2019 Nissan Kicks – Review & Road Test

The sub-compact SUV market teems with
options from high-end luxury, to hybrid and electric models, to affordable fare.
There is literally a little something for everyone. With their all new Kicks,
Nissan set out with a pretty straightforward plan, make a car for hip
urban people that’s affordable, good-looking, and full of safety and tech
features. As it turns out, this little guy has a lot more than just a little going
for it. Nissan’s made it pretty clear that the Kicks is not a replacement for
their older similarly-small-scaled Juke. Instead, the Kicks was inspired by a
concept first introduced at the 2014 Sao Paulo Motor Show, and I’ve got to be
honest, for a production car it’s pretty close to the original, which is
impressive. You guys it looks great. It’s athletic and has some really cool
exterior details like these narrow headlights, optional 17-inch wheels and
check out this nice character line that runs the length of the car and then
fades into the rear 3/4 panel. It’s got just the right amount of attitude
without looking like a Transformer. There’s thoughtful detail stamped into
the sheet metal, and it comes in bold colors with super cool names like Super
Black, Monarch Orange and Deep Blue Pearl. You can also opt for a sweet two-tone
contrasting roof. Size wise the Kicks slots into Nissan’s line up as the
smallest CUV available below the Rogue Sport, but it punches way above its
weight with more passenger and cargo room than its competition. Behind the second
row there’s 23.5 cubic feet, which bests the Kia Soul, the Hyundai Kona, the Ford
EcoSport, and the Toyota CHR. The low load in floor
makes it easy to get stuff into it. The rear seats are pretty easy to lay flat,
but you guys look at all the space in there. This is one CUV that’s actually got
room for cargo and passengers at the same time, and hey, check it out. There’s
even a spare. The interior of the Kicks is simple, but it’s really well laid out,
and it’s got everything here that you need. As for headroom, awesome. Legroom, you know what, let’s just call it all a ridiculous bounty of space.
Not all the surfaces are soft touch, but there are some, as well as some nice
extras like optional contrast stitching, piano black trim, and brushed chrome-like
surfaces. Half of the instrument panel is digital, a feature that’s usually
reserved for way more expensive cars. The seven-inch touchscreen is easily
navigable and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on the SV trim and
above. The seats are a NASA-inspired zero-gravity design, and while they’re
not taking astronauts into space heading through Kingman or Barstow you won’t be
uncomfortable. Durable faux leather is also available on the highest SR trim.
There are two USB ports here for your rear passengers which is nice because
there’s not a whole lot else back here. There’s no rear air vents and there’s
not even a center armrest, so if you do plan to motor West, make sure that the people
are friends. Hey, Lyn. Hi friend! The headroom back here is really great the legroom is
awesome too, so much that we invited our very tall, very amazing, intern Sean to
drive. And look, if I need extra room I can just tuck my feet right underneath
the seat. Now the back seat is technically supposed to fit three people
but, uh you guys, if they’re regular-sized I’m gonna say not for long.
Okay, bye friends! Completing this tidy package is a 1.6-liter 125 horsepower engine. It’s not gonna move mountains or even drive up
them very quickly, because, well, again 125 horsepower, on the plus side though a
roughly 2,600 pounds curb weight gives the Kicks a decent
power-to-weight ratio. For the intended audience merging and the ability to
swerve away from danger are likely priorities. Does the kicks deliver? Well
let’s put it this way, if you want the power of a hot hatch, then buy a hot
hatch, but if you’re travelling my way, that’s the highway, then yeah, it actually
does pretty good. The powertrain is rounded out with a continuously variable
transmission, and while it’s not my favorite kind of transmission, this one
feels pretty natural without that rubber band droning CVT’s are known for. It
also really helps you out at the gas pump. A combined 33 miles a gallon is
another best-in-class that Nissan claims with this baby. You see all the boxes we’re
checking off here? Here’s one area where the Kicks trails the Kona or EcoSport,
all-wheel drive is not an option. If you want all-weather traction, you’ll have to
upgrade to the Rogue Sport. Built on the Versa platform, the ride
quality is actually really good. The suspension doesn’t feel too hard or
too soft and bumps aren’t jarring or uncomfortable at all. On the other hand
the steering isn’t really superb, there’s a lot of play in the steering wheel and
it doesn’t feel nearly as connected as I’d like. Though when you get up to speed
the electronic steering adjusts and becomes a bit more responsive, so it’s
better. You guys, I gotta say the turning radius on this is bangin’! The base model
Kicks goes for $18,965 including destination fees, and as is it comes standard with some pretty impressive
stuff, the most interesting being automatic emergency braking. In
competitors that’s a feature reserved for higher trims. The SV trim level adds
extras like blind spot warnings, rear cross-traffic alerts, 17-inch wheels, and
body coloured side mirrors and outside door handles. Move up to the SR for a
rear roof mounted spoiler, a leather-wrap steering wheel and shifter, and dark
chrome grille accent. Add the premium package to your Kicks mix and you get,
among other things, an eight-speaker Bose audio system including driver headrest
speakers. It’s subtle, so not like someone shouting in your ears, but it adds just
the right amount of surround sound feeling. Nissan’s Color Studio option is
also available with the Kicks, which means you can personalize some accessory
items like wheel inserts, or exterior side mirrors and door handles in five
different accent colors. The cool factor is getting pretty hot. If you go all in
you’re looking at just over $22,000 including that
destination charge. It’s not a lot of green for a very colorful CUV. It’s a good
thing I like the way it looks, because I think I’m gonna be seeing a lot of these. The Kicks is a really great example of
engineering, design, and marketing teams all sitting down in the same room and
absolutely nailing the brief. It’s a hit. Speaking of hits, did anybody get my
reference about the whole Kicks on Route 66 thing? Micah? Tim? Sean? Nobody?

91 thoughts on “2019 Nissan Kicks – Review & Road Test

  1. In India, they have just launched the kick which is bigger and wider than the international version. Let see what price they announce.

  2. I really wanted to get one, but ended up getting an Altima instead just because i need more room in the back for my kids.

  3. Very good car except in the middle of driving on the highway the headlights went out. Still had nightmares years later

  4. This thing is from Mexico & India. It's a terrible, cheap, tiny, ugly vehicle that isn't even worth thinking about compared to the competitors.

    Seriously just look up "Nissan Kicks moose test" the thing will flip over for god sake.

  5. This ride keeps Nissan's 2 Achilles Heels alive & well – underpowered engines & CVTs. Nissan engineers need to go back to school to learn how to make their mills cough up more ponies, by more displacement, tech, or preferably both. And this is across the board, not just this car. Load their vehicles up with passengers, cargo, head to mountainous interstates & let the straining begin. And let's face it, a CVT steel belt is no match for steel gears, especially life-wise, with all the flexing going on. They've altered them with "fake shifts", but that defeats the CVT purposes & the sudden jerking can't be healthy for the belt. Leasing is the only way to go, bye-bye before the warranty expires.

  6. For a 1.6 engine, it's NOT great on mpg. Only CVT?! BORING! Also, KBBtv is NOT really specific about the cargo space…come on guys, I know whoever writes these scripts is looking to add "Humor", but give us the number of Cubic Feet of Cargo Space w/the rear seats UP and DOWN. How about the brakes? Are they all-wheel-disc brakes? ABS? No mention of that either. Overall, Lyn Woodward is very a pretty lady!

  7. I bought mine 3 months ago and I really love it. I live in the city and I’m not trying to win races or climb mountains just drive. I love it and all the extra features for less. I was in the Note and this is awesome for the price. If you want a truck buy a truck, if you want a sports car buy a sports car. Simple

  8. I didn't like the driver headrest. It forces your head to sit forward. I had to recline the chair back just to get comfortable.

  9. The Nissan Kicks will soon have company. Hyundai is releasing its version called the Hyundai Venue. They will going up against the Kia Soul and Toyota C-HR. The best way to describe both is picture a "slightly taller and wider" Nissan Versa Note (which was discontinued) and the Hyundai Accent Hatch (also discontinued) If you want a mini CUV or hatchback without the AWD, then these vehicles make perfect sense. Nissan and Hyundai wanted to get a vehicle similar to the Kia Soul to go against, now they have them. Don't be shocked if Honda brings back an all new Element to against these vehicles except the Element will offer not AWD. (If Honda does it)

  10. Embarrassment to the Nissan badge. Nissan used to make amazing cars like Silvias, march super turbos, 180sx, 240sx, 180z, gtrs. This is the garbage they make now.

  11. Not dissing on the reviewer, she did her best, the car is trash, sorry. This is suppose to be targeted to millennials like me????? I drive a damn Bmw M3 with a 5 speed. This car is perfect for elderly people, or 300lb whales that need high seating to get in and out. Seriously Nissan, WAKE UP. Cvt, 1.6? My sound system is literally 4 times the watts and pounds. What part of this car is suppose to appeal to me???? Its vague steering? Lack of power? Pathetic CVT? Perhaps the rear drum brakes?

    What a joke Nissan. Where are the new 180sx and silvias? Stagea tourings? What is this appliance????

  12. The engine is slow and unresponsive, the instrument cluster is definitely already dated and was difficult to read and the only “arm rest “ was located up around my neck while the passenger is left to dangle freely! Come on they couldn’t spend a hundred dollars on a decent padded dual arm rest with a little hidden storage?? Same with the back seat that doesn’t fit three under average human adults . We get these are entry level vehicles but come on it’s a single rider vehicle that can accommodate two more adults for a trip to the mall or a cross town trip at best. Engineers and design teams need to do some research on what people in this price range want

  13. I just love how they always just show the fully loaded vehicle haha then when you go to the god damn dealership the car is 10000 freaking K above MSRP !

  14. Not first of all I personally drive a 2017 Camaro SS that has 455 horsepower and 455 lb of torque. So I decided to test drive my husband's kick. I liked it. The roads in Dallas Texas are not the best. But the Nissan kick does the job. No it's not fast but it's fun to drive it does what it's supposed to do. The sound system is great the gas mileage is awesome. The look of the car it's great. I think Nissan did a great job especially the price of the vehicle.

  15. Embarassing. Though it looks better than the Juke to many. It's nothing compared to it. Looks like a raised Versa Note. Meanwhile, Europe is getting the new platformed DCT Juke next year. Juke>Kicks (I.M.H.O)…unique style, turbo (fun to drive), and fuel economy (the point of a Crossover). You want more space and cargo…purchase a traditional compact SUV.

  16. The Juke is no longer sold in the US. And hasn't been for a couple of years. It's built in the UK and is hugely popular in Europe, where it's sold over a million. The Kicks replaced the Juke, in Nissan's US lineup. However. Nissan USA just killed the Note, there is no 2020 Versa Note and the Kicks has now been downgraded as the Note's replacement, no longer the Jukes. So. There is now a gap in the lineup, between the Kicks and the Rouge S. Rumor has it that Nissan will be introducing a new vehicle to fill that gap. The all brand new 2nd Gen 2020 Juke, was just unveiled in Europe. But won't be available in the US. It 's a great redesign, but doesn't have the turbo. HP is only `117! Will be interesting how Nissan fill in that gap in their US lineup. It needs to be a subcompact with some HP. As neither the Kicks, or the Rouge S have it. And can't compare with other sporty subcompacts on the market.

  17. I really love Nissan car. However, I got into a car accident on September 11, 2019 from driving a 2019 Nissan Sentra SV. A guy rear ended my car on the back for texting and driving. My car is a totaled lost. I am planning on getting a kick or a rogue. So the way it looks and how it perform the kick seems to be a top notch to me? The only downsize is the back room. However, if you want a better acceleration you have to put the car into sport mode where it can perform a better drive on road. I can’t wait to test drive it.

  18. first time i watch kelley blue book and reading comment on this review and this lady. wow what anger. she did just fine, if she that bad then why don't you applied to kbb and do it yourself and watch people rip on you for every petty thing you say.

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