If you do take a first glance at the Nissan Kicks, the muscular exteriors give it a hunky look. It has a definite road presence and you do get a few looks at the stop light. But the question for me still remains is whether the Kicks feel different than the Renault Captur or Renault Duster or Nissan Terrano. Now, a lot of cars have been based on the MO platform and the Kicks is one of them. However, it has a lot of things which sets it apart from them.
Muscular Outside, Soft Inside
We test drove the XV Premium variant which has 17-inch alloy wheels that gives the Kicks a refreshing look on the streets with a muscular stance, talking about stance, it is longer in length followed by a floating roofline with functional roof rails and a slightly protruding hump at the back. It does give you a big car feel from the outside and when you take a look inside the cabin, the dashboard is wrapped with a dual-tone coloured soft material which gives the Kicks a premium look. The fit and finish of the material are excellent along with faux carbon fibre touches on the centre console, steering wheel, main instrumentation, and power windows.
The main highlight of the Kicks is the four cameras with a 360-degree view which is honestly an amazing add on for a car under `15 lakh. This add on will definitely encourage a lot of other
car manufacturers to incorporate such features in the future. The camera resolution, however, is low and could have been better. An 8-inch floating infotainment screen looks neat but has a laggy touch response.You can adjust the cruise control speed with the help of steering mounted buttons, the auto LED headlights worked well in underground parking, and the throw from the low beam LED headlamps in the night is enough to manoeuvre across a pothole. Also, with the Nissan Connect application, you can track various details of the car, or if you have a hard time finding your car in a huge parking lot. You can use the app to find your Kicks!
Is It Practical?
When you are investing a million rupees on a car, you definitely look for some features which will ensure that your investment doesn’t go in vain. The Kicks offers phenomenal mileage with an average of 23.1kmpl in the city and on the highway coupled with a 50-litre fuel tank. This average was attained with ECO mode switched on which is only available on the Diesel variants. Boot space of 400 litres and an option to fold rear passenger seats and if ever you’re stranded on your weekend getaway trip with a flat tyre, you wouldn’t have to trouble yourself by removing all your luggage to reach for the spare wheel because the spare wheel is attached on the Kicks’ underbody. The rear seats can easily sit three people, also there is a rear armrest with two cup holder slots. There’s a storage space under the main instrument console which has ambient lighting, it did help me in reaching out for spare change or my wallet in the dark. However, the storage space in the glove box is narrow and long, tough to fit in wide objects.
Drivability And Comfort
It doesn’t feel like you’re sitting inside a Diesel engine car, that is the level of refinement Nissan has achieved on the Kicks. Its 1.5-litre diesel engine is capable of producing 108bhp at 3,850rpm and 240Nm of peak torque at 1,750rpm. It is an under-specced engine as compared to the European variant. The 6-speed manual transmission gearbox is super smooth and there’s barely any vibration on it, as you can find on diesel cars, but Nissan has not provided an option for an AMT gearbox. It may be 12bhp less than its European variant but it still packs a punch when you floor it in the second gear. Initially, it took me some time adjusting to its heavy steering wheel but the feedback from it on three digit speed was comforting. The weight on the steering wheel is adequate to ride on bumpy roads. Talking about bumpy roads, the Kicks has a best in class ground clearance of 210mm which ensures that potholes and off-roading adventures are a breezy experience. It would have been even more comfortable if there was a dead pedal on offer or some leg room, and the armrest is fixed at an angle where it becomes difficult to shift gears or reaching for the handbrake without the wrist colliding.
Price: ₹9.55 Lakh (ex-showroom)
ENGINE: 2.5-Litre K9K DCI Diesel
POWER: 108 Bhp
TORQUE: 240 Nm
TRANSMISSION: 6-Speed Manual
The kicks has definitely announced its way in the suv market but misses a few checkpoints in terms of its price, features and reliability as compared to other suvs. For the kicks to come out on top of the segment, the after-sales service from nissan will matter a lot.