A subcompact crossover SUV, the Nissan Juke has been in production since 2010. Since then, more than 1.5 million units have been sold worldwide. The name 'Juke' means to dance or change direction. It is certainly true that this model was a breath of fresh air on launch, redefining the segment with a distinctive alternative to the then conventional superminis. Continuing just-auto/AIC's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look at this popular model.

On first glance, the second-generation Juke is instantly recognisable with its athletic stance, floating roof design and sharply-creased side panel details. Its coupe-like appearance is helped by the location of the rear door handles close to the C-pillars, within the window frame, itself reminiscent of the 1985 Nissan Pathfinder. While the Juke retains certain original design features, including the signature circular headlamps, to give it a new twist, these lights now feature a Y-shaped LED signature which complements Nissan's trademark V-Motion grille.

Inside story

The reimagined interior design has been finished with some classy materials and ambient lighting. New soft-touch materials on the dash, door trim and foot-wells give it a more premium feel compared to its predecessor. Monoform seats with a single-piece backrest add a sporty look and can be trimmed in Alcantara and leather.

The front seats incorporate, on selected grades, a Bose Personal Plus audio system, which can be controlled via the eight-inch touchscreen. The system comprises eight speakers, including two sets of Bose UltraNearfield speakers integrated into both front seat headrests.

Although quite a small display, the touchscreen features a number of shortcut buttons which are easy to fathom. When not in infotainment mode, the screen doubles as a monitor for the newest version of the automaker's Around View Monitor. As the name suggests, it gives a 360 degree bird's eye view of the car making manoeuvring in tight spots safe and easy.

On the connectivity front, the latest version of the NissanConnect infotainment system allows occupants to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to mirror their favourite smartphone apps on the touchscreen. If not using the phone's navigation, drivers can access TomTom Maps & Live Traffic.

Forward visibility is good thanks to the relatively thin A-pillars. Like most of its rivals, however, the Juke's rear visibility is hampered by a shallow rear window and thick C-pillars. That's where the around view monitor comes into its own, though.

The cabin has a little more space, too. It is roomier for both passengers and their belongings, with rear-seat knee room increased by 5.8 cm, rear headroom by 1.1 cm, and 20% more luggage capacity. For the driver and front seat passenger, there is ample head and leg room. Yet tall rear seat passengers could feel squeezed due to the sloping roof line and some quite thick front seats, thereby limiting the amount of knee room for those sitting behind. Further back, the Juke's boot offers up 422-litres of space with the 60/40 rear seats in the upright position and 1,305-litres with the seats folded flat. The boot features additional storage beneath the floor, that same area where you would look for the spare wheel in the event of a flat tyre.

The UK range consists of a number of trim grades, namely Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna and Tekna and Tekna+.  More and more kit is piled on for your delectation the further up the trim grades, of course. The carmaker recently launched its Enigma special version of the Juke thereby expanding its suite of advanced technologies. This includes Amazon Alexa voice experience compatibility to the Juke range.

Advanced driver assistance systems

In the ADAS department, safety features include Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Blind Spot Intervention. Blind Spot Intervention on Juke is a premiere on a Nissan model. The system warns drivers when there is a vehicle hidden from view alongside them, and guides the car back into the lane to prevent a collision.

The Juke also incorporates Nissan's ProPILOT technology on automatic versions. During long commutes and heavy traffic during highway driving, the system controls steering, acceleration and braking to maintain the car's position in lane and a constant, safe distance from other vehicles, even in slow-moving queues.

On the road

A first-generation Juke driven by stunt-driver, Terry Grant claimed a Guinness World Record when it was driven round the Goodwood Hill Course on two wheels in just under three minutes. While our second-gen test drive didn't take us off-road, let alone on two wheels, we enjoyed a gentle potter around and about. 

The two-tone painted press review car (black body with red roof) was powered by a three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol 1-litre engine which produces 117PS and 180Nm of torque (200Nm with over torque function). Although a six-speed manual transmission is standard, our N-Connecta was mated to a slick seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifts. A "D-Mode" allows drivers to switch between three modes – Standard, Eco and Sport – to adjust the response of the car depending on the road conditions.

The Juke built on Nissan's CMF-B platform and produced at its manufacturing plant in Sunderland, UK. Its rivals in the growing B-segment crossover market include the likes of VW T-Cross, Toyota C-HR and Skoda Kamiq.

On balance, this family-proof SUV is undeniably good value for money (prices start from £17,395) with lots of standard equipment, a new infotainment system, more space for passengers and a bigger boot compared to its predecessor. Its dimensions also make parking in tight spaces a breeze.