Admirable and affordable
The 2018 Nissan Kicks may be targeted to a younger buyer, but should appeal to a broad range of drivers
When invited to test drive the brand-new Nissan Kicks, I was more than a bit apprehensive.
After all, what good could I possibly say about this bottomfeeding, Versa-based subcompact crossover, having been pampered in recent months by some of the finest vehicles on Earth, bouncing between the driver’s seats of models like the Aston Martin Vantage and DB11 AMR, Ford’s Platinum-trimmed F-150 Power Stroke pickup and even the scintillating Porsche Macan GTS. In reality, I shouldn’t have fretted because the Kicks is an admirable effort made all the more impressive by a parsimonious base price of about $18K.
Thanks to its boomerang head- and tail-lights, signature V-motion grille, and floating roof, the Kicks fits right in with its next of kin like the Rogue and Pathfinder, although it has a chubby cuteness not common to the Nissan bloodline, with front fenders bulging slightly like an infant’s cheeks.
Competing with other subcompact crossovers, Kicks is bringing the fight to models like Honda’s versatile HR-V, the new Ford Ecosport, Toyota’s funkified CH-R and of course he hot-selling Kia Soul, arguably this segment’s progenitor. 1.6-litre four-cylinder Output: 125 horsepower, 115 foot-pounds of torque Continuously variable automatic
7.7 city, 6.6 highway
Starts at $17,998, plus $1,795 for delivery With a simpler appearance both inside and out, this new nameplate should appeal to a much broader range of drivers.
FAST FACTS: NISSAN KICKS
Faster than you’d expect Not a hint of junkiness Spacious all around Chunky cuteness
No front-passenger armrest Wooden steering feel Off-centre screen