The Pug Life


Isn’t it funny how various breeds of dogs come into fashion? Right now, Pugs are what everyone seems to have straining at the end of their leashes. Pugs are those bulldog-like miniatures; they have a short muzzle, a curled tail, and a compact, muscular body. What’s not to like?

And this may be a large part of the Juke’s appeal: that it resembles the stocky little scrapper we’d like to have on our side when the room goes quiet and the bad guys push their chairs back. There’s a wheel positioned deep into each corner, and (though pleasingly squat in appearance), with 180 mm of ground clearance, the Juke is more middlemannetjie-friendly than many similar-sized vehicles.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the little Nissan is a 3-door model, as the rear door-handles, artfully set into the C-pillar, are almost invisible at first glance. Make no mistake, in a world of ‘What car is that?’ the Juke presents a highly distinctive profile. So, form gets a 10 out of 10; but what of function?

Well, lets get the worst of it out the way first. If you have any height (or bulk), the Juke is not a vehicle you’d want to be a rear-seat passenger in − it’s cramped and dark, back there. (Maybe that’s why they hid the rear door handles away). Thankfully, there are no such problems up front; here, you have a fun cockpit in keeping with the vehicle’s distinctive exterior, featuring lots of curvy body-colour-coded panelling. Hell, some of the switchgear even boasts two entirely different sets of functionality − that one had us foxed for a long time!

We counted one auxiliary power point up front, which feels somewhat on the stingy side. In terms of stowage, the front door bins are capacious while the rear ones aren’t; the boot is also on the small side, but redeems itself partially with a rear parcel shelf that’s attached to the tailgate, so that it stays in place when one is opening and closing the boot.

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