Endowing a tall car like the Nissan Juke with taut handling invariably means making the suspension, and especially the anti-roll bars, stiff.

The Juke is true to form here, and it’s as well that the wheelspin-controlling part of the ESP system stays engaged when the rest of it is switched off. Power hard through a fast bend and you can feel the inside front wheel start to spin as the weight rapidly transfers to the outer one, and then the electronics step in. Back off now and the tail edges out obediently.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The electric power steering has the artificial feel typical of its type

Add precise, quick-acting steering to this innate tautness and you soon discover that the Juke can be a lot of fun. It encourages you to flick it through twists, never feeling unstable or top-heavy. You hardly feel its SUV genes at all.

But its electric power steering, for all its response speed, has the artificial feel typical of its type, with a viscous-like resistance either side of straight-ahead and little change in weighting, even during those wheelspin moments.

It’s worse in Sport mode, where steering changes unfortunately can’t be separated from the throttle response changes. Sport, as is too often the case, simply adds resistance to the movement with no gain in transparency of communication.

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However, there is amusement to be had from the g-force meter within the D-Mode’s repertoire. It shows acceleration, braking and cornering forces and gives a little taste of Nissan GT-R in your Juke.

Predictably, the Juke is fidgety over small bumps. At speed it smooths out while keeping bigger body movements under firm control, but the ride is noticeably worse in the back.

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