• 2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec

    2018 Nissan Kicks
  • More subdued styling versus the Juke
  • Still stylish with two-tone paint options
  • Standard V-Motion grille
  • Floating roof design
  • Available 17-inch wheels higher in trim line
  • Optional LED headlights
  • Larger exterior dimensions versus the Juke
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Gliding Wing dashboard
  • Available leather for the steering wheel and shift knob
  • Available front seat heating
  • Available underseat heater ducts for rear bench
  • Nice selection of safety technology features
  • Mid-grade gets 7.0-inch infotainment screen
  • Bluetooth and three USB ports
  • Available premium Bose sound system
  • Flat rear-floor design for enhanced practicality
  • NA 1.6-liter four-cylinder is only engine option
  • 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque
  • CVT and FWD for drivetrain
  • No available AWD
  • 33 mpg combined
  • 7 inches of ground clearance
  • Strut front suspension, twist-beam rear suspension
  • Electric power steering

Kicking out the compact crossover jams

Without a doubt, the SUV and crossover market is still running strong, prompting every automaker under the sun to fill their lineups to capacity with fresh tall-riding hatches in a bid to satisfy the public’s seemingly never-ending demand. Nissan is no different, offering U.S buyers no less than six different models in the segment, including the Juke, Rogue, Rogue Sport, Murano, Pathfinder, and Armada. Unfortunately, lovers of the funky and fun Juke won’t see the compact on the roster for much longer, as rumor has it Nissan is showing it the door in 2018. However, in its stead, Nissan will offer something fresh – enter the Kicks. The Kicks is Nissan’s very first new nameplate in 8 years, arriving as a new entry-level model in the Japanese automaker’s lineup with more room and a lower price tag than the Juke. It’s also got some nice technology, both for entertainment and for safety purposes.

The Kicks is already on sale in South America, but arrives stateside more or less unchanged in the hopes of enticing urban consumers, or as Nissan puts it, “singles or couples looking for unique styling, roominess, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price.” So – how does it stack up?

Updated 05/08/2018: Nissan announced prices for the 2018 Kicks. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

  • 2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    125
  • MPG(Cty):
    26
  • MPG(Hwy):
    31
  • Torque @ RPM:
    115
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.3/10

Exterior

- * More subdued styling versus the Juke
- * Still stylish with two-tone paint options
- * Standard V-Motion grille
- * Floating roof design
- * Available 17-inch wheels higher in trim line
- * Optional LED headlights
- * Larger exterior dimensions versus the Juke

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748286
7 inches of ground clearance
In terms of design, the Kicks is a bit more subdued than the Juke, with more of the traditional compact crossover cues

In terms of design, the Kicks is a bit more subdued than the Juke, with more of the traditional compact crossover cues compared to the outgoing model’s rather, eh, “unique” style. Nissan calls it “Brazil-inspired design,” as its based on the Kicks Concept that dropped in 2014 at the Sao Paulo Motor Show. What’s more, Nissan Design America – Rio provided its expertise during the design process, with further collaboration coming from the California-based Nissan Design America and the Nissan Global Design Center in Japan.

Standout features include a “wheel-oriented stance” with crisp lines and an angular structure. In front, the Kicks gets the traditional V-Motion grille, which is an ever-present feature for a modern Nissan vehicle, while both the headlights and taillights get a sharp Boomerang shape, seen most prominently in the rear end.

Moving to the sides, the Kick’s floating roof becomes apparent, adding a dash of visual height to the machine thanks to blacked-out pillars and window surrounds. Complementing this is a “wrap-around visor” for the windshield, giving the greenhouse a more projecting presence. The C-pillars get a wide shape and a black finish to help them blend in with the rear hatch, while the wheel arches are plumped up a bit to give the Kicks a more muscular stance. The high waistline rises towards the tail, offering a distinctive rake to the car’s flanks and a pinched look underneath the roof line. Darker lower body trim is added as a nod to traditional crossover styling. Finally, wheel options include 16-inch steel units as standard on the base-level trim, as well as 17-inch aluminum alloy units on the SV and SR trim levels.

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748285
Larger exterior dimensions versus the Juke
Moving to the sides, the Kick’s floating roof becomes apparent, adding a dash of visual height to the machine thanks to blacked-out pillars and window surrounds

Nissan also says it developed the car’s exterior to reduce overall wind noise, which should definitely be a benefit to those inside. Given the styling differences between the Kicks and Juke, we’re not altogether surprised the former is more slippery than the latter.

Getting the technology right is a big factor for success in this segment, and the Kicks comes proper with standard Intelligent Auto Headlights that offer an adjustable sensitivity level and a timing feature. It’s also got automatic twilight and wiper activation, as well as a standard rear wiper and roof rails. Extra equipment includes optional LED low-beams for the headlights with LED signature accents, optional fog lights, optional heated side view mirrors with integrated turn signals, and an optional rear roof spoiler, all of which can be had depending on your trim level of choice.

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748314
Still stylish with two-tone paint options
There’s also seven exterior colors to choose from, plus as many as five two-tone combos if you wanna make it extra spicy

There’s also seven exterior colors to choose from, plus as many as five two-tone combos if you wanna make it extra spicy. Three of those two-tones include a black roof with either white, orange, or red applied to the body, but you can also get the double tone with orange on the roof and gray for the body panels, or white on the roof with blue for the body panels.

Finally, the Kicks is a little larger than the Juke, which should help substantially with interior cargo room.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 103.1
Length (Inches) 169.1
Width (Inches) 69.3
Height (Inches) 62.4
Track front/rear (Inches) 59.8/60.4

Interior

- * Flat-bottom steering wheel
- * Gliding Wing dashboard
- * Available leather for the steering wheel and shift knob
- * Available front seat heating
- * Available underseat heater ducts for rear bench
- * Nice selection of safety technology features
- * Mid-grade gets 7.0-inch infotainment screen
- * Bluetooth and three USB ports
- * Available premium Bose sound system
- * Flat rear-floor design for enhanced practicality

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Interior
- image 750830
Drivers get to grips with a sporty-looking flat-bottom steering wheel, while a Gliding Wing dashboard design gives the cabin a more interesting appearance

Step inside the Nissan kicks, and you’ll find seating for up to five passengers. Drivers get to grips with a sporty-looking flat-bottom steering wheel, while a Gliding Wing dashboard design gives the cabin a more interesting appearance. If you’re looking for an extra premium touch, available upgrades include leather for the steering wheel and shift knob, a tonneau cover, and Automatic Temperature Control. The SV trim levels also adds underseat heater ducts for rear-seated passengers. Go for the SR Premium Package and you’ll enjoy the heated feature for the front seats, as well as a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat and a 4-way adjustable front passenger seat.

High on the Kick’s list of equipment is a slew of safety and convenience features. For example, there’s Automatic Emergency Braking and a RearView monitor as standard, plus Forward Collision Warning on higher trim levels. Grab the SR model, and you’ll get a standard Intelligent Around View Monitor, with four cameras providing a bird’s-eye view around the car, thus enabling easier maneuvers in tight spaces. Both the SR and SV add in Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, while seven air bags are standard across the range.

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Interior
- image 748302
Mid-grade gets 7.0-inch infotainment screen
The focus on technology continues with a 7.0-inch color display added to the dash of mid-grade and top-grade trims, plus Remote Engine Start and smartphone support via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Complementing the safety and convenience stuff is a nice selection of infotainment features, such as Bluetooth connectivity and three USB connection ports. The focus on technology continues with a 7.0-inch color display added to the dash of mid-grade and top-grade trims, providing info on the mpg returns, the chassis dynamic control, radio and playlist info, and more. There’s also Remote Engine Start. Mid-grade gear also throws in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone support, while the NissanConnect system rounds out the platform options.

Grab the Kicks SR Premium Package, and you’ll get a Bose Personal Plus stereo, which offers enhanced sound thanks to 8 speakers, Bose signal processing, and a 360-degree sound feature. Part of the enhanced sound package is a duo of 2.5-inch Bose UltraNearfield neodymium speakers, which are mounted inside the driver’s seat headrest to get you up close and personal with the tunes. The package also adds in a 6.5-inch Bose Super65 speaker in each of the front doors and 1.0-inch tweeters in the A-pillar, plus 5.25-inch wide-range speakers in the rear doors. Adjusting the sound is a Bose PersonalSpace Control feature for more audiophile tweaks. Finally, the upgraded stereo stuff also throws in a digital amp, six-channel sound, and digital sound processing.

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Interior Exterior
- image 748297
Practicality was also a big concern for the Kicks, and as such, the rear bench gets a 60/40 split for easier access to the flat rear floor design

As you might expect, practicality was also a big concern for the Kicks, and as such, the rear bench gets a 60/40 split for easier access to the flat rear floor design. Nissan also boasts that the Kicks offers one of the largest load areas in the segment. Getting stuff in and out of the trunk is made easier thanks to the high-lift hatch, which Nissan says allows individuals as tall as 6 feet to grab what they need without ducking down – a small detail that could pay big dividends depending on the buyer.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.7/38.5
Legroom front/rear (Inches) 43.7/33.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 50.9/49.1
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 53.0/53.2
Cargo behind 2nd row (cu ft) 25.3
Total cargo room (cu ft) 119.2

Drivetrain

- * NA 1.6-liter four-cylinder is only engine option
- * 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque
- * CVT and FWD for drivetrain
- * No available AWD
- * 33 mpg combined

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748292
No available AWD
The standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine comes equipped with double overhead cams, 16 valves, and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, all of which help it produce upwards of 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque.

Providing the, well, kick (sorry not sorry) is a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. This standard gas unit comes equipped with double overhead cams, 16 valves, and Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, all of which help it produce upwards of 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque.

Compared to the Juke, that’s quite a bit of a downgrade, as the former model made 188 horses from a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger. However, the all-atmosphere unit should be much more efficient, with Nissan predicting upwards of 33 mpg combined compared to the Juke’s 26 mpg city and 31 mph highway.

Helping to pad the Kicks’ fuel returns is an Xtronic CVT transmission and FWD as standard. Nissan is also declining to offer AWD, which is probably not a big deal for urban buyers, but certainly bears mentioning in a segment jam-packed with aspiring off-roaders.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS)
Horsepower 125 HP
Torque 115 LB-FT
Transmission Xtronic
Drive configuration Front-wheel drive, standard Traction Control System (TCS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA)

Chassis And Handling

- * 7.0 inches of ground clearance
- * Strut front suspension, twist-beam rear suspension
- * Electric power steering

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748295
The Kicks still gets the lifted suspension of a traditional crossover, providing a very decent 7.0 inches of extra ground clearance

Despite the lack of AWD grip, the Kicks still gets the lifted suspension of a traditional crossover, providing a very decent 7.0 inches of extra ground clearance. And while it’s not really totally necessary for a model aimed at urban customers (unless, of course, you’ve got some seriously screwed-up streets in your town), the set-up works well with the compact crossover aesthetic we’re used to seeing. Not really needed, but a nice to have.

Speaking of suspension, the Kicks comes equipped with a strut set-up in front plus a stabilizer bar, while in back, there’s a twist-beam set-up with twin-tube shocks plus a stabilizer bar.

Helping it turn is an electric power steering set-up. Fully locked, the rack helps the Kicks perform with a 34.1-foot turning radius, which ain’t bad for those close-quarter maneuvers, especially when complemented by the around-view monitor system.

To round it out, the Kicks comes with standard traction control, vehicle dynamic control, hill start assist, and ABS. It also includes an Integrated Dynamic-Control Module with Active Engine Brake, Active Trace Control, and Active Ride Control. Providing the stick is a set of all-season tires, with 206/60 sizing on the SV and 205/55 sizing on the SR.

Prices

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 748288

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will be released in June of 2018, and will come in three individual trim levels - the base-model S, the mid-grade SV, and the top-trim SR.

Pricing starts at $17,990 for the S, while the SV tacks on another $1,700, starting at $19,690. Finally, the SR adds $600 to the SV’s price tag, starting at $20,290.

All told, the Kicks slots in well below the Juke’s $20,250 starting price.

Kicks S FWD $17,990 USD
Kicks SV FWD $19,690 USD
Kicks SR FWD $20,290 USD

Competition

Kia Soul

2017 Kia Soul Turbo High Resolution Exterior
- image 694702

If you’re looking to get into an affordable compact crossover, one of your best bets comes from Kia with the Soul five-door. Power is derived from a 1.6-liter four making 130 horsepower, which routes output to the front axle by way of a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. There’s also 161 horsepower from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and automatic combo, and if you’re feeling frisky, 201 horsepower from a turbocharged 1.6-liter option. Go for the power, and it’ll reach the ground through a seven-speed automatic. Interior space is ample, while the boxy styling is a standout in the segment. If you miss the fun of the Juke, but wanted it with more space, this might be the one for you.

Read our full review on the 2017 Kia Soul.

Jeep Renegade

2015 Jeep Renegade High Resolution Exterior
- image 544607

Take the proven Jeep formula and apply it to a compact utility vehicle, and this is what you get – the Jeep Renegade. Powered by a 160-horsepower turbo four-cylinder or optional 180-horsepower four-cylinder, the Renegade gets FWD as standard, but can add on AWD if extra grip is a necessity. You can even get yours in full Trailhawk trim if you really need a slice of that off-roading goodness. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard features, and as a bonus, the Renegade looks the part of a Jeep in front.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Renegade.

Conclusion

2018 Nissan Kicks - U.S. Spec Exterior
- image 750816

On paper, the Nissan kicks has a lot to offer. The biggest draws have to be the impressive interior room, technology and equipment, efficiency, and most of all, affordable price tag, all qualities that new buyers in the segment are looking for. So that’s good.

However, the Kicks is certainly not without its faults, most of which stem from the lackluster powertrain and drivetrain. With just 125 horses on tap, the Kicks isn’t exactly quick, while the old-school suspension set-up will likely keep it from winning any awards in terms of handling or on-road refinement. Throw in the standard CVT and lack of optional AWD, and you can see what Nissan had to do to keep pricing under the $19K mark.

But for some buyers, that’s not a big deal. AWD isn’t a necessity for the target buyer on this thing, and if you’re looking for something that’s truly a hoot behind the wheel, the CUV segment probably isn’t the right spot to start.

The only question left is this – will the Kicks perform better than the Juke in terms of sales?

  • Leave it
    • * Quite slow
    • * No option for AWD
    • * CVT only

References

Nissan Kicks

2017 Nissan Kicks
- image 674606

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Kicks - European version.

Nissan Juke

2011 Nissan Juke High Resolution Exterior
- image 347080

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Juke.

2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide
- image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

Press release

The all-new 2018 Nissan Kicks, the newest entry in the fast-growing affordable compact crossover market, made its North American debut today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The bold new Kicks becomes the sixth member of the Nissan crossover and SUV lineup – which has experienced record sales in recent years – when it hits Nissan U.S. dealerships in June 2018.

"As the gateway to Nissan’s adventure-ready sport-utility portfolio – joining Rogue Sport, Rogue, Murano, Pathfinder and Armada – Kicks is designed to fit the needs of singles or couples looking for expressive styling, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features at an affordable price starting well under $19,000," said Dan Mohnke, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan Division U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. Mohnke unveiled the new Kicks during a media event at the show.

The new 2018 Kicks combines emotion and practicality by blending bold wheel arch fenders and a high crossover stance with familiar Nissan design signatures, including a V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights, and a floating roof with a "wrap-around visor" look. Available exterior features include standard Intelligent Auto Headlights (I-AH) and available LED low beam headlights with LED signature accents.

The 2018 Kicks will be offered in a range of seven exterior colors – plus five two-tone combinations. Three of the two-tone color schemes utilize a black roof and contrasting body colors (white, orange or red). Also available: an orange roof with a gray body, or a white roof with a blue body.

"From a pure visual standpoint on the street, Kicks is a true head turner, especially in the bold two-tone color combinations," said Mohnke. "Kicks is clearly recognizable as part of the Nissan CUV family, but has a vibrancy and identity all its own."

Inside, the Kicks story is one of quality and futuristic design in a cabin full of the innovative features expected by its tech-hungry target audience. The interior promises ample passenger space in the rear – despite the coupe-like roofline – as well as one of the largest load areas in its class.

Kicks’ simple "Gliding Wing" dashboard design is dominated by a centrally mounted 7.0-inch full color display housing a comprehensive infotainment system with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ smartphone connectivity. For the ultimate audio experience, the Kicks SR Premium Package includes the new class-exclusive2 Bose® Personal® Plus sound system with a pair of lightweight 2.5-inch Bose® UltraNearfield™ neodymium speakers located inside the Kicks’ driver’s seat headrest. Among the other on-board technology, Kicks features an available Intelligent Around View® Monitor (I-AVM).

Every 2018 Kicks comes with a standard 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS). The engine is rated at 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque. Aided by a smooth and efficient Xtronic transmission, the Kicks is expected to have a fuel economy rating 33 mpg combined. Kicks is offered in front-wheel drive only.

"With good ground clearance, a high eye point, electric power steering and small turning radius, Kicks is a great companion to navigate the city with," added Mohnke.

Safety, security and driver convenience features are strong points for the Nissan Kicks. Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) is standard on all grade levels, along with seven air bags and RearView Monitor. Kicks SV and Kicks SR add Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will be offered in three well-equipped models – Kicks S, Kicks SV and Kicks SR.

"Pricing for the 2018 Nissan Kicks will be announced closer to its on-sale date in spring 2018, but we are expecting to be among the most competitive in the segment," said Mohnke. "Kicks’ unique combination of expressive design, excellent fuel economy, intelligent technology and advanced safety features adds up to one thing – exceptional value."

Along with the new 2018 Kicks, the Nissan display at the Los Angeles show features the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, along with seven Star Wars-themed concept vehicles created in celebration of the brand’s ongoing collaboration with Lucasfilm for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show takes place from Friday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

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