The Nissan Kicks, a city touring CUV?

The Nissan Kicks was introduced in 2014 and began production in 2016. Originally introduced in the Brazil and Indian markets, the Nissan Kicks hit the North American market officially in 2018 when it replaced the Juke.

A subcompact crossover utility vehicle (CUV), the Nissan Kicks offers great value and is the perfect about-town, commuter, or second car. It’s a perfect first new car with great mileage and style.

Specs

The great thing about the Nissan Kicks is that it offers many opportunities for customization which are generally reserved for more expensive vehicles. There are three trim levels without any special packages, but each is customizable with numerous accessories available. Many of these accessories include additional color customizations, making the Nissan Kicks truly about your choices at a great price point.

 James/Flickr

The S model

The base model is called the S Xtronic CVT. With a starting MSRP of $18,640, it features a 7″ touch display, Siri Eyes Free, Automatic Emergency Braking, 16″ steel wheels with covers,

Standard to the S Xtronic CV is a 1.6L 16V 4-cylinder dual injector engine with 122 horsepower. It’s an automatic transmission, which is a shame considering its low power.

The Kicks comes standard with FWD, hill start assist and Xtronic CVT which is a continuously variable transmission. Brake assist comes standard, as does side impact airbags, driverside knee airbags, and Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control System.

The SV model

The SV includes the same features as the S, but adds upgraded rims to 17″ aluminum-alloys, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power mirrors, colored handles and other accessories, air, remote start, interior comfort features, Sirius radio, and Radio Data System with an MSRP of $20,970.

The SR model

The SR has an MSRP of $22,065. It includes all of the SV features and INtegrated Dynamics-control Module, additional interior comfort and convenience features, cargo cover, interior style accents, illuminated steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and other style and safety features.

All trim levels can be further upgraded with an array of accessories; also warrantied by the dealer.

Many of these accessories include additional color customizations, making the Nissan Kicks truly about your choices at a great price point.

Nearest comparables

The closest comparables to the Nissan Kicks are the Honda H-RV and the Toyota RAV4. Both suffer from the same downsides as the Nissan Kicks.

The Honda H-RV suffers from the same low power and sluggish acceleration claimed of the Kicks, along with a noisy engine. For a city touring, or commuter car, the noisy engine would be enough to drive one around the bend. The Toyota RAV4 suffers those complaints, and issues with the seat and unresponsive handling.

While other metrics across the vehicles generally remain the same, the Nissan Kicks comes out as the winner amongst these three. It’s also the most stylish of the three and offers many personal customizations that can really make the car special to you.

The Nissan Kicks offers great value and is the perfect about-town, commuter, or second car. It’s a perfect first new car with great mileage and style.

Reviews

The seats are a common complaint that consistently comes up. The car was introduced and built originally for the Brazil and Indian markets. Markets with typically smaller statured people, which is why the seats may have irked so many North Americans. For the car value and use, seat accessory additions are a small price to pay. The Nissan Kicks is the perfect price for millennials and is great for city touring or mini road trips.

A deeper dive — Related reading from the 101:

– Why customers thought these were the worst cars | Autos101

Looking for a new car, but not sure where to start? Make sure it’s not one of these – customer branded ‘worst cars’.

 How to buy a dependable used car | Autos101

Can’t afford a new car? Find out how to buy a dependable used car here.