What is the Kicks?
The Nissan Kicks is a small, affordable crossover that took the place of the funky Juke and has been one of the most affordable vehicles since its introduction. Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Kicks clearly favors efficiency over performance, but it does offer decent cargo capacity and comes with a long list of available driver assist tech. But the extra-small SUV segment is getting crowded and pretty competitive, so we think that, six years after the Kicks' introduction in 2018 — that's about the length of a typical vehicle generation — the timing is right for a complete redesign.
Reports about the expected coming redesign point to Nissan's discontinuing of the lamentable Rogue Sport, which leaves a rather large gap between the recently redesigned Rogue and the diminutive Kicks. Outlets including Automotive News have said Nissan plans to make the new Kicks longer and wider, which would improve on the space inside. That makes sense as extra-small SUVs like the Buick Encore GX, the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Volkswagen Taos are big enough to allow fairly comfortable accommodations for adults in the back seat. And with a new Kia Niro and an upcoming redesigned Hyundai Kona on its way, Nissan would be wise to stretch out the new Kicks to improve on its meager rear legroom.
Reports have also speculated about the new Kicks adding an optional all-wheel-drive system, something the current generation lacks. We're not going to guess about the rest of the powertrain but we'd be surprised if Nissan stuck with its somewhat anemic 1.6-liter engine without adding more power. Some sort of hybrid could be in the offing, but Nissan has been tight-lipped about the new Kicks.