The Juke has invented the compact, urban SUV and indeed has gained many faithful followers over the years. Times have changed, and the reduction of CO2 emissions is crucial now. So when the facelift of the Juke came along, it was time also to launch a hybrid version. Within the Renault group, the drivetrain of the Renault Captur was the obvious choice, and so here we are with a 1,6 litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor, delivering a system power of 105 kW or 143 HP. Nissan engineers have further honed Renault’s hybrid system, and we found it operating very refined indeed. The second generation Juke also underwent some styling changes for the better, but retained its iconic shape. Just read further…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The front end of the Juke now features a honeycomb grille with also the headlamps elegantly integrated in the bodywork with the indicators and running lights stylishly elongated along the bonnet. We already tell you here that the headlamps feature already in the standard equipment full LED, as well as the rear lights.
The interior is also very well finished, with soft padding on the dashboard, door panels and centre console. We like the very readable round instruments, and the touch screen sits nicely high up on the centre of the dashboard. Everything is quite intuitive to handle, and one feels well at home in this cosy, rather dark interior, the latter as a (happy?) result of the typical styling of this SUV.
The steering wheel is eminently adjustable, and the front seats are very comfortable indeed. Thanks to its SUV character one sits pleasantly high, with the front seats being some 52 cm above street level. So getting in and out is a breeze.
Refined, at least when you drive it smoothly…
Driving a Hybrid is also an art, which you have to learn. Ok, the hybrid offers you thanks to its electric motor that added torque and immediate pulling power which is the very charm of EV driving. But the smoothness and silence of the drivetrain will please you even more when you drive it quietly, with anticipation and restraint.
Then the clever (thanks to computer-age Artifical Intelligence) system will manage the power stream masterfully between E- and combustion power, the engine revs will not rise unduly and in urban traffic you will achieve anything between 5 and 5,5 litres/100 km. The hybrid Juke will also let you use the e-pedal function, so you can recuperate kinetic energy via the electric motor, which then acts as a generator. Of course, you set the drive selector on the centre console in “Eco” mode, and leave it there.
When you want more performance of the Juke, you can forget about any extra economy. Logically, as then the combustion engine has to do most, if not all the work, as it has also to maintain a minimum charge in the battery. Only the e-pedal will let you recuperate kinetic energy, so you can use the e-boost of the electric motor when re-accelerating. The engine revs high, one clearly hears that it’s there, and the transmission is very busy choosing the right gears with sometimes a hint of jerkiness.
This is also the reason why high cruising speeds on the motorway are also to be avoided if you want to see decent economy. Diesels can run at high speeds with consumptions remaining between 6 and 7 l/100 km, but NOT petrol engines. The Juke will then set you back with averages between 7,5 and 8 litres/100 km. No miracles, dear readers, just the laws of physics. The Nissan engineers also set the tone already, as the top speed of this Juke Hybrid is “only” 166 km/h. You shouldn’t be doing it, if you think about the earth. Enough zest though, as the Juke will sprint from 0 to 100 in 10,7 seconds.
The Hybrid Juke has a so-called “Multi-Mode” transmission, with 4 speeds for the petrol engine, and two speeds for the electric motor. AI chooses for you not less than 15 gear combinations! The engine is good for 94 HP and 148 Nm, additionally supported by a 15 kW starter/generator. The electric motor has 49 HP and 205 Nm of torque.
Our average test consumption stayed well below 6 litres/100 km, as indeed we drove the Juke Hybrid as it is engineered to be. CO2 emissions are set at 114 g/km according to WLTP standards.
When starting from cold, the engine will at least during the first few kilometers rev quite clearly, as it has to reach its operating temperature as fast as possible and also has to keep the battery (re)charged. When you use EV power extensively in (very) slow and quiet driving, every now and then, the engine will eagerly rev again, but then this is to recharge the battery. It does this even when you hardly touch the throttle or even not at all, which seems a bit unsettling at first, but soon you get used to this.
Enjoy the music…in comfort
Driven in the right way, the Juke will seduce you with quietness, and this lets you enjoy the DAB+ radio and the excellent sound system. We had a Bose system with speakers integrated also in the headrests, and the sound experience was indeed wonderful. The suspension is comfortable, a bit firmish, but never harsh. Seating is excellent with more than enough headroom in the front. In the back, this is less generous, but legroom is very much OK. There is also enough room in door bins for even 1 litre bottles.
Connectivity is also top notch, with Apple Car play and Android Auto provided.
Stable and predictable handling
The Juke steers precise, has very good stability at speed and is predictable in corners. Even abruptly lifting the throttle in de midst of a curve will trigger the ESP and the Juke will maintain its course. The steering is reasonably direct (2,5 turns from lock to lock) as an urban compact befits. The Juke is quite safe, in the NCAP Crash test it achieved 94 pct of all the achievable points. Brake performance is very good, with the wider tires of course enhancing the deceleration.
Boot space is adequate for a compact SUV with 301 liters, and there is an under floor tray with an additional 90 l. With all seats folded there is 705 liters available when you load until the rear window base. One has to lift the luggage rather high into the opening however, some 78 cm.
The Juke has its iconic looks further improved, and is certainly a smooth urban performer with its Hybrid layout. On the open road it is also a good travel companion, with high speeds letting the petrol engine work rather hard, which limits economy. But as said above, adopting the proper driving style will let you enjoy fully its “zen” qualities, for years to come…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Photographer’s notes: we took most of the photos here with the bargain of the year: a still totally pristine Fujifilm Finepix S100fs, with a Fujinon 28-400 mm 35 mm equivalent lens, bought two weeks ago for almost the original price of its sun lens hood: 59 Euros!!
It proved to have excellent color and light balance, surpassing even the Samsung S22 state of the art flagship smartphone, which did not succeed in making a well color balanced photo of the e-pedal button on the centre console. The auto color balance got so completely out of line in the shadowy interior of the juke that I had to print here the photo in black and white here (see photo in the article above) instead of the exaggerated blue the S22 produced.