2019 Nissan Kicks Review and Comparison in Denver, CO

How the 2019 Nissan Kicks Kicked Off

The Nissan Kicks is the newest contender in the subcompact crossover SUV, now in its second year. But how's it fairing?

Pretty dang well, actually. Replacing the Nissan Juke, this punchy little crossover has hit the ground running with its large cargo capacity, shockingly good gas mileage, and long standard features list. It does lack a turbo-charged engine option and all-wheel-drive, but we suspect those aspects may be coming in the not-too-distant future.

How Hard Does the Kicks Kick?

To be frank, not very. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offers a meager--yet sufficient--125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. However, in The Tortoise and the Hare terms, the Kicks' little engine is a rockin' option. The Kicks offers 36 MPG Highway and 31 MPG City. Those numbers are very high for an SUV, and they're better than plenty of sedans and hatchbacks that are way smaller than the new Nissan Kicks. If you want to drive three hundred miles on twenty bucks of gas, this is your ride.

Not Your Grandfather's Subcompact

It used to be that if you wanted an affordable, fuel-efficient, and maneuverable car, you'd find yourself riding around in a teensy two-door hatchback with the all the cargo capacity, styling, and driving comfort of a soup can. The Nissan Kicks leaves those days well in the past. The Kicks has a 53.1 cubic-foot cargo capacity, enough for some good-sized furniture, 20+ paper grocery bags, or your band gear.

It's doing great in the style department as well, with sporty two-tone color options, sharp exterior lines, a spoiler, foglights, and some flashy aluminum-alloy wheels. Inside you'll find some slick contrast stitching and quilted seats, plus some higher-quality trim materials. No econobox bare-metal or hard-plastic here.

Since the Kicks has a higher ride height than most subcompacts, you won't feel like you're crawling out of a grave when you get out, and you'll have plenty of visibility to boot. It has a nice suspension and larger tires as well, so you don't get that riding-in-a-shopping-cart feel that you may find in some other vehicles at this price point.

Solid Safety Systems Standard

Automated safety technologies are all the rage these days, and people are paying a premium price for it. Not so with the Kicks. The Kicks comes standard Nissan Intelligent Mobility, featuring Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking, and additional safety systems like surround view cameras, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are available at sensible price points. Thanks, Nissan!

What's in the Box?

The Nissan Kicks is pretty well equipped with standard and available features at fair prices. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility are notable features, as well as keyless entry and ignition. The Nissan Connect touchscreen infotainment system is straight-forward and easy to use, but it's not quite as advanced as other available systems. The digital instrument cluster has cool "command center" features like vehicle performance information and vehicle specs. Available Bose speakers mounted in the headrests are a cool touch as well.

Does the Kicks Kick the Competition to the Curb?

The 2019 Nissan Kicks is an excellent option for those looking for a stylish, efficient, and sensible daily driver. It has room for everything, has a low MSRP and low costs of ownership, and it comes surprisingly well-equipped for its price and class. It definitely goes against the refrigerator-on-wheels feel that's found elsewhere in its class.

That said, the Nissan Kicks is not for everyone. For those with large families, you may want to look to other options like the Nissan Rogue, Murano, and Armada. If you're an off-road enthusiast or enjoy heading out for track day, check out vehicles like the Frontier 4x4 and the GT-R sports car.

Overall, the Nissan Kicks is a great choice for most driving styles. It's fun, affordable, efficient, vibrantly styled, and practical--and honestly, that's really everything most people need to truly enjoy their car. If you're looking for a solid choice for a daily driver, give the new Kicks a try--but consider test-driving a 370Z drop-top just for fun while you're at the dealership.

Compare the Nissan Kicks vs the Competition