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Nissan Kicks 2022 Test Drive Review
Car Reviews

Nissan Kicks 2022 Test Drive Review

·
November 9,2022
·
6 min read

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nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

We have knowingly or unknowingly, conceded to the fact that everyone desires SUVs these days. However, in the neoteric history, the very definition of SUVs has changed radically to interpret even compact crossovers with adequate ground clearance, beefy body cladding and road presence that at least leapfrog that of the peevish hatchbacks on the street. In the UAE, this segment has witnessed a mojo and has proliferated exponentially with several Korean, Japanese and American manufacturers launching cars that appear rugged and elegant and launch it with sizzling features and a respectable price tag. One such car competing in this roster of contentions is the Nissan Kicks which has been around since 2018 and has just received a facelift for a steady quarrel against the likes of the Hyundai Kona, Renault Duster, Mazda CX-3, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, Honda HR-V and the Toyota C-HR. Does it have what it takes to stay in the limelight and more importantly, it is worth outlying AED 87,000 for the top-spec trim? 

Will the Gen-Z care to stare?

The Kicks is essentially the spiritual successor to the Nissan Juke which bid adieu in 2018. Although it featured quirky styling, it did appeal to the young crowd a lot, especially with its loud colours. Akin to that, the Kicks is also a car that is aimed towards college students and first-time car buyers. We must confess that compared to its forefather, the Kicks looks more stately and mature. While it doesn’t immediately capture the attention of the masses like the Juke, we feel it does just about fine in the styling department. However, this is not to say that it is drab but one can’t be oblivious to the fact that there are better looking crossovers in this segment. Those scouring for a car with an understated persona, this might fit the bill.

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

As part of the facelift, the updated Kicks flanks the brand’s signature ‘V-motion grille’ with chunky black accents surrounding it, slightly tweaked head lights and tail lamps which are now conjoined by a light bar stretching across the width of the car. While it looks flashy, it somehow doesn’t create a revelling feeling at dusk to illuminate. The side profile remains unchanged but the black cladding on the lower body with silver applique adds pizzazz. The car stands on 17” alloy wheels. Other essential bits that our tester sported were roof rails and a roof-mounted antenna.

The hydraulic tailgate opens up to store circa 400 litres which expands to a wonderful 700 litres by folding the rear bench flat.

nissan kicks boot

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

Does the cockpit ‘kick’ the ball and score a goal?

Available in a trio of grades namely- S, SV and SL, our tester was the top-spec SL grade with Premium package. However, the word ‘Premium’ shouldn’t be taken too seriously as the doors and dashboard come with hard tetchy plastics. To compensate for that, the centre console and the co-driver’s side of dashboard have been wrapped in brown leather which also breaks the monotony of an all-black theme. Moreover, the steering wheel is also leather wrapped which would make it a tad nicer to grip it. The arena around the cup holders is where obsequiousness to detail and quality has been placed as the car features a piano-black theme.

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

The car tries to allure with features such as Nissan Intelligent Mobility package that features advanced driver assistance tech such as rear-cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, etc. In addition, it gets voice command, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, semi-digital instrument cluster, steering-mounted controls, reverse camera (it’s very pixelated), tire-pressure monitoring system, 6-speaker system and Bose® speakers on the headrest of the driver’s seat, climate control, a duo of rear charging sockets, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay® and leather seats. It’s an anomaly that the car doesn’t get a sunroof.

nissan

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

A major deal-maker for SUVs is space. Astonishingly, the Kicks doesn’t feel as spacious as its rivals with our 180cm tall reviewer being accommodated with average legroom and headroom.

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

Does the drivetrain kick above its weight?

Right off, we would report that the Kicks can feel uncomfortable on long-drives and highway excursions as the suspension feels really stiff. Even in terms of noise insulation, there’s too much sound filtering inside the cabin. For the short city commuting, the stiff suspension shouldn’t bother. While this stiffness allows the driver to steer the car at high speeds keeping body roll in check and assuring poise and sublime mannerisms, there would hardly be any occasion to do that.

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

Regardless of the malapropism above, many buyers might be tempted to purchase it as Nissan claims a class-leading fuel-efficiency figure of a stonking 17.8 km/l. In the actual driving conditions, we managed around 11 km/l which is still great in times where fuel prices have been tearing up the sky. 

The car comes powered by a single 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that churns out 120 hp and 145 Nm of torque. These figures are on par with the competition. It’s best to only expect linear acceleration sans any fervour as things are compounded by the CVT transmission.

nissan

Credits: Nissan UAE Website

 

What we found really commendable is the confidence it inspires in bringing the car to a standstill. The breaks are really smooth and there aren’t even moments where the car feels uncanny.  

Verdict

We would recommend the Nissan Kicks for its reliability, features and frugality. It may not be a master of any, but the fact that it provides virtually everything a buyer would seek for in a practical and rounded package that will stand the test of time, clinches the deal. At the end, it all boils down to one’s taste, preference and requirements. 

 

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