The Nissan Kicks was launched with great fanfare earlier this year. In the 6 months since its launch Nissan India has followed an innovative marketing strategy. Their positioning is very clear. This is a SUV that will appeal to the 25-40 age group. A consumer group that is willing to experiment, look beyond the usual in every aspect of life.
I spent a day driving it during the media drive from Bhuj to the Rann of Kutch. It had impressed me right away. Thus, was looking forward to driving it over a longer duration which I did last week.
What is it based on?
In India, Nissan has launched the Kicks based on the updated version of the MO platform. Worldwide the SUV is based on the Micra platform.
How does it look?
The first thing that catches your eye when you see the Kicks, is the 2 toned orange and silver paint scheme it comes in. The Kicks is a tough and solid looking mid-size SUV with sleek projector headlamps with V-shaped grille up front.The SUV comes with 17-inch diamond cut alloys, nice looking tail lamps, and prominent black pillars. It’s sleek and well-proportioned in terms of design and finish. The Nissan Kicks is larger in size, than most cars in its segment.Lots of work locally has gone into the design, to make it more edgy and robust.
How is it inside?
The interiors of the Kicks are top notch and of high quality. The brown leather cladding with white stitching, brushed silver accents with quilting on the leather seats are all premium. There’s a brand new impressive.8.0-inch floating touchscreen which performs smoothly. The speedometer is digital with a nicely built steering wheel. There’s an elbow rest which is placed quite awkwardly, and can be a hindrance at times while shifting gears.The Nissan Kicks offers terrific visibility courtesy the upright seating position. This tall stance offers an all-round view of the road. The front seats are broad, very comfortable and offer good lumbar and under thigh support. The steering wheel is rake adjustable but not reach. I am sure this is something Nissan will rectify, when the next model of the Kicks is launched.
Getting in and out of the rear cabin is easy courtesy the wide doors. The leg and knee room on offer is very adequate. Head and shoulder room is good as well. The rear seats easily fit 3 people, thanks to the seat width and flat floor design of the Kicks cabin. There is a dual portable parcel shelf which can be opened from the inside of the SUV to access the 400- litre boot.
The Kicks comes with a 360-degree camera, leather dashboard insert. One gets an Eco driving mode which is handy, while driving in dense traffic conditions. Four airbags, climate control, hill-hold, cornering lights, rain sensing wipers are all part of the features package that comes with the Kicks.What is Nissan Connect?
The Kicks comes with the latest Nissan Connect. As a part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, it transforms this SUV into a more responsive partner. It works round-the-clock to provide the best-in-safety, security and convenience by keeping the owner connected to Nissan, the car, to his/her family and loved ones through India’s first factory- fitted Telematics Control Unit (TCU) with a secured server.
With 50+ Features and 3 years of Free Subscription, the Nissan Connect is extremely useful for a Kicks SUV owner.
How is it to drive?The Kicks as mentioned earlier, rides on the M0-platform and offers 210mm of ground clearance. It comes in a two-wheel drive option with a manual transmission. The 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine with 110PS/240Nm is responsive, the short gear ratios highlight the mid-range punch of this engine. There is lots of mid-range power available for overtaking between 2000- 2500 rpm. Steering feedback is decent and the light nature of the steering makes driving an easy exercise in the city.
What is the ride like?The Kicks suspension setup ensures a comfortable and hassle-free ride quality over all sorts of road conditions. A very important point and factor for an Indian car buyer. Throw the Kicks into corners, it stays firmly glued to the road which is extremely reassuring. Braking power is sharp, with lots of stopping power available for emergency braking situations.
The 5-6 days I spent driving the car felt too little. This is a SUV I want to spend time with again over a longer duration. Next time I may just drive it from Delhi to Bangkok!The Nissan Kicks is available for Rs 10.85 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai for the base diesel XV D model. The base petrol Nissan Kicks XL model retails at Rs 9.55 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai.