Sunday, 1 April 2012


Not sure what to say.
Say it like is it. Juke is ugly.

Ok, it is.
But having said that, its ugliness is one that’s comparable to the first BMW Z4 and recent HUMMER H3; ugly, but striking. Not beautiful at all, yet quite befitting of its purpose and reason for existence.

And what exactly is that?
To appeal to young, urban buyers who want some extra ride height, aren’t too sure about the whole big SUV movement, and are still price conscious, drive-loving people. Juke is a sweet little drive featuring some appropriate technology for improved handling. For something that stands taller than your average coupe, it holds the road quite firmly, a trait shared with its Qashqai crossover sibling.

Those lights though…actually the whole front end…
It may be said that styling-wise the car is possibly polarising, splitting opinion distinctly between “love it” and “hate it”. The buggy eyes are raised very high, that in fact they form part of the bonnet! Even the rest of the lights are big enough to swallow saucers. It’s a car designed to challenge the visual senses to their limits, that’s for sure.

Can it rival established MPVs for space?
No it cannot. The Juke is not one for the large family. Interior space is very limited, while boot space is even crampier. There’s only 251 litres of luggage space so anything over two large bags will struggle to fit in. Like many a modern car, it has a thin space saver for a spare wheel.

How’s the 1.6 engine?
Quite strong I must say. Matched with a turbocharger, the thing delivers some 140kW (see stats below) which is one of the most powerful outputs in its size range. It will successfully give chase to anything that looks like a hot hatch, and keep up with some bigger six-cylinder Germans in the process. For some reason though, Juke drinks like an English Duke at a royal banquet. Visits to the petrol station will not go unnoticed, not by you nor by your bank statements. Normally we are able to keep these things in check by some sensible driving, but no matter how sensible we were, the fuel gauge just would not cooperate.

At least the handling is good.
Absolutely. For a crossover, the Juke sticks well enough on to the tarmac to induce smiles of high appreciation from the driver. Response from the 6-speed manual is also keen, with shifts brisk and precise enough. The 17-inch alloy wheels sit firm on the ground, gripping the road and pushing speed all the way.

And the features?
The car is well-kitted, with things like full electric windows, a start/ stop button working in conjunction with keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, automatic air conditioning and others.

ENGINE: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder, Turbo
POWER: 140kW / 190 PS at 5600rpm; 240Nm at 5000rpm
0 – 100KM/H: 8.4 seconds
GEARBOX: 6-speed manual
TOP SPEED: 250km/h
FUEL AVERAGE:  9.2 l/100km
CO2 e: 159 g/km



*PRICE RIVALS: 238 to 278 Renault Megane Coupe Dynamique, MINI Cooper Clubman, Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI, Opel Astra 1.4 T Enjoy, Honda Civic Elegance, Volvo C30 D2, Citroen DS3 Sport, BMW 116i, VW Golf 1.6 TDI, Suzuki SX4 2.0

*A price rival falls within R30 000 or so of the subject’s price on either side of its price spectrum for cars over R350 000, R20 000 for cars of between R250 000 and R350 000 and R10 000 for cars below R250 000.


Neil Swanepoel said...

Those bug eyes really rub me in the worst of ways. I just can't stand this car and I see them all over the show.

Paul M said...

Neil said it best. I second

Kwik pik said...

I'm personally in two minds about this car. On the one hand I think the engine is very good even if it's not frugal. Some features are good but the looks are not good at all. My girlfriend says it's be best car but I'm not so convinced.