After buying a house, a car is the next biggest biggest purchase most of us will make. The sums of money involved are not small, so the decision on what to get is not one you want to make lightly. JHogg’s car is quite new, but mine is starting to fall apart (quite literally). We have coped with 1 car before, but its not plesant, so we were invited to trying out a Nissan Juke for the weekend to see how it works as a family car.
The first impressions were great. We were driving a Tekna model which has lots of additional optional features. A lot of cars these days have a button handbrake, but I really appreciated the “normal” handbrake on the Juke. It is personal preference, but I prefer the physical act of pulling up the handbrake to know that I have secured the car.
JHogg drove the car first and found it really comfortable to drive when he was in it alone. The car seats were installed quickly, and I did find it a bit of a tight fit to use the belt on JJ’s infant car seat. However, most of us these days tend to use an isofix base so I wouldn’t find it a big issue usually. Unfortunately, adding car seats to the back of the car meant that JHogg couldn’t slide his seat back far enough to drive in his most comfortable position. He is over 6 foot though, a bit above average height, so it may not have been an issue for everyone.
JHogg had to get cracking in the garden on Saturday, so I loaded up the kids and went to the beach with my mum. Piglet was able to reach the door handle and open it, but it was just one quick press of a button to switch on the child lock and keep him for causing havoc.
I was having a bit of a panic at first as I couldn’t get the pram to fit in the boot of the car. It is a full travel system but does fold pretty small so I couldn’t work out why it wouldn’t fit. Thankfully we discovered that the boot of the Juke has a false bottom which you could remove and create a deeper boot. With the pram loaded up we were able to head off.
The drive down to Stonehaven was a pleasant one. The Juke has 6 gears which was perfect for on the dual carriageway. There was plenty power behind it to allow for safe overtaking too. I would usually consider myself very good at reverse parking (it is a requirement for all office car parks in the oil and gas industry so I’ve had lots of practice!) but it can always be a bit strange doing it in a new car for the first time. I didn’t have to worry though, as the parking cameras kept me right and we parked up in the first attempt.
Piglet had great fun running around on the beach with Granny. Seeing the boats on the beach front and in the harbour had him lighting up with excitement. When it started to rain we ran back to a cafe for lunch to keep dry, before heading back to the car to drive home.
A sandy toddler is usually the thing of nightmares, but the leather seats in the Juke meant that the sand was quickly brushed away rather than imbedding itself in to the seats for all eternity. One quick wipe and you wouldn’t have known he was at the beach at all.
On Sunday we decided to go out for a family adventure to St Andrews. We decided to just take Piglet’s stroller and the baby carrier for JJ, so we were able to place the base of the boot back in place and still have plenty space for jackets, wellies and the changing bag.
The SatNav was really easy to use, as was the DAB digital radio so we could listen to JHogg’s favourite 80’s music station on the drive. JHogg and I made use of the heated seats as it was a bit cold setting off early, and the kids were comfy in the back with their blankets.
The roads were quiet so it was a fairly peaceful drive down. The cruise control on the Juke was simple to set up and meant we could avoid any accidental speeding as we headed down the road. Usually before heading off on a longer journey I would check the tyre pressure, but the Juke comes with a tyre pressure indicator which gives you a heads up if there is a potential problem so it was nice to not have to worry about that before we left.
Once we got to St Andrews we went to the aquarium. Piglet loves fish, and of course was super excited when we told him he was looking at a baby shark. We left the stroller in the car so that he could run around and stretch his legs while I carried JJ.
The rain meant we weren’t too keen to walk around like we would usually do. We headed to trusty Pizza Express for lunch (do parents even go anywhere else when they have young kids?!) where Piglet did his best to show that he is completely feral. He did surprise us by eating some pizza though, something we have never actually known him to do in the past. His behaviour was a strong indicator that we needed to get back to the car and drive home so he could have a nap…. but not before we grabbed a quick ice cream at Janettas – it would have been rude not to!
Both kids fell asleep almost instantly in the car. I used the usb port to plug in my phone to charge – a feature I love because I’m always draining my battery! JHogg and I were able to chat on the way home without Piglet interrupting us, a nice change. Before long we were home and it was time to return the car.
I found it really interesting test driving for this Nissan Juke review. We really liked the car, but the reality is that it doesn’t really work for our family at the moment. Before we had children I would have loved it for us as a couple, but the baby stage comes with a little more baggage than a Juke can handle. In a few years time, once we’re finished with big travel systems and the bulky infant car seats we would be better suited to it. For a family of 4 I think we’d be better off with a Qashqai or X-Trail at the moment – however the Nissan Juke price range does make it very affordable so of course that is appealing too!
This post was written in collaboration with Specialist Cars Nissan
Please note this post may include some affiliate links. This has no effect on you - to find out more please check out the disclosure