Nissan has freshened up its smallest crossover, the pint-sized Kicks, for 2021. Fresher looks are naturally on the menu, but more important for value-conscious buyers is a higher level of standard content—for little added cash.
Squintier headlights and an enlarged “Double V-motion” grille mark out the new Kicks from the front. Higher-spec SR models include LED headlights as well as fog lights. New wheel designs carry us around to the back, where a thin strip of faux-lights (heckblende) connect the taillamps. Below that is a redesigned bumper. Nissan is sticking with the two-tone roof option, and we applaud the choice. Wheels are either 16– of 17–inches.
If the exterior of the Kicks is an “ain’t broke” situation, we’re happy to report the same isn’t true inside. The Japanese automaker has grown the default infotainment screen size to 7.0 inches, while higher-spec models move to 8.0. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are now, mercifully, standard. A larger instrument panel screen is also part of the package.
Motivation continues to come from a 1.6-liter nat-asp four-cylinder. It pumps out 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque, solely to the front wheels. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the only transmission option. Nissan says the combo is good for 31 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 33 mpg overall.
Newly standard across the entire Kicks range is Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of driver assists. Here it includes automated emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-sport monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, auto high beams, and rear auto braking. A 360-degree camera sits on the option list, as is climate control.
Pricing begins at $20,650 for the base S model, rising to $22,450 for the SV, and $23,090 for the top SR trim. In addition, buyers have the option of springing for the $1,200 SR Premium package. This adds in funky—heated—dual-color seating.
2021 Nissan Kicks models should be arriving in dealers as you this.
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