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The Juke crossover is the first of Nissan's model range to be produced as a Nismo performance special with more set to follow. The name is borrowed from the company's tuning arm in Japan, which is famed among enthusiasts and fans of the Gran Turismo computer game series. In practice, that means a 200hp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, a sports bodykit and numerous trick trim updates inside.
As a branding exercise, it's a worthwhile one, as the firm is exploiting its performance heritage, but be under no illusions - this is more sports trim than full-on sports car. It's good for 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds and 134mph - brisk yes, but not high performance by today's standards. Emissions of 159g/km and 40.9mpg aren't bad given the previous figures but they're a way off what most savvy fleet operators are after.
It looks sharp and interior touches such as the Alcantara steering wheel add to the flair, but they don't make up for the Juke's downfalls in other areas such as its lack of space in the rear and small boot. The Nismo model is a good idea, but it's not one that will really benefit the fleet community.
This Juke represents a good use of the Japanese maker's performance brand but the Nismo model is of little value to fleets apart from in lifting Nissan's sporting reputation.