Our “Dark Cities”, where all the cars are boring, grey and only has to do one thing good: work. Yes, they have to work as home appliances and do not give mechanical problems and possibly costing a little, there’s no room for pleasure, let alone emotions. But there are different ways to deal with the weekly routine, leaving home and go to park it at work in a big square, literally invaded by these objects on wheels that have the task of waiting us for the whole day, and then bring us back home and being stored in the garage, well sometimes not even that, because they are not considered as being worthy of an indoors shelter.
The Nissan Juke is a breath of fresh air, a sweet orange drink that brings a cool breeze on the face of bored and sweaty citizens of these grey cities. Who cares if our tested version is itself grey (dark metallic grey) and has a small 1.2cc 4-cylinder engine – its job is to resuscitate our inner spirit, not to the sound of horsepower, but with sympathy and practicality.
As part of the last series of updates, this Juke comes with a new turbo engine with 115hp and 190Nm of torque distributed on the front axle only, both to limit the weight (and fuel consumption) and because despite the discreet ground clearance, the Juke is not and does not want to be an SUV.
Small on the outside, spacious inside, even at the back except for the one sitting in the middle, the Juke Dig-T is a small all-rounder with an unmistakable look: that of its headlights that seem the eyes of a sweet and obedient puppy, always ready to cheer up, while inside the dashboard alternates dark plastic with colored plastic panels, an option which costs a bit Euros more, but that makes the cabin look better. The gearbox is a six-speed manual in this case, quite accurate and elastic, perfectly in line with the drivability of the small Nissan, both in urban areas and on country roads.
My considerations, given the nature of the car, perfectly suitable for a daily coexistence has to analyze its fuel consumption, good in traffic and in the urban centers, and not so great when the roads need to press more firmly on the throttle (climbs or highway). At the center of the dashboard there is a small display that includes the navigation system, good and accurate, but too small and with a glossy black plastic frame that reflects the suns rays ending with serious difficulties for reading the map.
Always on the center console you can then choose between different driving modes (D-mode), where preferring a particular one to the other will change the throttle and steering response, even showing different information depending on the driving mode chosen. “Eco” will show how much light is your right foot, “Normal” indicates the torque curve used and “Sport” will show you the turbo pressure itself. With the same mini display you shall also command air conditioning.
Looking at it makes me happy, and despite not having exceptional qualities it is fun to drive in every situation, with a very soft clutch and parking sensors supported by the rear camera that make parking maneuvers easier, otherwise insidious given the small size of the rear window.
It will not be an invention that will revolutionize the automotive world, nor a car for which you give a kidney, but the Juke is loved, drives well, and rightly sells much. It is an excellent alternative to the flood of grey competitors who have not the slightest interest in making you smile, when during the daily boredom, haste and chaos, you will drive out of necessity and not for pleasure. Sometimes, it takes just a little to create a little brightness out of the grey and Nissan has hit the target. Good job Juke!
NISSAN JUKE DIG-T (2014-)
Layout: front-engined, front-wheel driver
Engine: 4cyl 1.197cc – turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual gearbox
Power: 115hp @ 4500 rpm
190Nm @ 2000 rpm
Weight: 1236 kg
Top Speed: 178 kph
Price: from 19.300 €