Auto123 reviews the 2021 Nissan Kicks.
Nissan’s smaller SUV has settled nicely into its part as a mainstay in a class that as grown steadily in the past handful of many years in Canada, both of those in conditions of size and marketplace share. The Kicks is splendidly agile and significantly nicely-suited for lifestyle in the metropolis, but it is also a pretty serviceable weekend adventurer suit for partners or smaller households.
I had a superb event to check those abilities out with a week put in at the wheel of the 2021 version of the model, with a reward of two mountain bikes generously provided by the automaker, gesture conceived as a helpful incentive to get me out of metropolis limitations for some refreshing air and work out. Even though as a relative rookie, my very first authentic descent had me wanting to know what Nissan had from me to want my neck broken. Typically, that happens Just after a less-than-helpful critique, not right before. Fascinating strategy…
In any occasion, most of my Kicks time was nonetheless put in navigating urban and suburban roadways and thoroughfares, the natural habitat for the smaller crossover. And for the most element, I skilled the same sort of qualified, unassuming effectiveness I’d skilled beforehand at the wheel of prior editions. Which is not surprising offered that the modifications for the 2021 model-12 months are comparatively minimal.
Some of those are visual, in reality, like a sportier bumper, thinner headlights and a a little meaner-seeking grille. The two-tone finish method is again, and so my tester came in a sharp purple-entire body-black-roof outfit that pleased me just high-quality.
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Or else, the centre console has been redesigned, there are new upholstery choices, some versions get new rear disc brakes and adaptive cruise control is now element of the providing.
The item range appears like therefore: The foundation model starts off the ball rolling at $21,843, and comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. It is adopted by the SV ($24,843), which will get 17-inch alloy wheels, distant starter and leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and that intelligent cruise. The SR starts off at $26,043 and it provides black roof rails, a darkish chrome grille and LED headlights and accents. At the top sits the SR Top quality ($26,943) with its intelligent 360-degree keep track of, high quality Bose audio (with headrest speakers), seats appointed in what’s termed Prima-Tex and black alloy wheels. This previous is the variant we drove.
Now, $21,843 for a automobile signifies that you just can’t count on every small little bit of tech to be bundled, and the Kicks does not contain it. The precedence, fairly, was to provide the necessary things the model’s target audience desires and wants, but at an very affordable cost. Our SR Top quality is considerably much more geared up with goodies, but it is up to you to make a decision what’s necessary for you, and decide on the trim and choices that you are cozy paying out for.
Whatever you settle on, you are going to get a front-wheel-drive automobile (there is no selection for AWD) that runs by way of a 1.6L four-cylinder motor delivering 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, managed by a CVT transmission. Indeed, THAT CVT transmission, which Nissan has taken a handful of knocks on the chin for over the many years. Truthfully however, listed here it works competently adequate, and while it can have a tendency to get the motor screaming if you drive things much too a great deal, it does the job. Just really don’t drive things much too a great deal, soon after all this is a Kicks, not a Beemer.
We could constantly wish for much more than the motor and its mere 122 horses provide, but this is superior adequate, significantly offered the cost position. You won’t be tearing off from lights, or at least you are going to seem preposterous if you do, but acceleration is suitable adequate to make freeway entry and passing worry-no cost. Again, superior adequate.
I stated the tech, but you ought to know that if there is not a massive amount of it within the 2021 Kicks (there is no navigation for occasion), the quality of what’s there is respectable-to-great. Specially in the top-line SR, with its awesome-sounding high quality audio procedure and headrest speakers. From the SR model on up, the touchscreen is eight-inch and fairly consumer-helpful, and the multimedia procedure is generous adequate to leave most of the necessary controls (like climate control, audio amount, and many others.) to actual physical buttons, every single nicely within just attain. In front of the driver sits a awesome seven-inch details display display screen.
On the highway, as stated the Kicks is wonderful in the metropolis, many thanks to its smaller size, restricted turning radius and total nimbleness that belies its absence of straight-in advance uncooked velocity. It is also superior on the freeway, however, which we ended up ready to confirm on much more than one particular working day-extended outing. Comfort degrees are high-quality, significantly in the front row, and the suspension proved fairly ready, aided alongside by the bigger tires on our tester’s 17-inch wheels. Visibility is great all all over in this form-of-squarish SUV, so you are going to not feel swallowed up even surrounded by bigger motor vehicles on the freeway or in website traffic gridlock.
If I ended up driving in winter, the absence of all-wheel drive would be much more of a problem than it was as we gallivanted all over on our highway journeys in the warmth of summer season. Prospective potential buyers will have to make a final decision about the significance to them of that purpose, considering that there are rivals in the phase that give it (hi there Subaru Crosstrek). On the other hand, devoid of it the Kicks provides an enticing seven.2L/one hundred km merged formal fuel use ranking.
A person much more thing: really don’t count on the sort of cargo room you’d get from a compact SUV. If you prepare on lugging sizeable quantities of things, you are going to have to go for the Rogue (the Qashqai sits in concerning in the Nissan lineup, but it really presents less cargo room than its a little lesser sibling). With rear seats in area, you get 716 litres, and that climbs to 1,503 with the seats down. That is of training course significantly less than the Rogue with its 934 and 1,828 litres. Again, this is one particular of those features to look at beforehand as you weigh what you are cozy paying out for.
Total, the Nissan Kicks occupies a certain room in the smaller crossover phase, together with the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona. The three versions are nearly interchangeable with their same standard sort and proportions and related driving encounters (albeit with some variations). More than in an additional corner of the class sit the freakier Toyota C-HR and Kia Soul, and in still an additional the much more-dynamic but small Mazda CX-3. But I frequently hear even automobile journalists mistakenly refer to the Kona when they signify the Kicks, and vice versa.
At which position it is up to customers to check drive every single, and assess the attributes bundled and out there with every single. The superior information is there is no negative choice among the them, and that certainly consists of the Nissan Kicks. I say this irrespective of my narrow escape from catastrophe on one particular of those mountain bikes…
Awesome if unassuming appears (which get much more assuming with the two-tone finish)
Comfortable front row
Consumer-helpful tech, superior ergonomics within
Wonderful metropolis driver
First rate freeway driver
We like less
No all-wheel drive
Cargo room is Okay, but no much more
Meek motor, CVT however could be improved
Hyundai Venue / Hyundai Kona
Kia Niro / Kia Seltos
Mazda CX-3 / CX-thirty
2021 Nissan Kicks photographs