The subcompact crossover category might presumably offer some-more varieties of season than most. Not in terms of accessible models, though in forms of goal for any model.
You have imperishable off-roaders (Jeep Renegade), quirky runabouts (Toyota CH-R, Kia Soul), helper (Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona), civic scooters (Chevy Trax/Buick Encore, Ford EcoSport), high wagons (Subaru Crosstrek), and now a Nissan Kicks.
Nissan employees will quick scold we if we claim a Kicks is a deputy for a companyâ€™s prior entrance in this segment, a Juke, that is no longer on sale in North America (but stays accessible in other markets opposite a globe). They’ll tell we a Juke was/is directed during a opposite patron than a Kicks.
That might or might not be true, though if it is, it also evades during slightest dual other truths about a Juke â€“ it was too uncanny and too pricey for a market.
Enter a Kicks. Although it still has copiousness of quirky sum and styling, a altogether demeanour and feel is many some-more conventional. And a cost tab is much, many reduce than not usually a Juke, though some of a pivotal competitors.
Full disclosure: Nissan flew me out to San Diego, put me adult in a good hotel, fed me 3 glorious dishes and snacks and drinks, and let us see a tiny apportionment of a internal pattern offices, including a demo on how practical existence is used in automobile design. They offering a square of pattern that was sealed by a artist, that we forgot to take (and Iâ€™m excellent with that), and gave us reporters a Bluetooth orator that we will expected never unbox, a beach towel, a luggage tag, and a USB wire (which law be told, could be a usually thing that might change a journalist. We always need cables).Â
Editor’s Note: Sorry for regulating press shots, though a feeble timed camera malfunction rendered my photos unusable.Â
On paper, a Kicksâ€™ specs demeanour underwhelming. Built on a same height a underpins a unloved Versa econobox, a Kicks has a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that creates 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque. Thatâ€™s not a lot.
Those numbers sound improved when we see a quell weight â€“ 2,672 pounds, tops. Thatâ€™s light by todayâ€™s standards.
Of course, gripping weight and costs down means some tradeoffs. Most significantly for snow-belt buyers â€“ thereâ€™s no accessible all-wheel drive. Not to discuss that a Kicks indeed has drum brakes on a rear. Rare for a new car, as we know.
Nissan loves a invariably non-static involuntary transmissions, so of march a usually delivery in a Kicks is a CVT. This one has a â€œsportâ€� mode symbol trustworthy to it, though thereâ€™s no reason to worry with it â€“ we beheld unequivocally small disproportion in terms of stifle response, steering feel, or delivery function possibly â€œsportâ€� mode was intent or not.
Steering feel is a largest letdown here. No one expects a Kicks to be sporty, though thereâ€™s usually no genuine clarity of rendezvous from a speed-sensitive electric energy steering. My expostulate partner also beheld a disconcerting robe â€“ initial turn-in was mostly too assertive and compulsory a mid-turn dial-back. Probably a outcome of a steering being so damn light.
No one expects a Kicks to be fast, either, though interjection to a light quell weight, itâ€™s pretty quick in traffic. You donâ€™t get forsaken behind into your chair when we impact on a gas, and a engine creates a lot of nauseous noise, though we will be means to combine though sweating.
The strongest energetic elements are a float and a sound dampening. The float is well-spoken with usually a hold of stiffness, while outward noises stay there, supposing we havenâ€™t tangled a throttle. Itâ€™s shockingly still for a automobile of this cost point.
So yeah, itâ€™s not fun to expostulate from an enthusiastâ€™s perspective, though a commuter wonâ€™t care. He or she will happily accept a small dullness in sequence to keep their bank comment a small fuller.
This is where a Kicks shines â€“ itâ€™s not usually not a bank-breaker, though save for AWD and a few other facilities (such as bureau nav), Nissan hasnâ€™t been miserly with a content.
Letâ€™s start with a bottom S model. For $17,990 and D and D ($975 opposite a board), we get involuntary puncture braking, keyless entrance and starting, Bluetooth, 3 USB ports, rearview monitor, journey control, involuntary headlights, 7-inch touchscreen, Nissanâ€™s â€œzero gravityâ€� seats, and energy windows/locks. Not a prolonged list of customary content, though adequate to equivocate a chastisement box label.
Nissan believes a SV trim will be a many popular, and that comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a driver-assist display, satellite radio, blind-spot warning, behind cross-traffic alert, remote start, 17-inch wheels, and involuntary meridian control, among other things. Thatâ€™s all for $19,690.
The â€œloadedâ€� SR adds facilities such as haze lamps, LED headlights, opposite chair fabric, leather-wrapped steering circle and change knob, a roof-mounted behind spoiler, around-view monitor, and a procedure that controls some of a expostulate dynamics such as ride. An accessible Premium package adds pivotal facilities such as exhilarated seats, reward audio, and a confidence system. The SR is $20,290 and a Premium package costs a grand more. Various accessories are available, as well.
My SR tester ran $22,630 interjection to D and D and building mats ($215), and $150 for two-tone paint.
Value pricing infrequently comes with inexpensive quality, though while a interior offers a lot of tough plastics, there isnâ€™t a common glaze thatâ€™s seen with unequivocally bad plastics. Perhaps a biggest flaws of a interior engage a core shade that doesnâ€™t utterly line adult with a HVAC controls and a steering circle that looked off-center. Otherwise, a controls and gauges were elementary and easy to use/read.
Legroom and headroom were plentiful, and palliate of ingress/egress was good. The behind chair was a small parsimonious for my long-legged support though many adults will fit fine. The 25.3 cubic feet load area offers copiousness of space for gear, and itâ€™s a incomparable space than whatâ€™s offering seats-up in CH-R, Soul, EcoSport, or Kona.
Exterior design, while being distant some-more compulsory than a Juke, is still on a wilder side. Thereâ€™s 5 ways to get a two-tone look, and Nissan is giving business a possibility to serve customize their rides around a â€œColor Studioâ€� and accessible accessories, such as tone circle inserts. Whether this strikes we as another instance of a house desperately attempting to justice Millennials or a cold approach to personalize a automobile is adult to you.
Accessories aside, we found a demeanour to be generally appreciative to a eye, nonetheless a uncanny angle of a hatchback and a blacked-out C-pillar demeanour too fussy. From adult front, a Kicks looks to have a sporty position that gives a sense of opening â€“ which, as remarkable above, is usually an impression. we also beheld a misaligned row opening on a pre-production automobile we drove.
The two-tone demeanour mostly works, nonetheless some combos are improved than others.
For a fuel-conscious, a EPA rates a Kicks during 31 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined. we did notice a comparatively low operation in a outing mechanism (Nissanâ€™s spec piece doesnâ€™t list a operation yet), that could be due to a pushing styles of myself, my expostulate partner, and whoever gathering before us. The tank ability is 10.8 gallons.
Nissan has come adult with a subcompact people-mover that looks quirky in a good way, is labelled right, and has a satisfactory volume of calm for that price. Thatâ€™s a recipe for a lot of sales.
Yes, all-wheel expostulate is noticeably absent, though we am not assured we need AWD even in a sleet belt. The other pivotal repudiation â€“ bureau nav â€“ is done nonessential if we get CarPlay or Android Auto.
If we need to be coddled, or wish something fun to drive, emporium elsewhere. The Kicks knows what it’s about â€“ value pricing though sacrificing too many content. That creates it an ideal choice for a value shopper who gives not a mote about how it handles.
Cheap doesnâ€™t have to punish. While Nissan would be good served to request that mantra elsewhere (Sentra, Iâ€™m looking in your direction), thatâ€™s a box with a Kicks.
Value buyers, your float is here.[Images Â© 2018 AutoGuide/Craig Cole and Nissan North America]