Launched two years ago with a single 114 hp three-cylinder petrol engine, the second-generation Juke did not have a thunderous start to its career. The urban SUV, competitor of Renault Captur et Peugeot 2008, is in 8th place in its category in France. In question, the low supply of engines. This deficit has now been corrected since the Juke receives for the first time a hybrid engine (non-rechargeable) much more in line with the current context.
The additional cost to benefit from hybridization compared to a Juke “normal” is €3,160. Nissan has chosen to remove the entry-level finishes, which brings the starting price to €31,450 in the N-Connecta finish, the heart of the range. Despite everything, we remain in the upper range of the market, with an equivalent engine and finish, compared to the Hyundai Kona Creative (€31,000), the Toyota Yaris Cross Design (€28,900) and Renault Captur Techno (€30,900).
This powertrain is also present under the hood of the latest Renault Captur and Arcana hybrids. This is a common concept between the two partners of the Renault Alliance and Nissan. It combines a naturally aspirated 94 hp gasoline engine, of Nissan origin (optimized for hybridization), a 49 hp electric motor and a 20 hp alternator-starter, powered by a small lithium-ion battery of 1.2 kWh. The set develops 143 hp, all sent to the front wheels. A power level more in line with the Juke chassis. In built-up areas, the Juke favors electric as long as you don’t step on the right pedal.
The robotic claw box, patented by Renault, is designed in this sense. All starts are zero-emission and the two electric motors (the main motor and the alternator-starter) are used in combination to synchronize the speeds. The hybrid Juke can even travel 2 to 3 km in all-electric mode when the “EV” mode is activated, up to a speed of around 55 km/h, which authorizes access to the ZFE for example (low emission zones ) today and tomorrow. This is ideal for urban and peri-urban use.
Outside cities, the electric motor supports the 4-cylinder to provide more sustained acceleration. The power gain is noticeable but nothing exceptional in itself. Rarely will you feel like you have 143 hp under your right foot. Evidenced by the basic performance with a 0 to 100 km / h achieved in 10.6 s and a V-Max of 166 km / h. Rest assured, overtaking on a secondary road or on the highway will never be a problem. However, it will be necessary to be indulgent with the gearbox, struggling, during heavy loads.
The primary interest of this hybridization is to lower consumption levels by driving up to 80% of the electrified time, according to Nissan. We were able to see it on a mixed course of a good hundred kilometers with many sections of motorway. Without practicing eco-driving, we observed an average of 5.8 l/100 km. That is 1.1 liters less than the version DIG-T de 114 ch (average recorded during a previous test).
We are still far from the 40% gain announced by the brand, however, it is possible to improve this score by engaging the “eco” mode and using the e-Pedal which intensifies regeneration on foot lifting and limits the use of the brake pedal. This system optimizes battery charging to allow driving most often with the help of the electric motor. The calibration of this system has been revised with respect to the Nissan Leaf who also benefits. Previously, the e-Pedal worked until the vehicle came to a complete stop. Deemed too “abrupt” by customers, it now deactivates at 7 km/h.
The brand has slightly revised a few details to improve aerodynamics and mark its hybrid pedigree. The Juke receives a new grille, a modified lower bumper and a few badges here and there. To highlight this assertive design, new rims are available offering up to 19”. A choice that greatly degrades the level of comfort as we observed during our test. This mount violently reflects the slightest imperfection of the road in the passenger compartment. If you want to keep a minimum of comfort, it is better to stay on a 17” mount. Apart from this inconvenience, the compromise of the damping remains convincing. The Juke retains a good ratio between support and comfort despite the overweight caused by hybridization (about 200 kg). Nissan’s SUV is fun to drive, precise and agile thanks to its short wheelbase. Too bad, rear visibility is still passable.
On board, the hybridization brings a specific display at the instrumentation level including a gauge for the additional battery and a driving assistant. An e-Pedal button and an “EV” (all-electric) mode take place on the dashboard and the foot of the center console. For the rest it is a Juke like the others, offering a rather neat presentation and plenty of storage. The 8” touchscreen tablet does not offer exceptional resolution but it has the merit of being easy to use and of offering connected services. The space in the rear seats will be more than enough for two adults, provided that they travel without luggage, because the trunk sees its volume drop to 354 liters due to hybridization. Or the same capacity as a Seat Ibiza, from the lower segment.