By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – Nissan has redesigned its Kicks crossover and has given it a more conventional look.
The gave it a bolder front end, the double V-motion grille was more pronounced, and it had a new headlamp design. They redid the rear end as well. It had LED taillamps, a new back door finisher, LED fog lamps and a roof mounted shark fin antenna.
We had the vehicle over the weekend and found it capable. It was powered by a 1.6-liter four cylinder that made 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. The engine was a mated to an Xtronic transmission, which is Nissan’s branding of its continuously variable transmission.
The engine provided more than enough oomph. Acceleration was good and the CVT was relatively quiet.
Even though they’ve gone to a somewhat conventional look for the Kicks with a flatter roof, it has three new monotone and two-tone color options that give it more than 1 million color combinations. In other words, the 2021 Nissan Kicks still has the young at heart and in age squarely in its sights.
The interior was comfortable. The dash was textured. And the eight-inch touch infotainment screen was embedded in the face of the dash. We were disappointed that the satellite radio was not connected but we used our smartphone to stream music and were good.
They put the speedometer on the right side of the instrument layout and a large TFT screen on the left side.
We had intelligent cruise control, keyless entry as well as keyless start. It was a simple layout. The climate controls were directly beneath the touch infotainment screen. In a storage area below were two USB drives as well as a 12V plug.
We had a black patterned cloth interior, which looked pretty good. It was quilted. The door panels had a different pattern around the armrests and locks.
The back seat was relatively roomy for a small crossover. There was plenty of headroom as well as legroom; but three people would find themselves squeezed if they tried to get in the back seat.
And though it looks like a standard crossover, the 2021 Nissan Kicks is a hatchback.
Prices are expected to start at around $20,500 when it goes on sale.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com