The weird name aside, there is a new Nissan SUV in town. Within the next 30-45 days, the Nissan Kicks SUV will be in Indian showrooms. The new Nissan Kicks SUV is based on a modified platform that underpins the Terrano. In fact, the chassis is slightly different than even its cousin, the Renault Captur. Bookings have already started for Rs 25,000 across the 207 Nissan showrooms in India. We’ve driven this SUV for close to 150km to give you a first drive impression. Plus the things you should note while buying this SUV.
The good bits of Nissan Kicks SUV
Safety is addressed with four airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, front and rear fog lights as well as ISOFIX child seat mounts. There is also an Around View Monitor (AVM). However, Nissan hasn’t disclosed if these features are standard. It is likely that each variants will have two petrol and diesel trims. Apart from the AVM and two additional airbags that will be reserved for the top trims, rest everything will be standard.
We like the throw of the headlights. The Nissan Kicks SUV comes with LED projector headlights and fog lights with cornering function. These have a wide and even throw and we appreciate the brightness as well.
The diesel engine is the familiar 1.5-litre K9k that powers the Terrano. It makes 110PS of power and 240Nm. This engine, currently, is mated to only a 6-speed gearbox. An automatic will be available later, most likely an AMT. the petrol is borrowed from Renault and is a 1.5-litre unit that pumps out 106PS/142Nm. A 5-speed manual is available with this one, while a CVT will follow later. We got a chance to drive the diesel and it is decently refined, has linear power delivery and reasonably light clutch action. This being said, we will be able to update better once we drive it in bumper to bumper traffic. For now, the highway cruising ability is fantastic. The minimum turning radius of 5.2m too is a boon.We also appreciate the 210mm ground clearance which didn’t leave us beached on the soft sand at Kutch.
Interior quality is leaps and bounds ahead of any Nissan on sale in India. This justifies the premium tag that Nissan associate with this car. Brown and black upholstery is used with leather perforated seats and soft touch plastics being offered. The instrument binnacle is new and legible. There is also an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Nissan also offers an illuminated and cooled glovebox.
The ride quality is a tad better than what the Terrano offers. That is definitely one of the highlights. The Terrano has a stellar ride quality and bettering it is something, only Nissan could have done. Potholes as well as road irregularities are dispatched with a disdain. The handling too is confident for the most part. High speed stability too is good and crosswinds dont seem to affect the car much.
The not-so good bits of Nissan Kicks SUV
People may get over the name for sure. Take the Skoda Laura for example. However, the design language suggests more hatchback than SUV. There are cars like the Hyundai i20 Active that look similar to the language used by Nissan. Additionally, there are aesthetic bits like the rear LED lamps which are missing. Imposing the Nissan Kicks SUV definitely isn’t.
If you are eyeing the Hyundai Creta as a competition, then the Nissan design team should have added more features. The feature list isn’t small but the Kicks could have got more. Things like an auto dimming mirror, cup holders in the front, sunroof, electrically adjusting driver’s seat or even a sunglass holder are somethings, the XUV500, Jeep Compass and Creta have spoilt us with. The AC vents at the back too are small and could have been bigger.
There are ergonomic issues like the headroom at the front and back aren’t great for people of 6ft stature. Even a 6ft driver will have issues wherein his knees stay close to the steering boss. This happens even with the seat at the lowest position. The centre arm rest is something which doesn’t have storage space below and cannot be adjusted as well. The transmission tunnel intrusion at the back will compromise leg space for the middle passenger.
While the ride quality is good, the handling is let down by the steering wheel. It is good at city speeds but when you attack a corner with gusto, the steering wheel lets you down. It has got too quick a ratio that causes the steering wheel to twitch and makes the car nervous. The steering wheel is also way too eager to come back to the dead position. Moreover, the buttons on the steering wheel are to enable cruise control. The Bluetooth as well as volume buttons are placed behind the steering wheel. This makes accessing them a tad difficult.
While Nissan hasn’t revealed any prices, we believe that the Creta competitor too will be priced around Rs 11-15 lakh. However, it will be a bit difficult for Nissan India to sell this car at that price. See the fate of the Renault Captur. They however can discontinue the Terrano and instead bring the Kicks in its place. This will ensure that it will relatively have a smooth sailing. Moreover, it will go head on against the decently selling Maruti S-Cross that has a similar feature set.
Do let us know if you agree to this list of good and bad bits of the new Nissan Kicks SUV. Watch our complete review which will be up soon. Don’t forget to tune in to AutoAlive’s Youtube channel and subscribe to get notifications of future reviews.