IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Kicks is an entry-level vehicle that manages to feel better than entry level. It offers dynamic styling, decent passenger and cargo room for its size, and some upscale features that are unexpected at its price point.
All-wheel drive isn’t available, and the folded rear seatbacks don’t rest level with the cargo floor.
Nissan offers some vibrant paint-color choices, such as Scarlet Ember Tintcoat and Electric Blue Metallic, as well as a two-tone treatment with a contrasting-color roof.
WHAT IS IT?
The Kicks is the entry-level vehicle in Nissan’s SUV lineup; it’s the smallest, most-affordable crossover Nissan sells in the United States. The sole powertrain is a 122-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. The Kicks model lineup ascends through S, SV, and SR trim levels. Standard safety features on all include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, reverse automatic braking, rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. The SV model adds adaptive cruise control and a drowsy driver monitor, and the SR adds a 360-degree surround-view monitor. SRs can also be equipped with a Premium Package that includes heated front seats and steering wheel, “Prima-Tex” simulated leather upholstery, Bose premium audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot, and NissanConnect Services remote-access features via a smartphone app.
After its update last year, the Nissan Kicks sees no significant changes for ’22. The Kicks was refreshed for the 2021 model year with bolder front/rear styling and standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, as well as available adaptive cruise control, electronic parking brake with an auto-hold feature, and 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The Kicks is EPA-rated at 31 mpg city/36 highway. During Consumer Guide® evaluation, an SR model returned 37.2 mpg in a test that consisted of about 80-percent highway driving. The Kicks uses regular-grade gas.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Nissan Kicks is a bargain-priced vehicle that delivers a surprisingly absorbent, quiet ride for its class, and it even manages to feel somewhat peppy in around-town driving. Its tidy dimensions mean it’s quite nimble in congested urban areas, and it offers a number of welcome available features that aren’t common in its class. The Kicks straddles the line between a subcompact hatchback car and a subcompact crossover SUV, but whatever you call it, it’s a fun, likable vehicle.