A motorbike? Apparently so. The Nissan Juke’s instrument cluster’s two dials seem separate from the dashboard, framed in mock-aluminium with a cowling floating above and joined to the dial cases by two struts. All you need are the handlebars and the rush of wind.
Then there’s the centre tunnel, high and rounded and painted in a glossy silver metallic to look like a motorcycle’s petrol tank. In top Tekna versions, the silver is replaced by body colour.
The Juke is not an expensive car, as the fact that every interior plastic surface is hard shows. However, the interesting details divert your senses: chrome door handles like giant ring-pulls, plentiful cupholders, a leather-rimmed steering wheel with knurled switches for stereo and cruise control, the decent stereo itself and, best of all, the Nissan Dynamic Control System which comes as standard on Acenta and Tekna cars. The graphics are a bit Windows 2000, but the idea is very neat – it controls the climate system or other parts of the set-up (automatic headlights, unlocking regime and so on), activate a trip computer, trigger a g-force meter or open a bar-graph history of your success at driving economically. It’ll also adjust throttle settings in Sport mode.
There’s enough space in the Juke for two normal-size adults in the back, or three at a squeeze, but there’s no MPV-like seat adjustability here and the narrow windows make it feel oppressive.
The Juke sits you high relative to the road, but with the seat at its lowest you can create quite a racy, laid-back driving position. You can still see the bonnet, and the wing-top lights act as a good positioning guide. The steering wheel adjusts only for height; the adjustment lacks a helper spring, so the wheel crashes downwards if you’re not ready to support it. The front seats are comfortable enough, with very strong but quite soft lumbar support.