The 2019 Nissan KICKS is a subcompact crossover competing in a segment that has exploded in growth lately. All trims come with front wheel drive; all-wheel-drive is not available.
Here are just a few of the competitors:
- Kia Soul
- Hyundai Kona
- Mazda CX-3
- Subaru Crosstrek
- Honda HR-V
- Jeep Renegade
- Chevrolet Trax
- Toyota C-HR
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
- Ford EcoSport
Needless to say, it’s a crowded field. Nissan debuted the KICKS for the US market as a model year 2018 vehicle, taking advantage of the increasing segment popularity. With such a crowded field, Nissan needed to differentiate itself and did so with visual flair and some handy features.
Nissan provided us with a 2019 Nissan KICKS SR to test out for a week.
- Starting MSRP excluding destination: S $18,640, SV $20,350, SR $20,970
- As tested price: $23,330.00
- 1.6L 4 cyl engine 122 horsepower/114 lb-ft torque
- CVT transmission
- P205/55R17 all-season tires, 17” alloy wheels
- Front/Rear Headroom (Inches): 40.7/38.5
- Front/Rear Legroom (Inches): 43.7/33.2
- Cargo volume rear seats up/down (CU.FT.): 25.3/32.3
- Fuel Tank (Gals): 10.8
- Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined): 31/36/33
- NHTSA Overall Safety Rating: 4 Stars
After putting 664 miles on the odometer within one week, here are some the standout features we discovered on the 2019 Nissan KICKS:
1. Attention-grabbing color combinations and details
With a slew of competitors, the KICKS needs to stand out. One way it does is with this two-tone paint job. Five two-tone combinations are available, including a white roof and orange roof. It gives the KICKS a unique look among all the monotone paint jobs in the parking lot. Paired with blacked-out pillars all the way around, the contrasting roof gives the KICKS a “floating roof” design.
2. Plenty of standard equipment with reasonably-priced optional features
Small convenience features go a long way. Auto headlamp control is standard on all trims, automatic climate control (SV, SR), and heated seats (SR Premium Package) are welcome features in this price range. All trim levels include Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with automatic collision mitigation braking.
3. It's a breeze to drive in dense traffic
Because of its compact dimensions, the KICKS is maneuverable in tight spaces as well as parking lots. The tight 34.1 ft turning radius complements its agile character. Steering is light and the flat-bottom wheel felt good in the hands. Nissan’s Around-View-Monitor is very helpful for squeezing into tight Los Angeles parking spots where "parking by feeling" is frowned upon.
4. The audio system wouldn't seem out of place in a bigger car
When it comes to commuting, a great audio system is essential. Thanks to the folks at Bose®, the KICKS has a unique way to listen to and enjoy your music. Included in the SR Premium Package, the Bose® Personal® Plus sound system pairs 6 speakers with 2 additional speakers in the driver’s headrest. The system gives the driver an immersive sound experience.
5. Great tech features not commonly found in this class
The instrument cluster houses an analog speedometer on the right and a digital information display on the left. It can display different information such as the tachometer, individual tire pressures, and driving information, to name a few.
Finally, our SR Premium tester had Android Auto/Apple CarPlay onboard to make everyday motoring easier.
The 2019 Nissan KICKS is a competent daily commuter that will get you from point A to B in comfort while also standing out a bit among its class (if you opt for the two tone paint job). We observed excellent gas mileage - during its week-long stay with us, we saw an average of 34.6 MPG in mostly highway driving. Combined with a roomy cabin for a subcompact SUV and some premium tech, the KICKS offers a lot of value for the customer.