The Nissan Kicks is the entry level of the Nissan crossover and SUV product line and has been a increasingly good selling model for the brand since it arrived here as a 2018 model. With a starting price of under $20,000, the 2021 Nissan Kicks brings a fresh design makeover, a host of new features, and a new palette of bold exterior colors.
Noticeable right away is its new face lift which incorporates the latest “Double V-Motion” grille design for Nissan and redesigned headlights which come in LED on the top-level SR as well as LED fog lights. Along with these are a new lower front fascia and bumper design with a more premium feel.
At the rear, a new take on taillights brings a continuous bar of light which connects each side lamp with a bright LED glow. Combined with a new rear hatch panel and rear bumper fascia this continues Kicks new upscale feel.
New wheel designs are added to the slate of rolling stock which include 16-inch steel wheels and covers on Kicks S, and 17-inch aluminum-alloys on SV and SR.
Kept is the popular “floating roof” motif which allows for the available two-tone paint combinations to really set the Kicks apart visually from the crowd. Three new colors are added for 2021 including Electric Blue Metallic shown here, Scarlet Ember Tintcoat, and Boulder Gray Pearl.
The cabin also gets a heavy helping of upgrade to keep up with the competition’s offerings. New door and seat trims headline the visual changes along with a redesigned center console which like the exterior get a more premium set.
A new instrument cluster with color 7-inch digital display is available on upper trim grades which allows greater information customization and graphic appeal.
Regardless of the trim grade you get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and now three standard USB ports. Base audio gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen and available is an 8.0-inch color touchscreen with SV and SR trim grades.
Optional is a Bose audio system on the top-end which even has speakers in the driver seat head rest for a fully programmable immersive sound experience. Also available is a Nissan’s popular Intelligent Around View Monitor for 360-degree bird’s-eye views. A backup camera is standard on all models however.
Powering the 2021 Kicks is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine carryover from 2020 with 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque mated exclusively to a continuously variable transmission Nissan calls Xtronic. EPA fuel economy is rated at 31 mpg, 36 highway and 33 combined. Front wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is not available.
One chassis upgrade worth noting is that SV and SR trim grades now get new rear disc brakes instead of drums. This goes along with the upper trims also getting Intelligent Cruise Control and an electronic parking brake. Suspension remains MacPherson struts and torsion twist beam at the rear.
Pricing for the 2021 Nissan Kicks will start at $19,500 for the base model S, $21,300 for the SV and $21,940 for the top-end SR.