The quirky-styled but award-winning Juke was given a serious make-over towards the end of 2014 and the RS was the result.
A more powerful engine, tauter steering, revised suspension and bigger brakes, sitting in a strengthened chassis with a bigger boot under the bulbous bodywork has transformed the dynamic qualities of the car.
Nissan has gone further with seriously upgraded technology inside as standard or options and the result is not one car, or two, but three possible personalities.
Eco mode slows and saves, normal does what you could reasonably expect but press sport button and it all takes off, as quickly as the fuel economy is blown down the tailpipe.
The uprated 1600cc four cylinder engine which has benefitted from Nissan’s motorsport successes packs a lot of pulling power as well as maximum horsepower for good overtaking throughout the intermediate gears while offering reasonably relaxed motorway cruising in between the fun bits.
Secondary switches are minimal and well placed, the modest sized instruments clear if not calibrated in detail and the refined NissanConnect touch-screen does a multi-tude of things from navigating to selecting sound sources. It’s a neat piece of kit devoid of distracting glitz.
Underneath the screen is a small display to select and monitor the mode settings and some may wish this was larger or integrated with the other screen to clean up the look of the fascia.
Oddments room is very good in the front and fairly good in the back and Nissan has managed to extract 40% more luggage room and fit a false floor for security and convenience and it means the bootspace rises from 354 to 1189 litres as required when the back seats are dropped.
With four doors, access is easy into the back although it looks at first as if it has only two doors and this surprised a few passengers. Headroom is not brilliant in the back because the roofline slopes towards the rear, but infront there is a lot of head and legroom and the front pair of seats have good adjustment range.
Ride is stiffer than other Juke derivatives but its not uncomfortably hard and soaked up most road surfaces with ease. There was little body roll and no pitching or dipping under acceleration and braking.
Sweeping around corners inspired confidence with its grip and steering responses and the front seats do a good job at holding you in place.
Visibility was good to the sides but a little restricted when close to the bonnet, and the rear view was very poor and you really need the sensors and camera system to avoid hitting low-down obstructions. At night, the lights were bright and the wipers front and back did a good job.
The Nissan Juke Nismo RS is pretty close to what most would consider an SUV, except its size limits its abilities to carry big things, and yet its five-door design is immensely practical as a starting point.
Before the ultimate Nismo Juke R arrives later in 2015, we have 17 models in the Juke range from £13,620 to £23,405 and covering five trim levels with two or four wheel drive and a small range of petrol or diesel power units, with manual or automatic transmission.
The Nissan Juke Nismo RS is a distinctive car when so many rivals are also rans.
|Fast facts: Nissan Juke Nismo RS 1.6Dig-t 2WD||Price: £21,650|
|Insurance group: 20E||Mechanical: 200ps 4cyl 1.6 turbo-petrol, 6sp, front wheel drive|
|Max speed: 137mph||0-62mph: 7 seconds|
|Combined mpg: 34mpg on test||CO2 emissions: 165gkm|
|BIK rating: 28%||Warranty: 3yrs/ 100,000 miles|