The 2019 Nissan Kicks is an affordable subcompact SUV that offers a surprising amount of technology and variety for the price point! While the Kicks’ engine is far from powerful, it’s perfectly suitable for city driving and the SUV’s fuel economy is rated as best-in-class in all three segments.
The SUV stands out from competitors with its bold look and personality. It’s aimed at millennials, first time buyers, and people who live in cities. It was first introduced in the spring of 2018, joining Nissan’s larger lineup of SUVs which includes the Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. The Kicks is designed to fit the needs of singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality, and advanced safety features at an affordable price.
There are three trims to choose from with the 2019 Kicks and all are affordable. They include the S, SV, and SR. The Kicks is only available in front-wheel drive and all trims feature the same 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, paired to a fuel-efficient Xtronic CVT transmission.
The base Kicks S model has a starting price of $18,640. It comes with a bold look and plenty of standard tech like the 7.0-inch touchscreen, backup monitor, three USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and more.
Upgrading to the SV trim will get you larger and nicer wheels. 17-inch Aluminum-alloy wheels come on SV and SR trims. There’s also a 7.0-inch advanced drive-assist display and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces. It has a starting price of $20,350.
The range-topping SR trim gets the special LED headlights with LED signature accents, a rear roof spoiler, around view monitor, and sport cloth seat trim with orange accents and stitching. Its starting price is not much higher than the SV at $20,970. You could also tack on the Premium package if you wanted, which would get you that cool Bose audio system with the speakers in the driver’s headrest.
All trims feature the same engine and the Kicks is only offered in front-wheel drive.
Every 2019 Kicks comes standard with a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with a Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System. The engine produces 122 horsepower and 114 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined with a fuel-efficient Xtronic transmission, fuel economy is rated as best-in-class in all three segments: 31 miles per gallon city, 36 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. That means you’ll save at the pump with the Kicks! That may just make up for the noisiness of the Kicks’ engine while getting it up to speed, and also the SUV’s lackluster steering.
One thing to also note is that the Kicks is only offered in front-wheel drive. That has left some feeling disappointed, especially those who live in climates where the weather is not always so great. The Kicks does have a ground clearance of 7.0 inches, though, to help tackle poorly maintained city roads and speed bumps with ease. Nimble handling is provided by a front independent strut, stabilizer bar suspension matched with rear suspension featuring twist beam and twin-tube shock absorbers.
The interior of the Kicks has a fun, futuristic look. You can tell it was designed with tech-loving millennials in mind. The modern and simple “Gliding Wing” instrumental panel is easy on the eyes and is dominated by a centrally mounted 7.0-inch touchscreen/infotainment system. There’s standard Bluetooth connectivity, three USB ports, keyless entry, and a push button start.
Backing up in the Kicks is made easier thanks to a rearview monitor that comes standard on all models (which is impressive for the affordable starting price of the vehicle). The range-topping SR trim does get an even better around view monitor, though, that gives you a improved 360-degree view of the vehicle.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces are available to use on SV and SR trims. A 7.0-inch advanced driver alert display also comes standard on those trims. When it comes to playing music, know the standard speaker system includes six speakers. If you opt for the SR trim and get the Premium Package, though, you’ll get the special Bose Personal Plus sound system. It helps create an immersive sound experience by putting speakers right into the driver’s headrest. It gives you a front-row seat to any concert! It’s perfect for jamming out to music while driving around the city.
As for comfort, the Kicks’ Zero Gravity front seats are nice. However, even the driver’s seat is only manually adjustable. While you can fit five people in this SUV, your rear seat passengers are bound to feel cramped if you have tall people sitting in the front. There is a surprising amount of cargo space offered for the vehicle’s size, though. Nissan says cargo space behind the Kicks’ second row is larger than four key competitors. The subcompact SUV offers 32.3 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down. You can even fit a bike back there thanks to the lower trunk floor! There’s also 21.8 cubic feet of additional space in the trunk well, bringing the total amount of space offered up to 53.1 cubic feet. Impressive! The rear hatch also opens up high enough for a six-foot tall person to be able to access the back without ducking, so that’s nice.
The Kicks might be small in size, but it’s definitely big in personality! There are a number of dynamic styling features that help give this small vehicle more of a crossover stance, like the bold wheel arch fenders and the rising character line on the bodysides. The dark lower body trim, meanwhile, magnifies the Kicks’ body height, emphasizing the subcompact SUV’s high ground clearance.
If you opt for the higher SV or SR trims, you’ll get 17-inch Aluminum-alloy wheels. 16-inch Steel wheels come standard on the base model.
The range-topping SR trim also gets LED low beam headlights with LED signature accents and a rear roof-mounted spoiler, giving it the sportiest look of the bunch. It also features fog lights, black heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, front and rear bumpers with body color inserts, and dark chrome grille accents.
As for exterior color options for the Kicks, there’s plenty of variety offered! The 2019 Kicks comes in seven exterior colors. Five two-tone paint schemes are also available.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on all grades. Seven airbags also come standard on the Kicks. There’s the helpful RearView Monitor on all models for backing up, and an even better around view system on the SR trim. Kicks SV and SR add blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.
The Kicks is no doubt a small SUV, but it doesn’t come up short in the personality or technology departments. Its bold exterior design is fun, while the sporty, sleek interior somehow feels sophisticated. With an incredibly affordable starting price, the Kicks is a great option for people who live in cities or congested areas where a nimble vehicle could come in handy. While its engine leaves much to be desired, the Kicks gets great fuel economy and that just may be enough to win people over. While also only offered in front-wheel drive, it does offer 7.0-inches of ground clearance to help you tackle potholes and other imperfections of city streets. There’s room for five passengers and a decent amount of cargo space is also offered. Plus, the technology offered is great!
It’s the smallest SUV Nissan offers and considering its low starting price, the Kicks’ only true competitor is the Kia Soul. Make sure to check your local dealer for any specials and also test drive any vehicle you might be interested in!