Hipness and practicality may seem like mutually exclusive qualities, thankfully, no one told the designers of the Nissan Kicks that.
Photos Courtesy of Nissan
Hipness and practicality may seem like mutually exclusive qualities, but, thankfully, no one told the designers of the Nissan Kicks that.
While this subcompact’s name may imply enthusiastic performance, its 125 horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is oriented more toward frugality than fun. The result is decent acceleration around town combined with excellent fuel economy that can stretch a gallon of gas up to 36 miles on the highway.
That sensible orientation continues inside with relatively spacious accommodations for four adults. The cabin is surprisingly quiet in normal driving, visibility is great (not something that can be said of some competitors’ models), and controls are blessedly straightforward. There’s also generous cargo space, especially with the rear seatbacks folded, though the fact that doing so doesn’t create a flat load floor may prove problematic when attempting to load longer items.
The Kicks earns points for its standard features, including forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking across the lineup. Our top-of-the-line SR test car offered such niceties as a 360-degree Around View Monitor and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
Figure in some of the available contrasting roof and body color accents, and you have a practical set of wheels with cool style to boot
- Roomy interior
- Automatic emergency braking standard
- Customizable roof/body/trim colors
- All-wheel drive not offered
- Lacks flat load floor with rear seatbacks folded
The answer to anyone who thinks small, affordable cars are boring
Base Price: $18,640
As Tested: $22,285
NHTSA: Overall: 4 Stars (out of 5); Front: 4 Stars; Side: 5 Stars
IIHS: Small Overlap Front/Moderate Overlap Front: Good (highest rating); Side: Good
360-degree Around View Monitor; Bose stereo with speakers in driver’s head rest
Ford EcoSport; Honda HR-V
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 edition of AAA World.