by Bob Cowan
Kicks is the perfect name for this crossover SUV from Nissan because I really got a kick out of driving it for a week. It’s fun and functional at an affordable price. The Kicks starts just below $18,000 Canadian. My test unit came with the SR trim package for just over $23 thousand. That package gives you the cool looking two tone paint (see pics) in addition to the Bose sound system which has headrest speakers, upgraded seats, 360 degree cameras, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and remote start. That’s a well equipped SUV at that price.
It’s an understatement to say there’s a lot of competition in this segment. There are several crossover SUV choices within the Nissan lineup depending on the size and price range you’re in. The Kicks has been added to start the line up for millennial buyers but you’ll see plenty of boomers behind the wheel as well. The slightly bigger Qashqai (see Shift review) has been a big hit for Nissan and the Kicks should see success as well with its pricing and size.
Getting my Kicks
… on Highway 6 in Flamborough but whatever road you’re on you’ll find the Kicks both agile and fun the drive despite its lack of pep. The 1.6-litre four cylinder only provides 125 horsepower and feels a little underpowered. The transmission is the common continuously variable (CVT) type. There is lots of utility here however and of course fuel economy. I would have traded some fuel economy for all wheel drive but it’s not available with the Kicks. In other words -get snow tires. I was getting outstanding mileage however with 5.6 l/100 km on the highway. The combined city/highway number from Nissan is 7.2 l/100km.
Love or hate their designs Nissan should be credited for going outside of the box with unique looking models in the past decade like the Cube and more recently the Juke. The Kicks takes some inspiration from the latter but should be less polarizing. My test unit featured a $285.00 two tone metallic paint option that I though looked great. It stands out nicely in a world of look- a -like crossovers and SUV’s.
The Kicks has a nice 7.0 inch digital Advanced Drive-Assist Display that takes up most of the instrument gauge cluster. Here you will see incoming calls, text messages, nav instructions and other info that really helps keep your eyes on the road. The main screen is very good with beautiful resolution, colours and layout.
It has a nice split screen with the backup camera on the left and the standard Intelligent Around View Monitor available on the SR on the right side that creates a ‘birds eye’ view. The SR versions Prima-Tex upholstery is faux leather with nice orange stitching accents on the seats, steering wheel, gear shift and dash and not bad for this price point The base model at $17,998.00 CDN comes nicely equipped with features like tilt and telescopic steering, intermittent wipers, the aforementioned 7.0-inch centre touchscreen, intelligent emergency braking (that’s a biggie!), tire pressure monitoring and lots of USB ports. This SR level also adds adds a Bose Sound System with 6 speakers, Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Remote engine starter. I would have like to see available GPS but that is going away these days as a cost saver in this class with Millennia’s using their phones with Android Auto or Apple Car Play.
It feels spacious for its size and the head and legroom is good as is the cargo space at 716 litres (25.3 cubic feet)The seat are 60/40 and there is no centre pass-through so you’ll find yourself folding them down when you don’t want to
Decent room , fun to drive, nicely equipped and good value.
2018 Nissan Kicks SR
Powetrain: 1.6 litre 4 cylinder 125 hp 115 ft.lb. torque
Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission
Mileage: 7.2 L/100km. combined city highway.
As tested: $24,878.00