If you thought there was room for another small SUV in the Nissan lineup, somewhere alongside the Qashqai and Rogue, you were right. With the odd-ball JUKE being phased out, here comes the all-new 2018 Nissan Kicks, unveiled yesterday in a North American premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.
It will go on sale across Canada in June 2018 with a choice of S, SV and SR models. Pricing will be announced some time before that.
"As the gateway to Nissan's adventure-ready sport utility lineup, the Kicks is designed to fit the needs of singles or couples looking for expressive styling, personal technology, smart functionality and advanced safety features."
- Steve Rhind, director of marketing, Nissan Canada Inc.
By the way, the Kicks first started in Brazil last year and then expanded into other South American markets. Nissan has plans to sell the vehicle in more than 80 countries worldwide.
Styled to stand out
Aesthetically, the 2018 Nissan Kicks stands out with bold wheel arches and a high crossover stance, not to mention familiar Nissan design signatures including a V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights and a “floating” roof. Other exterior features include standard Intelligent Auto Headlights, fog lights and available LED low beam headlights with LED signature accents.
The Kicks will be offered in a range of five exterior colours, plus five two-tone combinations: Three with a black roof and contrasting body colours (red, orange or white), an orange roof/grey body option and a white roof/blue body combo.
Despite the coupe-like roofline, Nissan claims the interior offers ample passenger space in the rear as well as one of the largest trunks in the segment. The "Gliding Wing" dashboard design is dominated by a centrally mounted 7.0-inch full colour display housing a comprehensive infotainment system with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. For the ultimate audio experience, the Kicks SR includes the new class-exclusive Bose Personal Plus sound system with a pair of lightweight speakers located inside the driver's seat headrest. There’s also an available Intelligent Around View Monitor equipped with Moving Object Detection.
Trained for city life
Less powerful than the 141-hp Qashqai, the 2018 Nissan Kicks boasts a 1.6L DOHC 4-cylinder engine rated at 125 hp and 115 lb-ft of torque. With the help of a smooth, efficient Xtronic CVT, fuel consumption should be quite low (official ratings have yet to be posted).
Similar to direct rivals like the Kia Soul and Toyota C-HR, the Kicks is offered in front-wheel drive only. Nevertheless, it is being described as a great companion to navigate the city with considering its good ground clearance, high eye point, electric power steering and small turning radius. Let’s not forget about safety: Automatic Emergency Braking with Forward Collision Warning is standard on all trim levels, along with seven airbags and a RearView Monitor. The Kicks SR adds Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Along with the 2018 Kicks, the Nissan display at the L.A. Auto Show features the all-new 2018 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, as well as seven Star Wars-themed concept vehicles created in celebration of the brand's ongoing collaboration with Lucasfilm for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.