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2021 Nissan Juke updated: Software upgrade improves dual-clutch auto response and smoothness as Mazda CX-3, Kia Seltos, Ford Puma and MG ZS rival steps up

There are no changes to the 2021 Nissan Juke except for the software update.

Nissan has implemented an improvement to its recently released Juke in order to address criticisms about low-speed engine response and powertrain smoothness.

Now installed in all 2021 Juke models from the factory, the running change is a software update and is designed to enhance the speed and reaction of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) manufactured by German gearbox specialists Getrag.

While the first examples of the updated Juke in Australia are the ST-L+ and Ti Energy Orange grades launched earlier in April, they are now in every version leaving the Sunderland, UK factory destined for dealerships around the world.

The good news for owners of all second-generation Jukes (F16 series) sold in Australia since February of 2020 is that the software upgrade can be applied retrospectively, meaning it is only a matter of owners calling up their nearest Nissan dealer to book it in for the update.

According to Nissan Australia communications director Karla Leach, the company will not issue a recall as it does not have anything to do with the safety or security of the vehicle or its occupants.

The DCT upgrade comes after a number of reviews criticising the DCT’s performance and smoothness in the latest Juke, particularly in terms of tardy acceleration and jerky reactions to throttle inputs. It is also understood that the issues apply to all models fitted with the DCT around the world, and not just Australia.

In Europe and other markets, the Juke is also available with a six-speed manual gearbox in lieu of the DCT, but this transmission will not be included in the Australian line-up in the foreseeable future.

Juke sales in Australia are on the up, with sales doubling last year (to 1048 units), while volume in the first three months of 2021 has already hit the 743 registrations mark and rising.