The Kicks is Nissan's latest offering in the crowded compact SUV segment. Since it has taken its time to arrive, it has a slew of tricks up its sleeve. Little wonder Nissan calls it the “intelligent SUV”. With the Japanese carmaker setting up a digital hub in Thiruvananthapuram, its India strategy seems to be well on track.
The Kicks has not just been Indianised inside out, as claimed by Nissan engineers, but also been developed and tuned to ensure that it meets the needs of Indian roads and drivers. Take, for instance, the ground clearance of 210mm, which Nissan says is class leading. Nissan has introduced global technologies in the Kicks such as the 'around view monitor' or 'smart card' for keyless entry.
The Kicks looks muscular. “It has dynamic expressions that convey energy and passion,” says Yasuhiro Tani, India design head of Nissan. With robust bumpers and the V-motion grille, it has a solid road presence. The floating roof and the functional roof rails add to its appeal. Then there are the signature boomerang tail lamps and the shark-fin antenna. Its two-tone body graphics make it stand out.
Inside, the ‘gliding-wing' layout of the dashboard is refreshing. There is a high-quality matt-chrome finish on the steering. The SUV’s door pockets can easily hold one-litre water bottles. The cabin is roomy and there is ample luggage space. There is an 8-inch floating touch screen that comes with Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
The Kicks comes in petrol and diesel. The 1.5-litre H4K petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and the 1.5 Intellitune K9K dCi Diesel engine to a 6-speed manual gearbox. While the petrol engine produces 142 Nm of torque and claims a fuel efficiency of 14.23 kmpl, the diesel engine produces 240 Nm of torque and claims a fuel efficiency of 20.45 kmpl.
It ticks all the boxes. The steering has a precise feel; there is hardly any body roll and the cruise-control is great on highways. There is hardly any outside noise filtering into the cabin.
The Kicks may not be an emotional buy, but it makes a lot of sense. It has distinct styling and good road presence. And it is worth the money.
Price: Starting from Rs9.55 lakh (ex showroom)