Review: Nissan Kicks, a promising and refined midsize SUV
Attention to detail and a solid understanding of what the Indian customer wants in their SUVs—that’s what this product is built on. It is a refined vehicle that is super stylish and comes with a choice of engine options that offer the best mix of performance and efficiency.
It definitely has road presence with its flared wheel arches, sloping roofline, a bold front grill, which smoothly blends into the bonnet, and a rear end which has the branding prominently labelled on the bumper. The edgy styling is further complemented by the LED projector headlamps, 17-inch alloys and a sporty stance which is brought about with a very respectable 210 mm of ground clearance.
The Kicks is definitely a big step in the right direction with a feature-rich menu. The all-important 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay hovers in the middle of the dash, which is covered in stitched leather, giving the cockpit and passenger area a very plush feel to it. What is definitely a surprise is the music system – it has an amazing audio range and is a pleasure in terms of acoustics. The SUV also gets an Auto AC as standard, 360-degree parking camera with park assist, leather-stitched seats and a rather spacious cabin with a lot of storage including a 400-litre trunk.
It is offered with both petrol and diesel engine options, namely the 106 PS, 1.5-litre petrol and the tried-and-tested 1.5-litre, 110 PS diesel. Both engines are known for their refinement and low NVH characteristics, however, it is the diesel motor that truly delights. There is no lag, oodles of torque and mated to a six-speed manual transmission means you can keep it at the peak of the band to ensure that spirited drive experience. Incidentally, the petrol variant comes with a 5-speed manual and the manufacturer doesn’t have any plans for an automatic variant just yet.
Overall, I have to say that the Nissan Kicks was a pleasant surprise. This vehicle handled very well through corners, rough roads, over speed breakers, on the highway, and had the power and clearance to take what this country has to offer. All the standard safety features like ABS, EBD, dual airbags and ISOFix seats are inbuilt as well. It can be a brilliant tourer—going cross country on the highways, or managing the hustle and bustle of a city. It is expected to be priced between `11-15 lakh when it goes on sale in January 2019.