RAC Cars News


Nissan Juke Nismo Eyes The Performance Market

By raccars Published

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Nissan's Juke was a car that, from rather inauspicious beginnings, has quietly won a surprising amount of praise. The Juke Nismo, a high performance edition of the original, is more than just a beefed up version of the standard car. In fact, it marks the beginning of an interesting new UK venture for the Nissan brand, with the Nismo badge marking its high performance sector, similar to the Mercedes-Benz AMG models. The Juke is planned to be the first of many Nismos offered to the UK market.

The standard Juke at first glance appeared to be one of a number of SUV crossover vehicles with simultaneous off-road and boy racer pretensions. Behind the wheel, drivers found themselves begrudgingly impressed with its hot hatch agility and punchy performance.

As such, the Juke is an ideal vehicle to receive the Nismo treatment, which includes a racy bodykit, new 18" alloys, plus funky red wing mirrors and front grille trim as features specific to the Nismo brand. There is a choice of three colourways: Storm White, Pearl Black and Blade Silver. The sporty air is followed through to the cabin, with an Alcantara steering wheel, suede bucket seats and door liners, black trim elements and Nismo branded kickplates.

The standard Juke's 1.6 litre DIG-T Tekna petrol engine has been tweaked to increase horsepower and torque, now returning 197bhp and a healthy 250Nm mid-range, so the throttle is pleasingly responsive. 0-60mph will take a fun 7.4 seconds on the way to a 134mph top speed. Updated damper settings, a 10% stiffer chassis and more responsive steering further the transformation. Front and all-wheel drive options are available and gearboxes are a choice between a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

In appearance, the Juke Nismo has a distinctly modern appeal and some funky interior styling details, such as a motorbike themed cabin. The exterior lines start off sleek, with acutely slanted headlights, angular flanks and a sloping roofline, but the overall appearance is robust and chunky. It won't please everyone but makes a nice change from the usual suspects.

However, probably the most impressive thing about the car is the price tag, which starts at £19,995 – and this is far from a bargain basement car. For that, you'll get a respectable list of comfort, convenience and safety equipment and reasonable fuel economy.

While a minority may be put off by the bold styling, it's hard to argue with the Juke Nismo's accomplished performance and value for money and those looking for a compact SUV type vehicle, would be foolish to ignore this one.

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