The 2018 Nissan Kicks is the SUV I dreamed of.
Who really, really wanted to drive the 2018 Nissan Kicks? This mom. My baby sister is in college and has a Nissan Juke. It’s cute and she loves it, so naturally, I was curious about the Kicks which pretty much replaced the now-discontinued Juke. Ever since it was unveiled, I thought to myself this compact crossover looks FUN. From the optional two-toned color schemes (a premium add-on) to the Bose sound system with speakers in the driver’s seat headrest, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is the compact crossover for music lovers. It just looked like something a younger driver would really be drawn to.
Where I live, most people drive trucks and larger SUVs and the rural roads aren’t really suited for these smaller urban cars, so I didn’t really start appreciating the Kicks till I got the city. The Nissan Kicks small frame easily popped in and out of traffic and was so, so easy to park. The high stance made me feel a lot safer than if I’d been in a sedan. I really liked being able to see where I was going and not feel towered over by every other vehicle on the road. The fuel economy was pretty impressive too… I averaged 34 miles per gallon on my trip.
Who the Nissan Kicks is For
- High school or college students
- Young couples without kids
- People who live in urban areas
- SUV fans who want a smaller car
Things You Need to Know about the 2018 Nissan Kicks
- 4-cylinder engine
- CVT (continuously variable transmission)
- 31 mpg city/36 mpg highway estimated fuel economy
- Rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, & automatic emergency braking
- 3 USB ports (2 charge-only)
- 7″ touch screen nav/infotainment screen & Bluetooth hands-free phone system
- Apple Car Play & Android Auto
- Remote engine start and push-button start
- Cargo cover for the 21.8 cu/ft of cargo space behind the 2nd row. (53.1 cu/ft with the seats down)
What This Compact Crossover Costs
The starting MSRP for the 2018 Nissan Kicks is $18,540 for the S model, which has safety features like automatic emergency braking, seven airbags, and a rearview monitor come standard, even on the base model.
The SV starts at $20,250 and comes with larger wheels, a nicer display that includes Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and blindspot monitoring.
The model we drove was the SR which has all the features the SV has, plus rear cross traffic alert, LED headlights and ambient lighting, around-view cameras, a rear-roof spoiler for an added sporty look, and sport cloth seats with orange accents and stitching. The SR starts at $20,870.
The Kicks we drove had a few additional add-ons including the premium paint job which runs about $545, carpeted cargo and floor mats at $215, and the SR Premium package which includes the Bose sound system with 8 speakers and amplifier, leather-like seats, (heated in the front!) and a security system for an additional $1,000 bringing the total to $23,045.
Still, a very reasonably priced vehicle, perfect for students and those on a budget!
What We Like About the Nissan Kicks Compact Crossover
It really is a fun car. If you’re looking for something on a budget you feel like you might have to compromise and either get something that’s a few years old and already has several thousand miles on it, or go super base-model minimum and miss out on some of the creature comforts, never mind safety features available in nicer models.
But with this compact crossover, you don’t have to choose. You can have all the safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, around-view monitoring and backup camera, rear-cross traffic alert, and tire pressure monitoring and alerts. You can also have Bluetooth, heated front seats, remote start, and push-button start, comfortable adjustable seats, LED headlamps, auto-headlights, and Android Auto and Apply Car play to boot! For under $24,000.
Next, let’s talk about style. The model I drove had the Monarch Orange Metallic/Super Black two-toned paint job, but there are 7 solid colors available, plus 5 two-tone combinations, so you’re sure to find one that expresses your personality! My personal favorite is the Gun Metallic with Monarch Orange Metallic accents, which is almost the opposite of the car in my photos. You can also get a factory installed roof rack if you want an even sportier look. The head and tail lights on this compact crossover are a work of art themselves!
The interior is roomier than all it’s competitors and really doesn’t feel like a compact. The seats are comfortable and stylish, you get orange accent stitching, round air vents, plenty of technology to keep you connected and safe. Overall, I felt really at home in this vehicle which is saying a lot, cause I like trucks. 🙂
The only thing I missed, having kids, was a flip-down center console and drink holders for the rear passengers. There are some bottle holders in the doors, but they wouldn’t work for open cups cause they’re slanted. My kids didn’t notice though. They loved the Kicks and were upset they only got to ride in it once since I mostly used it for out of town driving.
A Lot to Smile About: Music, Tech and Fun to Drive
I may have jokingly called the Kicks the “go-kart” all week because it is so much smaller than what I’m used to driving. But its agility and pep delivered a fun drive experience. And all the safety and convenience features made me feel confident. That it’s designed with music lovers in mind added even more fun to the week. And made me smile just a little more.
What We Listened to in the Nissan Kicks
Did we mention that this car is designed with music lovers in mind? Here’s what I thought sounded good in the car the week I drove it. Now… turn it up!
Disclosure: Nissan provided the Kicks for my test drive; all opinions are 100% my own.