There’s a new Juke in town.
I’m not going to mince words here. I didn’t much care for the outgoing Nissan Juke. I say outgoing only insofar as I was vaguely aware that a replacement was imminent, but its introduction some time last Autumn rather passed me by. I find this realisation somewhat disquieting, given the amount of time I expend or otherwise squander appraising myself of the ifs, buts and maybes associated with the European automotive industry.
But anyway, it seems the Juke has been replaced – a realisation that gradually dawned earlier this week while innocently attempting to regain some bipedal mobility. (Or to put it in layman’s terms, while out for a walk). Always with at least one eye for an article, I was moved to photograph the Juke’s latest incarnation, albeit insufficiently so to actually cross the road and carry out the process in depth.
In my defence, neither the ambient conditions – the Carrigrohane skies being at least as leaden as the Nissan’s paintwork – nor the traffic conditions on a particularly busy and fast moving stretch of road (one which it might interest you to learn once upon a time hosted a Grand Prix) were in my favour.
Grown-up will likely be the adjective of choice employed by the gentlemen of the press to describe the 2020 Juke. Twinned, one assumes with the latest generation of Renault Captur, which I might suggest appears even more grown-up still, the Nissan has shed the original’s love-or-loathe styling for something considerably less binary, albeit with a very light sprinkling of Juke-ness, so as to remind customers of their individuality and freedom of choice.
Viewed as a box-ticking exercise it’s about spot-on. However alongside its B-segment counterpart from Toyota City, it’s downright apologetic. Mind you given that your average suburban Rochestown retiree’s C-HR makes Lamborghini’s Urus look a smidge tentative, that’s hardly a stinging criticism.
Which isn’t to say that Nissan doesn’t understand the market it helped create. And while Toyota has illustrated just how far the customer is prepared to travel (if the nameplate is right), its embattled Franco-Japanese rival seems likely to do at least as well across Europe with this offering.
Faint praise. All of which makes me perhaps less qualified to critique the Juke without prejudice, something which cannot be levelled at fellow scribe, Richard Herriott, whose broadly impartial impressions of a first-generation Juke are perhaps as relevant now as they were in 2014.