Nissan Kicks- Kicks The City At Its Own Game.
There’s a reason why Kicks thrives in the city. With advanced features that do everything from keeping you at your perfect temperature to helping you get out of tight parking spots to connecting you to your world, there’s no situation this vehicle isn’t ready for. Thanks to Nissan, the Kicks pushes dramatic styling to the edge with a signature floating roof, and premium interior designed just for you. Its advanced technologies keep you ahead of the game, while the dynamic handling puts you in charge of the streets. This is capability like you’ve never seen it before. Nissan has the crossover vehicle market covered like no one else. With the Juke, Qashqai, and X-trail taking care of the compact crossover class and the Murano and Pathfinder catering to those who are looking for a bit more space.
Those of us who are motoring enthusiast may recall that the kicks was introduced back in 2014 at brazil biggest motor show held in San Paulo. Since then the Yokohama car maker seems to have thought otherwise. Nissan surprised many early last year when it announced the decision to go ahead with production of the Kicks. The automaker substantially kicked in millions of dollars on preparing the factory in Resende, Rio de Janeiro, to mass produce the Kicks.
Styling is also a mix of many other Nissans. Although most of us would think that the look so similar with the young Juke, the Kicks gets more interesting lines than the Qashqai’s. With the Nissan V-motion family face upfront, it carries cues from the Sway concept that previewed the all-new Micra hatchback. A couple of subtle creases and flared wheel arches add character to its profile, while the rear is livened up by the boomerang-ish taillights. Overall, it looks even more up-market than the larger Qashqai, and better than most of its rivals Ecosport, Captur, among. It one of those cars that I anticipate that it will redefine those trips to the beach. Its uniqueness has those features that will warrant a tour to the shores.
Inside too, the layout, fit and finish are all surprisingly better than you’d expect to see in a vehicle aimed at emerging markets and built solely in South American plants. It’s simple and straightforward, but nice touches like stitched faux leather on the dashboard lift the overall atmosphere in the cabin. Understandably in this class and price point, there are some hard plastics on the door cards and the centre console, but none of these are low-rent or tacky enough to warrant criticism. The designers have managed to squeeze the maximum out of the crossover’s relatively modest dimensions, leaving generous amounts of head-, shoulder- and legroom in the front and back, beating the juke in a way. The Zero Gravity seats are comfortable to settle down into and are quite supportive on long drives. Meanwhile, a 383-litre boot with additional flexibility offered by the 60:40 split rear seats adds to its utility credentials.
Power comes from the sole 1.6-litre four-cylinder power source is produces a decent 118bhp. It’s got ample grunt to pull the lightweight CUV along on leisurely drives, but the continuously variable transmission takes its sweet time to transfer the oomph to the front wheels if you demand quick acceleration. And of course, you’ll have to put up with the usual drone that’s associated with such gearboxes. Nissan markets the Kicks with a few ‘Active’ tech systems, such as the Active Trace Control, which engages the inner or outer brakes alternately to keep the vehicle stable around corners, Active Engine Braking downshifts the CVT, adding to the stopping power, and Active Ride Control apparently helps smooth the impact from road bumps. I couldn’t tell whether these systems kicked in while driving, but the ride and handling in general is very much in line with class norms, body lean kept to the minimum. The steering is light and easy while driving around town, and weighs up moderately as the vehicle gathers speed, although not firm or responsive enough to inspire much confidence.
It also comes equipped with a host of safety features including Vehicle Dynamic Control, traction control, tyre pressure monitoring, the extremely handy Intelligent Around View Monitor and parking sensors. It might look like Nissan is overdoing the whole crossover thing, the Kicks actually is a lively little utility vehicle that offers some practicality for those looking to upgrade from a small hatchback, and is even a good choice for those looking for a change from years of family saloon ownership.