This car’s no juke

Hertz certainly has a vast range of vehicles for hire. If you’ve got the readies, the world is your oyster with Hertz offering classics like a Rolls Royce or a Ferrari. But for an ordinary holiday-maker like me here in England with my family, something more modest is the order of the day.

The Nissan Juke - for the young and not-so-young  driver

The Nissan Juke – for the young and not-so-young driver

So, for my UK holiday this year I picked up a Nissan Juke at the Hertz depot at London’s Heathrow Airport.

This model is not available in the Philippines and I’d not seen it before. I found its quirky and somewhat oddball design rather appealing. The Juke has five doors, five seats and a useful cargo area under the rear hatch.

Despite its looks, it has I’m told become a very popular model. It straddles the divide between a tall subcompact hatchback and a very compact crossover.

It’s powered by a 188-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo charged direct-injection four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) power. Gas is expensive in England and I found the Juke economical when driven at around 90 kph.

Despite its tall body and high seating position, the Juke drives just like a regular car. Visibility is excellent and I especially liked the camera in the back so backing into parking spaces becomes much easier. As I have some problems turning my neck, I found this feature a Godsend.

The funky design of the Juke is primarily aimed at young drivers. I’m not a young driver, but the car also appeals to the young-at-heart.

One British car reviewer said the Juke is “an arrogant, independent, smugly stylish little car that draws attention whether its parked or zipping past all the big cars on the road. Its looks are not traditional, which accounts for the alligator label, though a bullfrog in a hurry is probably more apt.”

The interior is very comfortable with the ample use of leather, from the adjustable steering wheel to the thickly padded doors and arm rests to the seats. On the entertainment side, the Juke has a Rockford Fosgate sound system with an eight-inch subwoofer and six speakers – more than enough to deafen anyone in the car.

I have a feeling this unusual-looking car would be very popular with young drivers in the Philippines. What about it Nissan?