The trendsetting Nissan Juke crossover is being reinvented for 2020 with an all-new generation. Ahead of that car’s official unveiling in early September, Autocar joined Nissan for a preview of a disguised pre-production model, including a brief stint behind the wheel.
The original Nissan Juke arrived in 2010 with a design that can be best described as polarising. But that didn’t stop Nissan selling a total of one million Jukes in Europe, with 60,000 sales last year. But it knew the writing was on the wall: the crossover market, which the Juke arguably conceived, is full to bursting. With an abundance of more modern rivals on the scene, Nissan couldn’t afford to rest on its laurels for the second-generation Juke.
So it hasn’t. The aim was simple: keep the sense of fun and sportiness that drew in existing buyers, but smooth off the sharper edges and annoyances, such as limited rear seat and boot space.
The new Juke uses the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s Common Module Family B (CMF-B) platform. This platform also underpins the new Renault Captur and Renault Clio and brings several benefits. For a start, the Juke’s footprint is still a reasonable 4210mm (up 75mm) but the wheelbase has grown by 106mm to 2636mm. That’s 85mm up on a Volkswagen T-Cross, allowing for one of the roomier cabins in its class.
At the same time, the use of high-strength steel has made the body-in-white 13% stiffer and 6% lighter.
That’s helpful, because for now the only engine will be a Nissan Micra-sourced 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit, with the same 115bhp and 133lb ft of torque (reaching 148lb ft on overboost). CO2 figures for it have been homologated, sitting at 113-118g/km with a manual gearbox and 111-116g/km for the auto version (NEDC derived).
Nissan wouldn’t confirm that a plug-in hybrid is on the cards. But a Renault Captur PHEV has already been announced, so it’s a strong likelihood. A fully electric version is less of a given.