighting, chrome trimmings and a soft-touch dashboard. The instrumentation has been modified to show energy flow details and there are the additional buttons for the EV mode and e-Pedal.
There is also a NissanConnect app that adds lots of remote services such as door locking, locating the car, sounding the horn, checking speed alerts, tyre and oil pressure monitoring, airbag status and lots more.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
The Nissan Juke has always been a very easy car to drive which is one of its key attributes and this hybrid model is no different. It’s simple to get a comfortable driving position with manual seat and steering wheel adjustment and the all-round visibility also impresses. This is vital in a car that will be fizzing through busy city centres for much of its life.
All the instrumentation is simple to operate on the fly and there is a wealth of technology to explore, including a NissanConnect eight-inch colour infotainment screen, full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, WiFi and voice recognition, and a clear seven-inch colour tft display that can be configured to taste.
An upgraded Bose sound system with two speakers in the headrests provides pitch perfect accompaniment on longer journeys and is a hint to the quality within the Juke.
There are front and rear parking sensors, along with a rearview camera and the cruise control system with speed limiter is simple to operate on the move.
Heated front seats offer a touch of luxury to fend off the winter chill and automatic wipers and follow-me-home lights are useful functions too.
Space & Practicality
Despite the addition of hybrid technology, passenger space within the new Juke has not been compromised. However the storage capacity inside the boot is slightly less than the standard petrol-powered car due to the positioning of the battery pack.
The boot can swallow 354 litres of goodies which is a reduction of 68 litres. With the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat, the Juke Hybrid can accommodate 1,237 litres compared to 1,305 litres on ICE versions.
Like all other Juke cars, it stretches 4,210mm in length, is 1,88mm wide, 1,593mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,636mm.
Interior space is very decent for this type of vehicle with ample space for a couple of rear passengers so long as the front seats are not pushed right back.
And there are a number of storage compartments scattered throughout the cabin, including a glovebox, deep central cubby, seat back pockets, a small tray, door bins, plus cup holders in the front and drink holders in the rear door pockets.
With wide-opening rear doors there is easy access to any child seats and two Isofix fittings make it an ideal family vehicle.
The Nissan Juke Hybrid line-up starts at £27,250 for the entry-level N-Connecta model and rises to £30,150 for the Tekna+ version. There is the limited-run Premiere Edition priced from £28,250 which is largely based on the N-Connecta Hybrid with some added features such as 19-inch gloss black wheels, black tinted headlights and some extra decals.
Our Tekna test model was priced at £28,750 but also featured two-tone paint that added £1,145 to the final cost.
According to WLTP testing, it can deliver a combined 56.5mpg with carbon emissions of 115g/km. This CO2 figure would result in a first year Vehicle Excise Charge of £180 which would drop down to the standard rate for hybrid cars of £155 after 12 months.
The insurance group ratings for the Juke Hybrid are yet to be announced.
Nissan is currently running some attractive finance incentives on the car with a £750 deposit from the company, monthly payments of £404 and 5.49 per cent APR. It’s also worth noting that it is predicted that the Hybrid version will have a three per cent higher residual value than its ICE counterpart.
Quality & Reliability
Although the latest Juke with hybrid technology is too new to feature in any customer satisfaction surveys, much of the technology is shared with Renault through an alliance. That said; all parts are built in the UK.
High sales figures prove the popularity of the Juke throughout the last 12 years and the addition of hybrid technology should increase that attraction.
Our Tekna version certainly looked and felt sturdy in its design with quality fixtures and fittings throughout.
There are easy-clean surfaces and any fingerprints are quickly wiped from the touchscreen display.
The Juke comes with Nissan’s three-year, 60,000-mile warranty.
Safety & Security
The Juke Hybrid gains the same maximum five-star Euro NCAP safety rating that was awarded to the Juke ICE in 2019 and features a wealth of safety systems and driver assistance aids to help protect occupants and other road users alike.
There are the more traditional features such as anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, Isofix fixtures, hill start, blind spot warning, tyre pressure monitoring and a full suite of airbags.
But there are also a number of other systems, including intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, active trace control, active ride control, traffic sign recognition, a driver alertness monitor, rear cross traffic alert, moving object detection and plenty more besides.
The Juke has always been quite a head-turner with its quirky styling and its popularity over the years is proof of its quality. With an eye on future consumer demands, the addition of hybrid technology is the sensible choice and it all works perfectly well. There are lots of similar competitors out there, but it’s always checking out the Juke before signing on the dotted line.