By Adib Noor and Bandar Sri Begawan
When I received a text message from Boustead Sdn Bhd inviting members of the media to test drive the Nissan Juke Turbo, I was more than curious.
My first response to the Juke was "What kind of car is it?". To my observation, it's too big to be a mini and not big enough to be an SUV.It was a fine Brunei afternoon, bright, sunny and warm. With a quick touch of the button on the Juke's Turbo I-CON (Intelligent Control Display) a handy little display easily accessible arms length from the driver seat, the heat was quickly eliminated and I was ready for a cool drive.
"Why dont you try out the Turbo mode," said one of the marketing manager who was assigned to put an eye on me. As soon as he switched on the turbo mode via the I-CON, I could feel the rumble and power of the 1.6-litre direct injection turbo petrol engine. The juke packs a 188bhp and will get you from zero to 62mph in 8.0secs. My friend directly translates this into pure fun on the road.
The power is amazing, it took me mere seconds to get used to the acceleration of the vehicle and I was later zipping through traffic effortlessly. The Juke handled beautifully through corners and thanks to its design, it felt like I was driving a go-kart with a smile to my face ... and I was amazed by the balance of speed and handling of the vehicle. The suspension is not that stiff which is a good thing, keeping the body movement firmly in check as the stance of the vehicle is quite tall due to its crossover design.
During the short drive I was given the opportunity to try out the three different driving modes. Each mode has its own different variations in throttle response. In the normal mode the throttle response was quite balanced but not too harsh for the sport mode. On the other hand, you can't help but step on the gas to feel the full power of the engine in eco mode. The throttle response was not that sluggish and is more suitable for a mid-night cruise or when caught in heavy traffic. All of the modes are accessible through the Juke's I-CON which also displays readouts and data on your style of driving. It can even display your fuel economy record.
Space however is limited. This could be an issue for those sitting at the back and tagging along for a long weekend drive. The front, however, has ample space. Storage at the back is also limited due to the car's exterior design but Nissan has provided a solution, a hidden compartment under the boot's floor and rear seats that can fold flat.
My verdict: The Nissan Juke Turbo is most definitely a fun ride and can handle many different situations. It comes with an amazing packaging as well thanks to its unique design. Thanks to its design, power and other features, it is definitely worth the money.