With the daunting task of searching for a car, it never fails that an auto manufacturer throws you off by adding another model to their line up. In the past year, we’ve seen at least 3 major brands do that in the small crossover class. The Hyundai Kona, Ford EcoSport (new to America) and the Nissan Kicks have all debuted this year. And with the already established Kia Soul, the new Nissan Kicks aims to reign over their key competitors with several standard features, targeted marketing and many “best in class” features.
If the raucous vibe and brightly colored festivities of Brazil’s Carnival manifested itself into a crossover, the Nissan Kicks would be the end product. And it makes sense since the concept for the Kicks was first shown at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show.
With Nissan’s popular Color Studio, customers can personalize their Kicks by choosing one of five different accent colors for the 12 genuine Nissan accessory items. For instance, if the two tone color combinations aren’t spicy enough, you can change the color of the black 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with color inserts. It’s a creative and fun way to make the Kicks your very own.
Similar in size to it’s cousin, the Nissan Juke, there are several style choices that Nissan chose to incorporate into the compact vehicle, to make it appear more sleek and modern. Nissan has incorporated the boomerang headlamps and taillights that we see on other models in their line up. The Kicks also features a dramatic floating roof look with a V-Motion grille and the availability to upgrade to LED headlights.
There a lot of standard features that come with the Kicks. A full color 7-inch touch screen, “Gliding Wing” dashboard design and D-shape sport steering wheel come standard. The NASA inspired zero gravity seats can seat 5. I was able to sit comfortably in the both the drivers seat and front passenger seat. The 40/60 split bench seating in the back help create more room from the rear of the car to the spacious cargo area. And the hatch opens up high enough, that a 6 ft person could easily get items out the back without ducking.
In what can be considered a jump in the right direction for more standardized safety features, the Nissan Kicks features Automatic Emergency Braking standard. The Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona and Ford EcoSport don’t offer that standard, and when added certainly goes above the $18,000 base price of the Kicks.
For a small price, you can add lots of bells and whistles and still stay under most of it’s competitors price tags.
- 7-inch advanced driver assist display
- Bose personal audio system
- Blind spot warning
- Rear cross traffic alert
- Intelligent around view monitor
You’ll be hard pressed to find a CUV that boasts a best in class MPG raing at 33 combined. Even the Kicks competitors can’t attain this without sacrificing other performance features like acceleration. The Kicks 1.6 liter, 4-cylinder engine is comparable to it’s competitors, along with 125 hp to tug it down the road.
The base model for the Nissan Kicks will cost you around $17,990. And the SR Premium Package tops out around $21,290, which is significantly less expensive than it’s lowest priced competitor (boasting the same features). Budget friendly, consumers that are looking to get a lot of features for a price that won’t hurt their pockets, the Nissan Kicks seems to fit the mold.
What CarBelles Loved About the Nissan Kicks
- 3 USB ports (1 front, 2 rear)
- rear pocket cup holders
- interior color stitching
- available Apple Play & Android Auto
- standard automatic breaking system
- exterior color combinations
What CarBelles Would Love to See Improved in the Nissan Kicks
- interior door handles are small and shallow, it was hard to open the door
- driver’s adjustable arm rest left little room to remove seat belt when down
- rear seating is cramped if you have a tall person upfront
- A middle console or another closed compartment upfront would be handy
- seat belt warning system should remind customer to buckle up until they do
All in all, we think the 2018 Nissan Kicks is a great entry level CUV for those that are looking for more room than a traditional sedan. It’s perfect for those young at heart and would be a great vehicle to use for those that drive for a living (Uber, Lyft, Amazon).