IT’S crowded in the small SUV market and buyers have plenty of choices, but the 2021 Nissan JUKE Ti’s unusual exterior design attracts plenty of attention, in a good way. It’s new look, launched last year, is a comfortable look.
Earlier iterations were harsh to this writer’s eyes, but the new model offers a more cohesive shape. The technology and safety package is competitive against its rivals, and the range topping Ti variant offers a load of cool gear.
Its offering includes an eight speaker Bose premium audio package, with cool speakers in the front headrests, Alcantara trim, 19-inch Akari alloy wheels, tyre pressure monitoring, privacy glass, and illuminated scuff plates.
Heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and satellite navigation are carried up from lower grades. The V-shaped grille and peering Y pattern headlamps make a ‘look at me’ statement at the front, mounted above the sharpened front bar elements.
Bold panel crease lines reflect light and shade from almost any angle on the car. Black edge trims and mirrors isolate the cabin glasshouse and conceal high placed rear door handles near the upswept door glass.
The black wheel arch flares and sills flow into the rear bumper lower diffuser. Darkened tail lights sit widely across the car haunches above a deeply recessed boot lid and bumper. For us, this works without being garish and the design seems to have aged pretty well.
Prominent stitching features throughout the Alcantara-finished cabin. The speakers fitted to the front seat headrests as part of the premium Bose audio system create a kind of sound bubble.
The front seats are immediately comfortable with good lateral support and a quilted finish. Start-up LED ambient highlights around the console’s circular gearshift, start button and front door trims give a little drama in a darkened car.
Like several of their segment competitors, the 2021 Nissan JUKE Ti is fitted with a turbocharged 1.0-litre three cylinder engine. It drives the front wheels through a seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission, fitted with paddle shifters.
Its 84kW output is overshadowed by more powerful competition but it doesn’t feel slow or unresponsive in Sport mode. The ride is slightly firm, with good handling and direct steering making a balanced car to drive in most environments.
Fuel economy during testing ranged from 6.4-litres/100km to 8.4-litres/100km. We feel we could have achieved slightly better numbers had the air conditioning not overridden the stop/start function.
At one point we proudly contributed a carbon dioxide saving of 2.86kg according the ADAD dash screen. It was an exciting moment.
While wireless phone charging is not available, the front USB and auxiliary ports are adjacent to a 12-volt power outlet. Both are mounted above the console recess, which provides an easy spot to place your phone.
The prominent 8.0-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system includes the now ubiquitous Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. DAB+ digital radio and Bluetooth streaming keep the music coming.
The screen displays Nissan’s around-view 360-degree safety monitor to help position the vehicle in uncertain parking or blind spot situations.
The JUKE’s range of colours includes Vivid Blue, Ivory Pearl, Gun Metallic (as tested), Pearl Black, Burgundy, Platinum, Grey metallic and Fuji Sunset Red. The interior trim is Black (or at least very dark grey) quilted leather.
The 2021 Nissan JUKE Ti is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with 5-year roadside assistance. It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. Nissan’s intelligent mobility safety suite provides lane safety technology, blind spot and forward collision warnings.
Priced at $39,490 drive away, the JUKE has aged well enough, especially in its latest guise. It stands up to newer competitors well on fuel efficiency, equipment levels and interior space.
Our test vehicle was provided by Nissan Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Nissan JUKE Ti, contact your local Nissan dealer.