It’s thanks to the commercial success of the original Nissan Juke that the market segment known to some as B-SUV (‘B’ being the prefix traditionally used to identify superminis) exists at all; and, arguably, also that the compact crossover hatchback has become Europe’s biggest automotive market growth area.
Inevitably, now we have a second-generation Juke, with a new chassis and a new engine, built on a Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance model platform. And given how much more competition there is for this one than there was for its predecessor, you can bet that it won’t be another nine years until we see a third.
Plenty is different about the car this time around. Whereas the last one had a specially adapted chassis used only by Nissan and offered a choice of petrol and diesel engines, and two- and four-wheel drive, the new one opens for business with just one engine, with Nissan having ruled out diesel power for the car entirely.
Sharing its platform underpinnings with the new Renault Clio and related Captur, the second-gen Juke will be built alongside the Qashqai in Wearside, near Sunderland; and given the position of commercial strength it occupies, latecomers to the class such as Volkswagen, Skoda, Mazda and Ford will be watching its critical reception – of which the next 2000 words or so can be considered a key constituent – with interest.