Nissan Kicks proves inexpensive doesn’t have to mean boring12th February 2019
Inexpensive entry-level vehicles are typically drab affairs. Beige boxes with the minimum options and styling that can be described as sadness on four wheels. The Nissan Kicks (yeah, with an S) is different. It’s fun, quirky and has just enough tech to keep smartphone-addicted new car buyers happy.
Starting at $18,450, the Kicks is targeting those looking for their first new car (young people) or inexpensive second vehicle (parents buying a car for their kid). In other words, its Nissan going after Gen Z with style and a little bit of attitude. The small SUV should appeal to them after spending most of their lives in a larger vehicle. It has the utility to carry all their stuff (electric skateboards and I don’t know, boxes of vapes?) thanks to 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space in the back. But it’s short wheelbase means it can fit in car-sized parking spaces.
The infotainment system is essentially a conduit for a smartphone. The seven-inch touchscreen supports CarPlay and Android Auto. The in-car system doesn’t even have navigation, which is fine because at this point everyone under the age of 30 has been using Google Maps so long hopping to another mapping system would seem like blasphemy. One issue with this system is that it suffers from some serious latency. Sometimes you’d swipe the screen and wait a beat before anything happens.
What it lacks in a fancy infotainment system it makes up for in safety. The Kicks comes with Automatic Emergency Braking and a rearview monitor that you can actually see. For this price point, the rear-camera view usually resembles a pixelated videogame instead of the real world. If you move up a trim (to the SV for an additional $1,710), the Kicks comes with rear traffic alerts and blind spot alerts. For $680 more to the SR trim, you get something you typically only see on luxury vehicles, a 360-degree view of the car.
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