Auto Review by Veeno Dewan
The 2021 Nissan Kicks, is a highly affordable compact crossover built for today’s urban jungle. I like the format, its two wheel drive only, so making it lighter, less expensive and great on gas. A smallish engine 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine still delivers plenty of power and there is a huge cargo capacity- what’s not to love? Touted as one of Canada’s most affordable compact crossovers, the Nissan Kicks starts off a very attractive $19,898 entry price. But it’s far from being a sparse cost- cutter when it comes to features, amenities and design. Even in the top trim, SR model, the Kicks hits just below the $23,500 mark, including the $285 optional two tone metallic paint contrast-colour roof,
New for 2021 is a sportier bumper, an amped up V-Motion grille, tweaked headlights, taillights and rear-end design. The interior also has a few changes with a larger eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, a seven-inch central digital instrument cluster, and a new steering wheel.
The base Kicks features: 122-hp, 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine DOHC engine, CVT transmission, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Remote Keyless Entry with Push Button Start, RearView Monitor, and 7” Touchscreen Display with Siri Eyes Free. The SV version at $22,898 offers: available 2-tone colour combinations, Apple CarPlayTM and Android AutoTM, Heated front seats 17” Alloy wheels and Nissan Intelligent Key. The top tier SR model ($24,098) adds: Bose® Personal® Plus Sound System with 6 speakers, 2 UltraNearField Speakers in Driver’s headrest, Intelligent around View Monitor (I-AVM), Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Remote engine starter and PermaTexTM-appointed seat trim with orange stitching. The SR model as tested also offers: 8 speaker Bose Audio system, 17 inch black alloy wheels and PrimaTex seat coverings.
Also included on every Kicks is Safety Shield® 360 features like Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection.
The sporty feel is carried over into the interior there is a smart dash and the center stack console features contrast orange stitching and a seven-inch colour display touchscreen that’s easy to navigate. You can either use NissanConnectSM or the optional Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. In addition there optional advanced tech as: blind spot monitoring and the excellent Around View Monitor for parking. The fully loaded SR model as tested also offers: heated seats, remote start, automatic lights, climate control, and blind spot warning, and LED lamps. The specially engineered Bose AUDIO system includes an amp and eight speakers, two of which are cool headrest speakers for the driver. The Kicks interior is of a good quality, look and feel. Raised stitched detailing adds some class, the touchscreen is clear and bright and the controls, instrument cluster and dials are placed logically
Other amenities include four power ports and USB connectors up front. There are handy storage places and cubbyholes. Downside are few- with a lack of a covered centre console storage bin, and no armrest for the front-seat passenger. However, the seats are spacious and leg and head room is fine. Four normal-sized adults fit inside comfortably, five at a push. Trunk space is exceptional in this class, made possible because of the absence of four wheel drive system. The trunk is deep and wide with 716 litres of room with the rear seats up and 915 litres when those seats are folded down.
On the road, it important to note that the Kicks does not have an All-wheel drive option, but despite that it’s still very nice to drive. With a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine that produces 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque it is well paired with Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission CVT which get better with each generation. The Nissan Kicks handles most road surfaces very well courtesy of a front independent strut, stabilizer bar suspension teamed with a rear twist beam, stabilizer bar and twin-tube shock absorbers suspension setup. The lack of AWD means the Kicks feels lighter, more car- like and nimble in corners.
The suspension set up offers a good spot between sporty and comfortable. Harsher road surfaces do allow for more noise, bumps and knocks, but it’s not really obtrusive, The continuously variable transmission (CVT) exhibits well timed smooth shifts and also contributes the Kick excellent fuel economy ratings at (litres/100 km): 7.7 city, 6.6 highway and 7.2 combined.
To sum up, although Nissan’s marketing and advertising pitch may be youth orientated, the Kicks does make a great family CUV with its five seat capacity and stand out cargo room. The Nissan Kicks is also superbly affordable and great value for money. Highly
2021 Nissan Kicks Base price SR model: price as tested: $25,483 plus $1,830 Freight and PDE
More info at www.Nissan.ca