Nissan Kicks first drive: Compact and fun challenger to Hyundai Creta

Overall rating: 4

Nissan Kicks SUV first drive: As early as January 2019, Nissan Kicks SUV will make its India debut and will take on the fight against the likes of Hyundai Creta. The SUV will be based on the Renault-Nissan M0 platform that also underpins Renault Duster, Renault Captur and Nissan Terrano. Here's our first drive report from Dubai.

By: | Updated: October 18, 2018 12:48 PM
Nissan Kicks India launch, Nissan Kicks price Nissan Kicks first drive


What is Nissan Kicks: Overview

Nissan Kicks SUV is probably the youngest compact SUV for Nissan globally and replaces the Nissan Juke in the crowded SUV segment. Kicks is the company’s answer to one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian market and the company has confirmed the launch of the Kicks brand in India in January 2019. Now one might argue that Nissan is late to the party and while its sister brand Renault launched the Captur SUV about a year back, this was already the plan for Nissan. Long back, Nissan Motor India had confirmed that the year 2018 will be a year of consolidation for both Nissan and Datsun and starting 2019 is when the company will start getting aggressive.

Also Read: Nissan Kicks India Unveil Live Updates: Images, Specs, Review of Hyundai Creta challenger

Nissan Kicks in Dubai

Why Nissan Kicks:

In more than one way Nissan Kicks is a make or break product for Nissan in India. Recently, we had the chance to drive the Kicks in Dubai, which along with Middle-East markets demands strong and tough SUVs and is dominated by Nissan. Nissan Patrol SUV has a huge market share and all other Nissan SUVs including the Pathfinder and X-trail has been successful in this region. However, given the market conditions here in India, there is very little scope for these big SUVs to gain market share. India needs more compact SUVs and Nissan Kicks fits perfectly in the growing SUV space and despite the competition, this space has something for everyone in terms of sales. If Nissan gets the pricing of Kicks right it could indeed be a game changer for the company.

India bound Nissan Kicks will feature LED DRLs on top-variants

Nissan Kicks design and dimensions:

The 2018 Nissan Kicks that we drove in Dubai is made-in-Mexico and is not the exact car that will be launched in India. The Nissan Kicks is a global brand for the company has faired well globally despite not having an aggressive design stance and a bold exterior design. The build quality of the SUV is impressive and is made from high-quality materials. It has just a stroke of shut lines on the sides to compliment the sober front face and nicely crafted rear design. The length of the Kicks is 4295 mm which is longer than the Hyundai Creta (4270 mm) and has a height of 1590 mm as against Creta’s 1,665 mm. This is, however, the global version of Nissan Kicks but expect the Made-in-India Nissan Kicks to be a bit taller than the global version with more space. The U-shaped chrome grille on the face is a bit overdone, but Indians wouldn’t mind that at all.

Nissan Kicks first drive in Dubai

Overall, Nissan Kicks does get an urban and youthful look, which will be appreciated in India. We also expect Nissan Motor India to offer a wide range of customisation options like a dual-tone coloured roof.

Also Read: Nissan Kicks India Unveil on 18th October: Top facts about Nissan Terrano replacement

Nissan Kicks Interiors:

The Kicks we were driving was the base ME variant and yet the simple layout of the cabin will impress a lot of buyers. The interior design is indeed a bit less trendy and ‘on your face’ but does make the Kicks look mature and is ergonomically friendly. The rear seat is more spacious and has enough legroom and headroom for a good long drive. However, in the front, the passenger hand movements are a bit restricted due to limited availability of space across the sides.

Nissan Kicks interiorsNissan Kicks interiors

The dashboard gets a simple design with a 2-Din audio system on the base variant. The top-variants gets touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. The base trim missed out on this along with rear parking camera with sensors. The interiors are finished in black plastics and are nicely padded and textured. Panel fitment, look and feel is top notch and everything in the interiors feels sorted. Expect the Nissan Kicks in India to get a black-beige finish in the cabin and piano black finish around the centre of the dashboard. The front seats get ample cushioning and feel comfortable on long distance drives. However, the seats do not offer power adjustments.

Also Read: All-new Nissan Kicks unveiling tomorrow in India: Top 5 things to know about Hyundai Creta challenger

Nissan Kicks Drive:

Nissan Kicks in Dubai is offered with only a 1.6L petrol engine churning out 118 bhp of power and 149 Nm of torque well mated to a CVT gearbox. The engine is refined and lives up to the reputation of the Renault-Nissan HR family of engine. At high speeds, the Nissan Kicks is stable and has adequate power for a nice drive on the highway. The India-spec Nissan Kicks will get the tried and tested 1.5L petrol and 1.5L diesel engine options that we have seen on the Renault Duster. The diesel version of the Nissan Kicks is the one that will contribute to the majority of sales in India. Nissan Kicks in India will be based on the same M0 platform that underpins Renault Captur.

Nissan Kicks 1.6L petrol base variant

The flat-bottomed steering wheel on the Kicks adds to the sporty appeal and it does handle like a hatchback. Especially in a country like Dubai, where every second car is a big and massive SUV, Kicks looks and feels like a hatchback in city driving.

Nissan Kicks India launch:

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If this story has got you excited about the Nissan Kicks then the wait for it will be over soon! In about 4 months we will have the Kicks SUV in the Indian market and we will get you a detailed review of the Indian-spec model ahead of the launch. The Kicks SUV will fit into Indian conditions well as it slots in both crossover and compact SUV segment well and Indians have started to admire new cars in this segment. Renault Captur did not capitalise on the success of the Duster and we certainly hope Nissan does learn and turn things around in this segment. The take away for the Nissan Kicks is it's fun to drive and a youth connect and Nissan should play on these lines to ensure its success.

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