I get it, I understand why this car is selling so well – it’s fun, it looks good, and its practical. The Nissan Juke in it’s 2020/2021 guise is a million times better looking than its bug eyed predecessor, but I do have a big problem with it.
The first Nissan Juke looked odd. I think because it took on new Nissan design language before any other car, but also that high fronted bug eyed headlight look was just so bold. So, the new look impresses. It’s bold still, yet fits more into the Nissan family. The running lights as “eyebrows” above the round eyed headlamps really sets it off.
So on the road, I can see how people look at one and think – I like that. It’s such a standout look when compared to a Toyota, Kia or Mazda perhaps.
The cabin fit and finish is also an absolute standout. Again, its unique. The rounded edges, the bold colour contrasts, I can absolutely see why sitting in this at a dealership, then taking it for a drive would result in a firm contract to buy.
On the ST-L+ model we drove the black and white interior was outstanding. So much more exciting than a bland grey and black you get on almost every other car.
Take that to Orange and Black in the Ti model and you’re really getting questions from your mates about what sort of car this is. In a good way.
There’s barely $2000 difference between the ST-L+ model and Ti Models we drive at $37,240 and $38,990 drive away respectively.
I’d take the ST-L+ personally. The advantages of the Ti seem limited to some colour options, the leather and alcantara trim and privacy glass along with a few other neat but not overwhelming things.
They also feature the on-headrest Bose speaker system. This is VERY well tuned. Pump up the volume and you’d think you’re going to get it blown away in your ears – nope. The overwhelming sound still comes from around you, with a great subtle edge added up high – it’s a class leading sound system.
Both feature the same 3-cylinder petrol 1.0 litre in-line engine.
Out on the open road it’s more than fit for purpose. Freeway driving, around town and at the shops – all great, really enjoyable.
HOWEVER, and frankly this would stop me signing on to buy – there’s something extraordinary going on with the clutch, transmission and park brake on this thing.
In my driveway, ever so slightly slanted with the car pointing nose down, when I reverse I cannot help the car from slipping forward. Basically any maneuver between 0 and 5km/hr is strange.
It’s not a normal driving experience. Would I get used to it? Maybe, should I have to? No.
I let my local mechanics back it around their forecourt. They all thought the same – something very fussy about us, or something wrong with the pairing of the clutch and transmission.
We even heard the car searching to put on and off the auto park brake while pottering back and forth with the car.
It’s supremely picky, but I think it matters. On this one, Nissan needed to to better. It’s a possible deal breaker when on the dealership run around comparing one car to another.
All that said, there’s great value in this car. Mid $30,000 high riding small SUV is appealing on so many fronts. Add to that the clear flare that’s gone into the design both interior and exterior and I’d pick this ahead of the Kia Seltos for example.
Well worth a look!