Hybrid SUVs and crossovers are everywhere but it can be bewildering for buyers, given the many different technologies they feature. One example? This electrified Juke uses a totally different hybrid system to the Qashqai E-Power, despite both coming from the same manufacturer. In fact, this Juke is more closely related to the Renault Captur, the important difference being the Nissan is not a plug-in hybrid so can’t travel meaningful distances on electric power alone, and therefore doesn’t offer the equivalent incentives for company drivers. Swings and roundabouts, though, because it is a little cheaper for private buyers. In other areas it builds on existing Juke strengths like funky styling, nippy handling and decent practicality, while also feeling more sprightly thanks to the electrified boost. Click here for our review of the non-hybrid Juke.
“It has enough electrified juice to save on fuel costs, especially in town driving”
Because it’s not a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) the Juke can’t claim the triple-digit mpg figures, Benefit In Kind savings or potential to do your short journeys on electric power alone like some of its rivals so can’t match the potential running cost savings. On the plus side its hybrid system is a lot simpler because you don’t have to plug it in (handy if you don’t have a driveway or home charging point) and it has enough electrified juice to save on fuel costs, especially in town driving. Whether you can claw back the £3,000-plus it costs over a non-hybrid Juke is another matter, the fact you can only have the hybrid on the higher trim levels also making it appear a little more expensive. It also costs a fraction more than the equivalent Captur, though it is cheaper than the PHEV version of the Renault and Nissan promises a small but welcome improvement in residual values over the standard Juke to help those monthly finance costs.
Expert rating: 4/5
Reliability of a Nissan Juke Hybrid SUV
“Nissan doesn’t match the five-year warranties offered by rivals like Hyundai, the seven years from Kia or the potential 10 years cover Toyota gives”
Nissan generally has a good reputation for reliability, though much of the hybrid technology is actually supplied by its partner Renault. That’s fine, though, because the French brand also does well on dependability surveys and both have long experience building electrified cars. Nissan doesn’t match the five-year warranties offered by rivals like Hyundai, the seven years from Kia or the potential 10 years cover Toyota gives for the equivalent C-HR if you commit to servicing it with a main dealer.
Expert rating: 4/5
Safety for a Nissan Juke Hybrid SUV
“The entry grade is still well equipped and has automatic emergency braking, lane keeping alerts (with interventions if you ignore them)”
In the usual way Nissan reserves some of the fancier driver aids and safety gizmos for the top trim levels and you need to opt for at least Tekna before you get the Advanced Safety Shield Pack, which includes a 360-degree camera system, tweaks to the steering if you’re about to enter an already occupied lane and alerts if you’re backing out of a parking space and don’t spot a car crossing behind you. In a tall vehicle with limited rear and over-the-shoulder visibility like the Juke this stuff is really useful to have, so be prepared to dig a little deeper into your pockets if you want it. Saying that, the entry grade is still well equipped and has automatic emergency braking, lane keeping alerts (with interventions if you ignore them) and self-dipping headlights as standard, but we’d like to see the blind-spot bongs across the range.
Expert rating: 4/5
How comfortable is the Nissan Juke Hybrid SUV
“The hybrid loses a chunk of boot space to the regular Juke, the battery taking up stash space under the floor and eating into luggage room”
For a small family or empty nesters wanting a bit of crossover practicality the Juke is roomy enough and matches the distinctive exterior looks with a similarly funky cabin design. The top-spec one we drove benefitted from a bit of fabric on the dashboard to lift the otherwise dark ambience and driver and front-seat passenger are well catered for. There’s space for two in the back but it’ll be a bit of a squeeze if you try and fit three across the rear bench. Disappointingly, the hybrid loses a chunk of boot space to the regular Juke, the battery taking up stash space under the floor and eating into luggage room. Of more concern for a car likely to spend much of its time pounding urban or suburban streets was the ride comfort, the car clattering over potholes and smacking into speed humps, even when slowing to a crawl. Sure, it contributes to a sporty, nippy feeling when speeds increase. But the rest of the time it was pretty unpleasant. Strangely it actually felt worse on the smaller 17-inch wheels than it did the bigger ones, which goes against conventional roadtester wisdom.
Expert rating: 3/5
Features of the Nissan Juke Hybrid SUV
“The funky looking Bose speaker system is featured from Tekna trim and up fits well with the Juke’s youthful image”
The hybrid engine is only available from the mid-level N-Connecta trim and up, meaning it costs more but comes with a more generous specification, including TomTom-powered navigation via the central touch-screen and a bigger digital instrument display. You can run your apps via CarPlay or Android Auto if you prefer, of course. It’s fine in either mode but perhaps not quite as flashy as some of the alternatives from VW and others, so if you really like your cutting edge tech you may be better off looking elsewhere. Saying that, the funky looking Bose speaker system on Tekna trim and up fits well with the Juke’s youthful image, the logos on the front headrest speakers having the appearance of headphones and powered by a configurable stereo system. On the outside the hybrid version gets a different grille with a black strip across the top in line with other electrified Nissans to set it apart from regular Jukes.
Expert rating: 4/5
Power for a Nissan Juke Hybrid SUV
“The electrified boost off the line gives the Juke Hybrid a significant spring in its step compared with the regular ICE (internal combustion engine) only version”
The hybrid system powering the Juke is based around an ingenious gearbox from partners Renault, whose original concept was proven using Technic Lego before being developed into a fully working system. The mechanically curious can read more about how it works in our long-term test with the hybrid Clio using the same tech. Everyone else can just appreciate the way the electrified boost off the line gives the Juke Hybrid a significant spring in its step compared with the regular ICE (internal combustion engine) only version. This really comes into its own in city driving, where the Juke Hybrid leaps away from the lights and quickly accelerates up to cruising speed while the system blends input from the electric motor and petrol engine. The gearbox is effectively an automatic, so you simply select ‘drive’ and go, while the e-Pedal button selects more assertive regeneration to charge the battery when slowing down, though it’s not a true ‘one-pedal’ system. Nissan claims as much as 80 per cent of your urban driving can be on electric power, which sounds impressive but the overall fuel consumption in our hands wasn’t actually much more impressive than an efficient petrol or diesel motor in similar use.
Expert rating: 3/5
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