The 2019 Nissan Kicks is an all-new subcompact crossover aimed at both singles and couples (but not, you know, communal households with one husband and four wives – Ed.) wanting a car that’s both fun to drive and great to look at. Designed to fit the needs of youngish car buyers, the Kicks features head-turning styling, but is also loaded with enough innovation to satisfy a tech-hungry driver. It’s also a car that will make you smile when you see it; the Kicks has got fun written all over it.
Everybody wants to drive a crossover or an SUV these days, consistently the best-selling vehicles in every automaker’s lineup. A crossover’s higher stance gives drivers a better view of the road ahead, while its short length – relative to a conventional 3-box sedan – makes it easier to park. So, Nissan designed the Kicks specifically for urban dwellers who need excellent visibility on city streets, along with a comparatively hip design. It’s big enough for two humans, or one human joined by one large dog.
With a starting MSRP of only $18,940, the Kicks is priced to entice new car buyers into the Nissan brand. There’s only one powertrain offered, a 122 hp, 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine that is mated to a CVT transmission. The engine may be small, but it is awfully peppy and delivers excellent, best-in-class fuel economy: an EPA estimated 31 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
The Kicks has a futuristic interior that doesn’t skimp on quality materials. But it’s really the technology offered in such an affordable car that will excite most buyers. The instrument panel is dominated by a seven-inch full color display that contains a comprehensive infotainment system. The Kicks’ chief designer calls this personalized technology, allowing drivers to determine what they want to see on the display or the instrument panel.
The technology offered in the Kicks doesn’t stop at the interior, as there’s plenty of tech to make driving safer. The base S model comes loaded with safety features, such as Automatic Emergency Braking, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system and Intelligent Auto headlights. Move up to the SV trim and Blind Spot monitoring is added, along with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Nissan Kicks may be targeted to urban-oriented consumers, but this design will appeal to a much larger range of car buyers, especially ones looking for something a little different, i.e., an affordable crossover with bold styling. This is a car that stands out. If you don’t mind standing out, take one for a test drive.