2021 Nissan Kicks features a refreshed exterior highlighted by a new V-Motion grille
Rear disc brakes on SV and SR models
Same 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine under the hood with 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque
The 2021 Nissan Kicks isn’t a complete redesign of Nissan’s entry-level SUV, but it is a significant refresh. It brings new interior and exterior design elements to a vehicle that already gives consumers a lot.
Small cars are on the way out, replaced by small SUVs. Regardless of your position on this trend sweeping the industry, there’s nothing any of us can do about it. Essentially a Nissan Versa Note with a higher driving position, the Kicks is a more versatile take on the subcompact car, and it’s exactly what the market craves right now.
Powered by a small 1.6-litre engine delivering 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque, the 2021 Nissan Kicks won’t be any faster than the current model, but it will be as efficient. Nissan says the fuel economy rating for the Kicks is 31 mpg city, 36 mpg highway. Canadian numbers aren’t confirmed, but they should be very close to the 7.7 l/100 km city and 6.6 l/100 km highway of the current Kicks.
It remains front-wheel drive only which means the Kicks cannot claim to have SUV-like confidence in winter. It also still has rear drum brakes on the entry-level model to keep costs down.
That said, it does offer an SUV look and SUV versatility with its 915 litres of cargo space when the seats are folded, more than double what a traditional subcompact would offer. It’s designed for small families or young buyers on a budget in need of space for their equipment or gear. Or, if you simply like sitting a little higher up and don’t want the fuel economy or bulkiness of a “real” SUV, the Kicks and its rivals like the Hyundai Venue and Kia Soul are designed for you.
A New Exterior on the 2021 Nissan Kicks
Nissan designers gave the new Kicks a bolder front design, similar to what we saw on the redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue. The V-Motion grille, Nissan’s main visual signature, is now applied to their entry-level SUV and there are new headlights that Nissan says give a more high-tech, modern effect. The top-of-the-line SR model will get exclusive LED low-beams and standard LED foglights.
The rear gets a new bumper along with a horizontal LED light that connects the rear taillights. The floating roof design remains with the blacked-out C-pillar which is larger than the current model.
The 2021 Nissan Kicks will continue to be offered in vibrant colours including a new Electric Blue pictured as well as Scarlet Ember and Boulder Gray Pearl. These colours join four other available exterior tints. Buyers can also choose among five two-tone paint combinations.
A Redesigned Interior
The interior of the Nissan Kicks gets a more upscale look, notably in the SV and SR grades. The entry-level Kicks gets a 7.0-inch screen while the two upper trims get an 8.0-inch screen. All models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top-of-the-line SR can get an optional premium Bose Personal Plus sound system which is part of the Bose Small Vehicle Series.
The various trims found inside have changed and so have the seats which, according to Nissan, now offer “more saturated colour”. Across the board Nissan appears to have wanted to make the interior more subdued. The SR offers available Prima-Tex leatherette three-tone seats.
As mentioned previously, there’s 915 litres of cargo space with the rear seats flat and Nissan says a six-foot tall person won’t have to duck to reach the cargo area thanks to the high opening of the rear tailgate.
Available technology and features include an Intelligent Around View Monitor, heated front seats, keyless entry, push-button start, satellite radio, remote engine start, and automatic climate control.
All 2021 Nissan Kicks models get standard Nissan Safety Shield 360 that includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, radar-based Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and High Beam Assist.
Pricing for the 2021 Nissan Kicks hasn’t be announced just yet, but expect it to remain very close to the actual model. Which means that although it doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, the Kicks will continue to deliver on versatility, efficiency, and affordability which is a winning combination in the market right now.