Fun times in the 2021 Nissan Kicks SR CVT


Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles


This week for review the 2021 Nissan Kicks landed on our doorstep for a week to review.  I was excited to get behind the wheel of this stylish, safe and fuel-efficient subcompact size SUV.  The 2021 Nissan Kicks is actually the company’s smallest SUV.  The Nissan Kicks’ is perfect for darting around the city for singles or small families.

The Nissan Kicks is a subcompact crossover SUV that was initially introduced as a concept car under the same name and was premiered at the 2014 São Paulo International Motor Show. The car was designed collaboratively by Nissan’s design headquarters in Atsugi, Japan, Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, California, and Nissan Design America Rio de Janeiro. The Kicks entered the United States and Canada in 2018 to replace the Juke as the subcompact crossover.

Nissan has given the Kicks a nice two-toned paint design with body colored heated outside mirrors and body colored outside door handles.  The Kicks that we reviewed came in the two tone blue with the black roof. The Kicks has a sleek style, with the Nissan badge placed prominently on the grille. This little beauty sits on 17” black alloy wheels. The Kicks has LED projector headlamps with the LED signature v-shape dark chrome from grill accent.  The lighting package is complete with the LED fog lights.

The Kicks has seating for up to five people. There are two comfortable rows that have the SR seat fabric with interior trim and accents. The front seats are prima-tex bucket seats alongside a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. There is a fair amount of cargo space with the 60/40 split rear seats. There is a cool Interior Electronics package that includes 20 color interior ambient lighting, door pocket light and a frameless auto-dimming mirror with universal remote.

The Nissan Connect infotainment system in the Kicks comes with a lot of cool features. It comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Siri Eyes Free, onboard Wi-Fi and three USB ports. The Nissan Connect infotainment system also comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio and a premium Bose 8 speaker audio system. The upgraded sound system helped pass the time as we were cruising around.

The Nissan Kicks is not a speedy vehicle. With only 122-horsepower from the 1.6-liter DOHC 16-Valve four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Kicks has just enough power to be a great commuter vehicle. The four-cylinder engine can be bit noisy when really pushing it limits on the highway but it great for darting around town and has excellent mileage.  The EPA rates the Kicks at 31 mpg city, 36 mpg on the highway and 33 mpg combined. Unfortunately, the Kicks lacks All Wheel Drive. There is enough cargo and passenger space to tote the family around and do all the fun things that have been planned for the outing.

Nissan takes safety serious and provides automated emergency braking, forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, a rearview camera, lane departure warning, pedestrian detection, high-beam assist, rear cross traffic alert, a surround-view parking camera system, driver drowsiness monitoring and rear parking sensors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) called the Kicks SR a Top Safety Pick. The crash-test scores were rated as good, headlights rated “Acceptable,” and automatic emergency braking that the IIHS rated as “Superior” at avoiding forward crashes. As a father of two young children the installation of child safety seats is important to me. There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the middle seat. I found the LATCH system is easy to use in the Nissan Kicks.

There is a growing demand for the Nissan Kicks as it sits in a competitive subcompact car class. Competitors such as the Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, Chevrolet Trax, Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona , Honda HR-V, Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Venue. The 2021 Nissan Kicks SV CVT that we reviewed comes in at $26,730.00.

Nissan offers a decent warranty package including a Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles and a Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles. No complimentary scheduled maintenance is offered at this time. The 2021 Nissan Kicks is a great value vehicle with excellent fuel economy. The Kicks has smooth and comfortable ride, but it is not winning any races being that the acceleration is not quick. I would definitely fit this into the “Every Day” vehicle category. Not flashy or sporty, but it will definitely get you where you need to be in comfort. Please enjoy the photo gallery.


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