I’ve always liked smaller cars. The only reason I’ve owned larger cars before is because of the kids, so when looking for a new vehicle, having something that was good for carrying four people for school drop-offs was important. I had previously owned a Nissan Pathfinder, but with the kids out of car seats I wanted a smaller car that was just a zippy runaround that could perform the duties of dropping kids at school, doing the after-school activities, or running to work.
Having a bigger car wasn’t necessary either, as my husband pilots a Nissan Navara, which is more than capable of handling those larger jobs.
So the 2020 Nissan Juke entered our household. Bought brand new, it was the top of the range TI model in the Fuji Sunset Red. It’s got all the goods such as (heated) leather seats, Apple CarPlay, Bose speaker headrest, alloys, and sat nav. It also included cameras and all the safety features.
The interior colour is a unique black and orange combination, and there’s also a strip in the doors that illuminate at night when the headlights are on.
We were quite pleased with the deal we obtained, having car mats thrown into the mix as well.
As the car was needed for the aforementioned roles above, our finding has been that the Juke is the perfect size. My son is six-foot-two and he is easily comfortable in the front seat. The size of the boot fits all the required gear they use as well. The ride height of the car itself might have felt low when compared to my Pathfinder, as I can’t see as much, but that’s something I really don’t have an issue with at all.
The Juke has handled the jobs we have asked of it very well, with the Sport mode proving its chops with an hour long drive up Adelaide’s steep South Eastern Freeway to get to Kuitpo Forest for a paintball party. In terms of its driving, the Juke has never left me wanting for more. Travelling at lower speeds might introduce more bumps to the ride, but at speed on a freeway, it drives beautifully.
I have once taken the Juke on a dirt road and it never felt out of place.
Fuel economy has proven to be excellent, particularly compared with big cars I’ve driven before. Instead of filling up weekly, I find myself refuelling once a fortnight - a big difference.
The benefits of the Juke relate a great deal to its design - it’s zippy and compact, and is so easy to park. Obviously having driven bigger cars in the past I was accustomed to reverse parking, but due to the Juke’s smaller size I found that my first few attempts at parking I found myself a mile from the kerb. I have found that there are a few blind spots as well. It’s nothing that can’t be adapted to easily, though.
Putting the car into Sport mode gives it just that right amount of kick off the line from the traffic lights. When first test driving the Juke I was actually quite surprised with the power it had for such a small car. It really was a fun drive.
I have used the Eco and Standard driving modes a few times, and I feel there isn’t much difference between the two at all. It almost feels as though Eco mode doesn’t take anything away from the power at all when compared with Standard. It’s only when changing to Sport from the other modes that the difference really becomes noticeable.
Interior space was a concern, with a tall teenager to fit in. My daughter is also a couple inches taller than my five-foot-three height, but she still fits in the rear of the Juke quite easily. My tall son can fit in the rear as well, although it does require a front seat to move forward to help with space.
He sits in the front regularly.
Apple CarPlay is something I love - it’s just so easy.
Being mindful of the kind of car in which my son may learn to drive, I feel that the Juke would be a good vehicle for starting out his journey. It doesn’t have too much power, and it has the safety features, while still being able to fit in his six-foot-two frame. We have been impressed with the Juke, and would definitely consider buying another one in the future.