As the smallest and most affordable SUV in the Nissan lineup, the pint-sized 2021 Nissan Kicks mainly trades for a low price. Even in the SUV class with small cars, where a lack of space and a tight development budget always require compromises, the Kicks feel like an easy competitor.
Some of the minor updates for 2021 are aimed at improving the quality of life at the kicks, but the refined exterior design and greater availability of color combinations are likely to generate the most interest. Apple CarPlay and Standard Android Auto are great, of course, but the additional technology and improved materials for 2021 aren’t enough to make Kicks a top pick in this segment.
The Nissan Kicks has developed a much sharper aesthetic, in part due to the large grille framed by angled headlights on either side. The vertical side slits make kicks look bigger than they really are, but the available two-tone color scheme can offset this and make kicks appear slimmer.
On the back there is an artificial diffuser and roof spoiler as well as LED taillights. Both the headlights and taillights can optionally display LEDs, and we enjoyed the new attached taillight bar. 16-inch steel wheels are standard, while the upper fairing gets elegant 17-inch alloy wheels in a variety of flavors.
The base Nissan Kicks feels like a budget entry-level car, but the SV and SR fairings cover the base with a touch of modernity. Good legroom in the front sacrifices tight legroom in the back, but stiff seats and average cargo volume limit the attractiveness of the kicks. This is number 4. The front seats on the Nissan Kick 2021 can be narrow for a large body, and the bottom of the soft seats are short for long bodies. There is no power adjustable seat option.
The rear passengers sat high in stiff, upright chairs like pews. With just 33.2 inches of rear legroom, the 6-foot rear passenger can bump his head and knees into the kicks. The middle seat fits the fifth passenger as long as it sticks. The split 60/40 rear seats fold down to increase cargo volume by 25.3 cubic feet to 32.3 cubic feet, but don’t create a level cargo floor.
Each 2021 Kicks model is powered by a 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine that delivers abundant, but anything but exciting, acceleration. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) shifts and drives the front wheels. All-wheel drive is not offered. If a leisurely 9.7 second jog from zero to 60 mph makes the kicks seem slow, it’s because they are. However, the test results that we recorded are only half the story.
It’s great fun in the city as long as you want to start the engine. The kicks are agile and more fun than some of the larger SUVs, but it’s not an exhilarating ride on a winding road. The suspension is more geared towards comfort and provides a smooth ride even over potholes and collapses in our Ann Arbor offices. Steering is direct and accurate, but very little feedback comes into the driver’s hands from the road.
Nissan raised the price of its newly renovated 2021 Kicks SUV by a few hundred dollars. With a starting price of $ 20,595, the 2021 Kicks costs $ 430 more than its 2020 counterpart – meaning it remains one of the cheapest new SUVs you can buy in 2021.
|Engine||DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection|
|Displacement||98 cu in, 1598 cc|
|Power||125 hp @ 5800 rpm|
|Torque||115 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|Transmission||continuously variable automatic with manual shifting mode|
|Rear Suspension||torsion beam|
|Front Brakes||10.2-in vented disc|
|Rear Brakes||8.0-in drum|
|Tires||Firestone FT140, 205/55R-17 91V M+S|
|Passenger Volume||94 cu ft|
|Cargo Volume||25 cu ft|
|Curb Weight||2663 lb|
|Top Speed||110 mph|