Nissan Juke Hybrid Review | New Car Reviews 2022
The Nissan Juke was certainly a success. Since the launch of the first model in 2010, UK sales of the British-built Juke have exceeded 340,000 over two generations.
In terms of critical appeal, the results were more mixed. The current second-generation model holds an expert rating of 65%, which is in the top half of its class, but far behind the Ford Puma in class hire. This is, however, a significant improvement over the original Juke, which ended production with a very poor expert rating of less than 50%.
Meanwhile, Nissan has built a reputation over the past decade for its shift to electric vehicles (EVs) with the well-received Leaf. So it’s perhaps surprising that Juke and some sort of electrification haven’t been combined before.
Well, now that’s been fixed – sort of. The vehicle here is not a fully electric Juke, but a hybrid. And perhaps it’s no surprise, given Nissan’s propensity for charting its own course, that this isn’t a typical hybrid. If you’re used to the type of petrol-electric motor provided by, say, a Toyota Prius or Honda CR-V, then you’ll find driving the Juke a whole new experience.
What’s new on the Nissan Juke Hybrid?
The clue is in the title – there are slight visual tweaks, new alloy wheels, new paint shades and some equipment upgrades which extend to keyless entry and a better Bose sound system with an extra pair of speakers. But the whole point of this car is its engine, a petrol-electric hybrid unit promising more pace for less fuel and lower emissions too.
How does it look?
The Juke Hybrid looks like any other Juke. When the current second-gen version launched in 2019, it offered a rather slick style compared to its predecessor, whose visuals had divided opinion.
The car gets the latest iteration of the Nissan logo on its badge, and this sits on a grille mesh that’s also been redesigned – subtle ‘hybrid’ badging is also dotted across the car. The new color schemes are dubbed “Magnetic Blue” – chosen as the hybrid launch color – and “Ceramic Grey”.
The 17-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels also get new design options. The larger wheels fill out the arches visually better, but one would expect a less compliant ride with such big rims – but hold that thought…
What is the specification?
The overall Juke lineup has five trim levels, but hybrid models are only available in the first three. You’ll need £27,250 for an N-Connecta, which is £1,730 more than a petrol-engined variant with an automatic transmission (the closest hybrid equivalent) and £3,230 more than cars with the five-speed manual gearbox.
N-Connecta-level equipment includes Nissan’s Connect navigation system (offering TomTom traffic alerts and a suite of phone app-based services, such as finding where you park and locking from your doors), keyless entry, leather on the steering wheel and gear knob, automatic climate control and automatic wipers.
Pay another £1,500 for the Tekna and the alloys reach 19in while additions include LED front lights and screen and heated front seats, plus that Bose sound system with ten speakers instead of the previous eight. But perhaps Tekna’s most important feature is the Advanced Safety Shield package, a range of active safety measures including intelligent cruise control, blind-spot intervention, rear cross-traffic alert and the Smart Monitor. which gives a view of all sides of the car. Incidentally, the Juke was last tested by Euro NCAP in 2019, earning a five-star rating.
Top of the line is the Tekna+, another £1,400 buying a different design of 19-inch alloys and a suite of exterior and interior customization options, including two-tone metallic paint.
What does the Nissan Juke Hybrid look like inside?
If you’ve driven the current Juke in normal gasoline form, you won’t notice anything different when entering this one except directly in front of the driver. A new digital display sees the tachometer give way to a dial indicating when the car is running, in ‘eco’ cruise mode or charging the battery. And pressing a button brings up a ‘power flow monitor’, giving a visual representation of how power is flowing between the motor, battery and wheels at all times.
Otherwise, it’s like before. Driver controls are reasonably intuitive while the finish and upholstery are adequate, if not on par with rivals like Volkswagen. It’s relatively roomy for a small SUV, although a bit snug for three adults in the back. And also note that the need to accommodate the hybrid battery reduces the volume of the trunk, from 422 to 354 liters.
What’s under the hood?
This is where the new Juke gets interesting. Its hybrid drivetrain was first seen in sister brand Renault’s Captur E-Tech. A more compact 1.6-litre petrol engine is mated to an electric motor, while a second, smaller electric motor synchronizes the gears in the highly intelligent gearbox.
We are told that the electronics that control everything have been developed thanks to the experience acquired by Renault in Formula 1. These decide when the petrol engine, the electric motor or both should contribute to the propulsion or recharge the battery .
If you’re interested in the technicalities, we’ve got an in-depth analysis of that, but the effect is to produce a hybrid car that’s much more like a full-battery electric vehicle to drive – the system tries to run on just electric as much as possible and the tech guys at Nissan claim to have achieved 80% of an electric drive around an urban route.
In doing so, the transmission delivers more power – 154bhp compared to a normal petrol Juke’s 114bhp, slashing the 0-62mph time by 1.7 seconds – along with a promise of fuel economy. improved fuel and emissions. We don’t have any official government figures yet, but compared to the petrol-powered Juke with automatic gearbox, Nissan predicts around 10mpg of fuel economy improvement and up to 25g/km reduction in fuel economy. CO2 emissions.
What does the Nissan Juke Hybrid look like?
A normal hybrid starts silently, pulls away on the electric motor, then very quickly the petrol engine audibly engages – then displacement is usually obviously on the motor with short bursts of electricity, usually at speeds slow.
The Juke Hybrid also starts and pulls away silently on its electric motor, but the only way to know when the motor is joining is to watch the energy monitor on the dash – it really is that smooth. Thereafter, the three elements, engine, motor and battery, work together, but you can never tell who is doing what or when.
It’s reasonably powerful, more than the original petrol model, although there does seem to be a very slight lag when starting for quick acceleration. But then it picks up speed strongly with invisible gear changes.
An interesting addition is the “E-Pedal”. Activated by a button between the front seats, it effectively increases the battery regeneration that occurs when decelerating by applying moderate braking as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator – leave it alone and it will bring the car to a standstill. car. If you’re a smooth driver and not a power-brake-power dealer, it becomes fairly easy to drive the Juke like a one-pedal car, only using the brake if you need to come to a sudden stop.
The Juke was never known as a sport driving car for the road, city streets being its most natural environment. The Hybrid doesn’t change that, with competent handling without being involving.
Ride quality with the cars at the launch event proved slightly odd – first driving with 17-inch wheels we found the ride quite stiff with road imperfections felt in the cabin , which we weren’t looking forward to trying the 19-inch rims as generally the larger diameter means less of a supple ride. Still, the larger-wheeled Juke seemed quieter and a preferable option.
The Nissan Juke remains a popular contender in an increasingly crowded market and this new hybrid version will likely help it retain that spot. If you find driving a traditional hybrid slightly odd and unpredictable, this one is less so. If you’re keen on going electric but less interested in price or need to plug your car in and charge it, then you might just find this car to your liking.
The price is higher than an original Juke, but not so much, especially compared to the automatic variant. Combine that with the estimated 10 mpg improvement in average fuel economy – especially with current perol prices – and you might find yourself recouping the extra expense quite quickly.
If you’re looking at the Nissan Juke Hybrid, you might also be interested in these alternatives
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Model tested: Nissan Juke Hybrid Tekna
Price (as tested): £29,895
Engine: 1.6 liter petrol plus electric motor
Gearbox: Six-speed automatic
Power: 143 hp
Couple : 205Nm
Top speed: 103 mph
0-60mph: 10.1 seconds
Fuel economy (combined): 56.5mpg
Euro NCAP Safety Rating: Five Stars (2019)
Evaluation of TCE experts: 65% (from June 2022)