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Tuesday, 23 April 2019
THERE is something equine-like about the appeal of this week’s drive — the Nissan Juke Nismo RS.
It’s no prancing horse of the Ferrari calibre, that’s for sure, and yet this fine filly has a lively character all of its own.
Especially in this Juke Nismo RS form, where everything has been tweaked to give the driver maximum sports saloon performance and comfort.
Besides, at the wheel of this frisky fellow, you can be dancing along rather than prancing.
This kind of sports version may not be to everyone’s taste but I have enjoyed driving the Nissan Juke since its launch.
It is a popular car — the Juke has been named “best compact SUV” at the Fleet News Awards 2017.
In this rarefied form of the Nismo RS you get very good performance — especially in Sport mode, when all the tweaking comes to the fore.
The Juke Nismo RS features a 1.6-litre DIG-T engine, while 2WD models benefit from Limited-Slip Differential (LSD) on the driven front wheels.
LSD prevents excessive power from being allocated to one wheel, and so keeps both driving wheels (2WD) in controlled, powered rotation throughout.
In other words, it gives the driver more control over the power at his disposal. This is especially helpful with the Juke Nismo RS where in Sport mode the car becomes very frisky indeed.
From a standing start,
0-62mph can be achieved in seven seconds with a possible top speed of 137mph. So you are not hanging about if you drive the Juke Nismo RS to its full potential.
Necessarily good braking power is there too, with larger front brake discs fitted and cross-ventilated rear discs.
If you drive the car to its full ability, one would think that fuel consumption is not astounding. Yet the official figure for the combined cycle stands at 39.2mpg.
Four-wheel-drive models feature Nissan’s advanced Torque Vectoring System as standard, along with Nissan’s Xtronic transmission, and standard-fit steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
The big-selling British-built Juke model has been praised for its low operating costs and all-round driver appeal.
And you can see why once you are at the wheel. There is a willingness here in the Juke, and especially in the Nismo RS model, to get going with enthusiasm — something you don’t get in all cars, no matter what their size.
The Juke, as with the rest of the Nissan crossover family, comes with the latest generation of NissanConnect, which offers smartphone connectivity with access to a variety of apps ranging from social media platforms to entertainment — including internet radio — through a 5.8in colour touchscreen.
The latest generation satellite navigation system integrates Google Online Search. This application offers the most up-to-date location-based information — fuel stations, hotels, restaurants, among many others.
All these points of interest can be searched through Google’s hands-free voice command and categorised by distance and customer ratings.
A send-to-car function also allows drivers to search for their destination at home and send instructions to NissanConnect system at the click of a button.
The system includes Bluetooth audio streaming and mobile phone integration, as well as aux-in and USB slots.
When not in infotainment mode, the screen doubles as a monitor for the newest version of Nissan’s pioneering Around View Monitor, which gives a complete real-time 360 degree “helicopter” view around the car to make manoeuvring as safe and easy as possible.
There is a wide range of alloy wheels available on the Juke, with 16-inch wheels available on entry-level Visia models and different styles of 17- or 18-inch alloys on Acenta, Acenta Premium, Tekna and Nismo RS variants.
A new 18-inch alloy wheel with coloured inserts is available as part of the Nissan Design Studio Exterior+ pack, allowing drivers to add their personal touch.
Nissan Juke and Juke Nismo RS
Nismo RS price on the road: £22,905
l Fully updated compact crossover
l Sporty Nismo RS versions give range a dynamic edge
l Available with extensive personalisation programme
l Engine line up includes DIG-T 115, updated DIG-T 190 and Nismo engines
l Latest-generation NissanConnect system and Nissan Safety Shield package
l Around View Monitor makes life safer and easier for drivers
l Improved luggage capacity
l Open-air panoramic glass roof and Xenon light options
l Seven trim grades — including Nismo RS