2021 Nissan Kicks

MSRP range: $19,550 - $21,990
(3)
MSRP$21,450
Edmunds suggests you pay$20,506

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2021 Nissan Kicks Review

  • Comes standard with lots of advanced driver aids
  • Affordably priced
  • High fuel economy
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Leisurely acceleration
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Not much rear legroom
  • No optional all-wheel drive
  • Restyled exterior
  • Mild upgrades to cabin materials
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration now standard
  • Part of the first Kicks generation introduced for 2018

Looking to buy a small and inexpensive crossover SUV? The 2021 Nissan Kicks might be worth checking out. This is Nissan's smallest SUV and takes its place alongside its bigger and pricier siblings, the Rogue Sport and Rogue. Like many extra-small SUVs, the Kicks is a lot like a budget hatchback (think Volkswagen Golf) but with a slightly taller stance. It doesn't offer traction-enhancing all-wheel drive or the outdoorsy vibe you might otherwise expect from a traditional SUV, but you still get a higher ride height and extra cargo capacity compared to a sedan.

The Kicks gets a few updates for 2021. Nissan has updated the exterior styling, improved some interior materials, and added standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. You definitely get a lot of features for your money with the Kicks, but there are some drawbacks to the way it drives. Check our Expert Rating below to get our full report and help you decide whether you should get a Kicks or go with an alternative such as the Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul or Mazda CX-30.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The refreshed Kicks is stylish and offers some of the best features and tech for the money in the extra-small SUV class. It's fuel-efficient, easy to park and even kind of fun to drive on a curvy road. But it falls short of its competition when it comes to comfort and measurable performance.
Performance isn't the Kicks' forte. Acceleration is leisurely — we measured a 0-60 mph time of 10.7 seconds, which is among the slowest you'll find in this class. The brakes are easy to control so you can stop smoothly, but the pedal action feels a bit squishy and unnatural. In our tests for emergency braking, the Kicks performed adequately.

The Kicks, though, has a couple of things going for it. The suspension is responsive and keeps the vehicle composed, so it's kind of fun to drive on a twisty road. We also like the transmission's smooth and responsive gear ratio adjustments in routine driving. It avoids the annoyances commonly associated with continuously variable transmissions.
It's not unusual for an inexpensive subcompact vehicle to compromise a bit on comfort, but you will want to kick these poor seats — especially the rear bench — to the curb. Depending on your seating position, you'll likely notice the front seats' lack of upper-back support. The rear seatbacks are too upright, and the bench is flat and hard. These are among the least comfortable seats we've encountered.

The Kicks can be a little noisy too. Wind noise isn't too bad and only becomes more noticeable at highway speeds. But the Kicks is susceptible to lots of road noise. About the only good thing in this category is the Kicks' compliant ride quality — it smooths out a lot of bumps in the road without being overly floaty.
The Kicks' cabin is easy to climb in and out of and become familiar with. The climate control and touchscreen menus are simple and user-friendly. It's easy to see out of the front and the sides thanks to large windows and a low hoodline. The thick rear roof pillars compromise rear visibility somewhat, but it isn't terrible.

On the downside, taller drivers or drivers with big feet might have issues with the driving position. The accelerator pedal is crowded up against the side of the footwell, and the low, upright seating position can be uncomfortable. We've also found the Kicks' rear seating to be cramped compared to the back seats in other extra-small SUVs.
The Kicks has nearly everything a modern smartphone-using driver needs. A quartet of USB ports is standard, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. A 7-inch or 8-inch touchscreen is also standard depending on the trim level. But we've found the touchscreen prone to glare, which makes it difficult to see in direct sunlight.

The Kicks comes standard with a pleasing number of advanced driving aids. They generally work well, but the traffic-adaptive cruise control is a bit overly cautious in the distance between the Kicks and the vehicle ahead. The optional surround-view parking camera system is a rare feature at this price point, and it's a big help for parking in tight spots. Overall, there's a lot of cool tech for such an inexpensive car.
The Kicks offers more cargo space (25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats) than a lot of subcompact SUVs. But cargo-carrying versatility is a little lacking. The rear seats don't fold down completely flat, and there's no center pass-through that would otherwise allow you to load longer items without folding down the seats. Small storage areas for your personal items are decent. There's a nicely sized pocket in front of the gear shifter and a configurable cupholder area that can be turned into a medium-size storage cubby if you need it. The center console storage and door pockets are shallow.

Got small children and need to install child safety seats? The Kicks has three top tether anchors and four lower seat anchors that are clearly marked and accessible. However, fitting rear-facing seats will be tight because of the Kicks' lack of rear legroom.
The Kicks' fuel economy varies wildly based on driving style, but it doesn't take much to keep the average above 30 mpg. We recorded a high of 37.4 mpg from one fill-up with our test car and averaged 33.4 mpg during our test. The EPA says to expect 33 mpg combined (31 city/36 highway). Overall this is a pretty frugal extra-small SUV.
Value is the name of the game for this segment, and the Kicks is ahead of the class thanks to its low entry price and relatively inexpensive upgrades to higher, fully loaded trims. We don't like the acres of plastic used on the door panels and dash area, but there are enough premium materials in other areas of the cabin to create a more pleasant experience.

Warranty coverage is pretty standard for the segment at three years/36,000 miles for the basic warranty and five years/60,000 miles for the powertrain. Roadside assistance is offered for three years/36,000 miles.
There's no shortage of subcompact SUVs in the market so a vehicle needs to make an impression to stand out. The Kicks makes a case for itself with a stylish exterior design and an updated interior that includes a respectably large touchscreen. It feels good to maneuver through a curvy section of road even if you aren't ultimately going very fast. Quicker acceleration and less excessive use of plastic interior surfacing would go a long way in making the Kicks a more desirable option.

Which Kicks does Edmunds recommend?

Pricing for the 2021 Nissan Kicks is relatively affordable throughout the trim lineup. As such, consider going for the top-level SR trim. It comes standard with nearly everything and gets you a few worthwhile extras over the SV trim.

Nissan Kicks models

The 2021 Nissan Kicks is an extra-small crossover SUV that's offered in three trim levels: S, SV and SR. They primarily differ in the number of features you get. Highlights include:

S
Starts you off with:

  • 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive
  • Steel wheels with plastic wheel covers
  • Keyless ignition
  • Air conditioning
  • Cloth upholstery
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

Every Kicks also comes with:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Reverse automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
  • Rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)

SV
The midrange SV trim adds some convenience with features that include:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Heated mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • Rear disc brakes (can enhance braking performance)
  • Keyless entry with remote ignition
  • Center armrest console between the front seats
  • Automatic climate control
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Satellite radio
  • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the Kicks and the car in front)
  • Drowsy driver monitor (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)

SR
The top-of-the-line SR model adds a handful of items as well as unique sport seats for front passengers.

  • LED headlights
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Surround-view monitor (gives you a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Sport front seats

The SR trim is also eligible for the SR Premium package that adds:

  • Remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Simulated leather upholstery trim
  • Heated front seats and steering wheel
  • Cargo cover
  • Bose premium audio

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Nissan Kicks.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
3 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • value
  • comfort
  • seats
  • appearance
  • fuel efficiency
  • off-roading
  • ride quality
  • driving experience
  • cup holders

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, I love my new Kicks!
Russ Morey,
SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
This vehicle has more power than you might think at first glance. I have to travel over a mountain every day to get to work, so I was curious to see how the 2021 Kicks would perform. I have not been disappointed at all! What a smooth ride and more than enough power to get me over the mountain and through the woods.
5/5 stars, Very happy and surprised all at once
The R,
SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
Love my “new Kicks” very very quiet cabin, love all the safety tech, it’s not that slow and if I wanted to go fast I would drive my Acura. This is a great second car to drive around town in and save on gas. The seats are actually very very comfortable (not sure why edmunds seems to think they are not) I would take this car on a long drive and not think twice about it.
5/5 stars, Kick back and relax with the Kicks
Dave Muscarella,
SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
This is a very good car for the money. Loads of tech, great fuel economy, and it looks great too. The orange paint with the black roof really pops and despite what the Edmunds review says, the Nissan zero gravity seats are fantastic. I'm a big guy and pretty tall and these seats makes me feel like I'm floating as I drive around town. It's not fast by any means but I didn't buy this car to drag race. My only real gripe about the Kicks is the lack of storage in it. Only 2 cup holders and the center console storage bin is very small. I also which the Kicks had a sun roof, but its not a deal breaker. Overall, I am in love with my Nissan Kicks. I think its a very good value for the money, esp with all the tech in the SR trim.

2021 Nissan Kicks video

ELANA SCHERR: I'm knew. This car is new. I'm Alana Scherr, and I'm brand new on the Edmunds test team. And this is the 2018 Nissan Kicks, which is brand new in the lineup for Nissan's SUVs. Is it possible to get all of today's most popular technology and safety features in a car under $25,000? Nissan says the 2018 Kicks does it all for under $22,000. We're here to find out how this little guy stands up to his big brothers. As soon as you get into the Kicks, the materials sort of stand out, which is surprising, because you would think they would just sort of blend in. You're not expecting a car that's less than $20,000 to have anything nice inside. But they're pretty good. They aren't luxury materials. I mean, they're still rubbery and plasticky, but it's not just like a bare desert of design nothingness in here. This car has all kinds of fun details on it. It's got contrast stitching, a gloss piano black here. There's some brushed aluminum. There's some chrome. This particular one, which is the upgraded model, this is the top of the line. So this is about $22,000 whereas entry would be high $17,000. This one has a sort of leather covering on the seats, as well as the stitching. But I've seen the cloth seats in the base model, and they're really nice. They're also very interesting. They have multiple different materials. There are a lot of things on the Kicks that would be just not worth talking about on a more expensive car. Like yeah, of course that has climate control. But it does. It has heated seats, and has autostart. And you can set it off with the key to warm up if you live in a cold climate. The Kicks doesn't have a full digital dash. It has a sort of half customizable dash. And when you have it set up in default, it shows you a tach and a speedometer, which is pretty normal. And you can change what it shows you in the middle. But it gives you a bunch of other options to show you if you're not interested in seeing the tach, which, honestly, you really don't need because it's a CVT and you can't do anything about the RPM anyway. There's really only a few options, but they're all useful. And I'm sure you're going to be able to find one that works for you. Nissan made a big deal about safety being available standard in the entry level, and even in the higher trim levels. The Kicks offers emergency brake assist. So if it thinks you're going to hit something, it applies the brakes for you. I didn't test that on this drive, but I'm assuming it works. It also has warning lights that come on right here if it thinks you're going to change lanes and move into somebody, and that's very helpful. For a backup camera, it's here in the seven inch touch screen. And they also have a 360 surround, which I've never seen on one of these entry level cars. And it's very useful if you're parking, especially if you're living in a city and you're worried about curbing the wheels or something like that. You can see everything. When it actually comes to the options that are in the car, it's also a nice surprise. There's a lot going on and it's easy to get to. You can option up to have car play or Android. So you already know how that stuff works. I don't need to show it to you. It's fine, it works the same on every car that has it. The main menu for when you're not connected to your phone is pretty basic because there's really not a whole lot going on. One of the selling points for the Kicks is the stereo system. Nissan thinks that by offering a premium sound system in an affordable car, they're really going to have something that the competition doesn't. This car comes with a Bose eight speaker system. And it also includes two speakers that are in the headrest, which is kind of slick. They call it Bose PersonalSpace. I kind of wish you could get it to apply at parties when there's somebody close talking you, and you're just like, let's just dial up the PersonalSpace here. And then if it's somebody you want to talk to, you can be like, oh, come a little closer, my friend. But anyway, this actually only applies to sound. So if it's all the way over here, then just the driver is really hearing the music. There's not really much coming out of the other speakers. And it's almost like wearing headphones, which you're not allowed to do while you're driving. So I think that that's what they're going for. And then obviously if you've got friends in the car, then you move it over here and it applies to the entire car and everybody can hear your sweet jams. So as soon as you get into this car, you're pleasantly surprised. You're like, hey, there's stuff to look at and it's nice. And that stuff continues in the backseat. Backseat passengers tend to get kind of cheated out of all the good stuff that the front seat passengers have. And the Kicks has, they say, class leading leg and head room up front. They're not doing too bad in the back, either. Granted, I'm short and this seat is set for me. But even on the other side where the seat is further back for a taller person, there's a lot of room. I mean, that's a ton of leg room, and that's a lot of headroom. There's also great visibility for the passengers in the back. So you could be back here for a road trip and not be sad and lonely and missing all of the good stuff. The door panels are pretty minimal back here. There's no chrome on the holes or anything like that, but, you know, what do you want? The whole point of having a hatchback or a CUV is so that you can carry things. Not only can this car seat five, but the Nissan Kicks can also carry more cargo than almost any car in its class. I think only the Honda HRV can carry more, and they're both in the 50 cubic feet range. That's with the seat down. Nissan says you can fit a bike back here. The Kicks is on the Versa platform. And when I first heard that, I was like, ugh, no. Because I really don't like the Versa. It's sort of funny because Nissan makes one of my favorite cars, which is the GTR, and then also one of my least favorite, which is the Versa. Versa is just rental car misery. But this car doesn't feel like the Versa to me. It feels a lot more nimble. And they did make some changes to the CVT. The CVT is just one of those things that everybody hates. You don't even need to really know what it means or what it does, and you hear those initials, and you're like, ugh. CVT, that's the worst. And they're sort of known for just having this endless loudness as you step on the gas pedal, but they don't get any faster. It doesn't actually have gears, and it feels like a rubber band, and it sounds like a vacuum cleaner, and it's super disappointing. What this car has, it still has a CVT, but they've sort of programmed in a kind of fake shifting so that if you really get on it, it'll kind of bump the RPM a little bit in a way that it wouldn't normally that kind of just fakes you into thinking that something's happening. But it does work. It's much more satisfying. The Kicks has a 1.6 liter four-cylinder engine, which you can keep floored for quite a long time without getting a ticket. Let's just say it's not a high horsepower option. What Nissan thinks is that if you want more power, you'll just step up to the Rogue. So if you live somewhere snowy and you're interested in an all-wheel drive car, again, Nissan thinks you'll just step up to the Rogue, which does have all-wheel drive. Turning radius is amazing on this car. And that's one of the things they brag about. When Nissan was talking about the Kicks, they specifically said, we don't see this as a farm truck. But as far as the handling, steering, ride quality, and ability to make a pass, it can do all of those things as you would need them to do. And for city driving, it's more than acceptable. It's actually quite good. The handling in the Kicks is kicky. I mean, it's a front-wheel drive car, and it turns in nicely. I don't plan to enter an SCCA Autocross with it. But if you did, you could probably make it through without knocking over all the cones. Steering isn't race car stiff or responsive, but it isn't sloppy. It isn't dead. There isn't a whole lot of empty space in the wheel before the car does what you've asked it to do. The ride in the Kicks is a little bit bumpy. Not to the point where you feel it as a danger. I mean, it's not moving you around the road, but you're definitely feeling the bumps that are in the road. And also, you're hearing them. There's a bit of wind noise, especially at higher freeway speeds. The car is built for a particular purpose, and I really think that they achieved that purpose. A lot of people have talked about this car in relation to the Juke because the Nissan Juke is going away, at least in the states, and this car is coming in. And a lot of people have talked about it as a replacement for the Juke. Even Nissan's own press site sort of has them connected. Although talking to Nissan reps, they say like, no, they're really different things. This car is almost $10,000 less than the Juke. The Juke was available with a turbo engine. So I think that what they're hoping that this car does is appeal to a lot of people who like the Juke, but couldn't afford it, and a wider range. And then maybe people who like the Juke will like the Rogue instead. I never thought in my entire life that I would have anything good to say about the CVT transmission. But there is a place where the CVT is better than a normal geared transmission, and that is in miserable stop and go traffic like we're stuck in right now. It doesn't drop any gears. It doesn't pull back, so it doesn't engine brake the car and slow you down and then jolt you forward. So there's that. I would personally rather have a geared transmission. If you walk up to the Kicks in the parking lot, your first thought is not, whoa, cheap guy. And when I first got into the Kicks to drive it and I looked at the interior, my first thought was not, wow, this is chintzy. It really looks nice. Nissan deserves a lot of credit for fitting a lot of things into a car at a very small price. It's got technology. It's got safety. And it has all these style elements to it that make it look a lot more expensive than it is. It also compares very well to its competitors, all of which are more expensive. Some just by a few thousand dollars, some by up to $10,000. It gets better fuel mileage, and it has more cargo space than most of the other cars in the class. So if you're interested in a small, city going SUV, take a look at the Kicks. To see our full first drive on the 2018 Nissan Kicks, go to edmunds.com.

2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive

NOTE: This video is about the 2018 Nissan Kicks, but since the 2021 Nissan Kicks is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

Edmunds special correspondent Elana Scherr takes the 2018 Nissan Kicks on a first drive around San Diego. How does the Kicks fare in the highly competitive subcompact crossover SUV segment? Watch to find out.

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$19,550
MPG & Fuel
31 City / 36 Hwy / 33 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 10.8 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 122 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 114 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 169.1 in. / Height: 63.3 in. / Width: 69.3 in.
Curb Weight: 2682 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 25.3 cu.ft.

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At a Glance:
  • 8 Colors
  • 3 Trims

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating 4 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger3 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover15.5%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good



Nissan Kicks vs. the competition

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Mazda CX-30

2021 Mazda CX-30

Nissan Kicks vs. Mazda CX-30

The Mazda CX-30 is a standout in the tiny SUV class with its sleek styling, luxurious interior and sporty performance. It handily beats the Nissan Kicks in a number of metrics, but it also costs quite a bit more for a similarly equipped model. If your budget can be stretched, we're confident you'll find the CX-30 more enjoyable. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Mazda CX-30.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Mazda CX-30 features 

Nissan Kicks vs. Buick Encore GX

The Buick Encore GX is another top pick among subcompact SUVs for its entry-level luxury leanings and strong performance. We're fans of the infotainment interface as well as the numerous advanced safety features that come standard. It does cost more than the Kicks, however, and the interior can be a little loud on the highway.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Buick Encore GX features 

Nissan Kicks vs. Hyundai Kona

The Hyundai Kona is priced competitively against the Nissan Kicks. Both SUVs give you a lot for your money. The Kona's base engine is a laggard like the Kicks', but Hyundai gives you the option to upgrade to a more powerful turbocharged engine. Inside, it uses materials of a comparable quality to the Nissan, which is heavy on hard plastics. But the top trim levels in each lineup dress up the cabin nicely.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Hyundai Kona features 

2021 Nissan Kicks First Impressions

What is the Kicks?

As the smallest and most affordable SUV in Nissan's lineup, the pint-sized 2021 Nissan Kicks trades primarily on its low price point. Even in the subcompact SUV class, where space constraints and tight development budgets have always required compromises, the Kicks feels like a lightweight competitor. On the whole, Nissan's newest products have impressed us with their improved interiors, technology and materials. The 2021 Kicks, however, is a refresh, not a new design.

The handful of minor updates made for 2021 do go some way toward addressing livability in the Kicks, but the enhanced exterior styling and wider availability of color combinations will likely drive the most interest. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nice to have, of course, but the added tech and upgraded materials for 2021 simply aren't enough to make the Kicks a top pick in the segment. The new rear disc brakes on the SV and SR trims are worth noting, though — the current Kicks turned in a subpar performance in our braking test with its rear drum brakes (which remain standard on the base S trim), so we look forward to testing the new setup to see if it makes a difference.

How does the Kicks drive?

Like the current model, the refreshed Kicks is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque) matched to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It drives the front wheels only. Unlike some other subcompact SUVs, the Kicks does not offer all-wheel drive.

As you might expect of an engine with such modest power figures, the four-cylinder doesn't move the Kicks with any sort of authority. In Edmunds' testing of a prior-year Kicks, we recorded a 0-60 mph sprint of 10.2 seconds. That's well off the pace of rivals that offer more powerful engines, such as the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30. 

While the powertrain manages to feel punchy right off the line and in low-speed driving around town, it doesn't have much more to give at higher speeds. You'll be hard-pressed to discern a difference between half throttle and full throttle when merging on the freeway. In both scenarios, the engine is more raucous than it is productive.

Overall, the Kicks is pleasant enough to drive if you don't demand authoritative acceleration. Handling and steering are average for the class, and the CVT is unobtrusive, albeit sometimes a bit slow to respond. We can't yet say how the new rear disc brakes on the SV and SR impact braking performance, but the pre-refresh model needed a truck-like 140 feet to stop from 60 mph in Edmunds' instrumented testing. The brake pedal did feel better in a 2021 Kicks that we drove with the rear disc brakes, so hopefully we'll find a commensurate improvement in stopping distance when we test one at our track.

How comfortable is the Kicks?

The seats aren't particularly comfortable, and the driving position will feel unnatural if you're taller than about 5-foot-10. The relatively low dashboard is nice for forward visibility, especially in tight spaces, but you wind up with the gauges and steering wheel feeling quite low relative to the high seat.

The seat itself hasn't earned high marks from us in the past, and our complaints still stand: Neither the shape nor the padding is conducive to long-haul comfort. Between the short cushion, awkwardly contoured back and lack of adjustability, there's little to be done if the seat isn't just right for your body to begin with.

On the plus side, the interior is relatively quiet, even on the freeway. Traffic noise comes in through the thin glass, but beyond that you won't be overly troubled by wind or road noise. The ride is also relatively compliant, feeling stable on the freeway and sucking up the worst of imperfect road surfaces. Really, with better seats the Kicks would be a perfectly competent (if small) vehicle for road trips.

How's the Kicks' interior?

The Kicks remains, above all else, affordable. That means you shouldn't expect too much from the interior, which is, in all but the SR trim, drab and plasticky. In the SR, it gets a bit of a punch-up with faux leather.

Most of the Kicks' controls and inputs are user-friendly. Buttons are easy to find, and the touchscreen interface is entirely straightforward. And even with its small footprint, the Kicks provides sufficient room for four passengers. The tall roof makes for enough rear headroom for adults, and while legroom isn't what we'd call generous, there's enough of it for full-grown humans.

Getting in and out is always easy thanks to short doors and square openings. This SUV is made for crowded parking lots.

How's the Kicks' tech?

Perhaps the most meaningful change to the 2021 Kicks has to do with its technology offerings. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is now standard, and the SV and SR trims add a new 8-inch touchscreen. We liked the previous 7-inch system (which is still included on the base S model), but the extra inch in virtual real estate helps the interface feel less cramped. SV and SR trims also gain a new USB-C port and get two USB charge ports for the rear seats.

It's just a shame the rearview camera hasn't been upgraded along with the screen. It's serviceable, but the extra real estate highlights how low-resolution the camera is.

On the safety front, adaptive cruise control (which maintains a set distance between the Kicks and the vehicle ahead) is now available for the SV and SR trims. It's not a particularly advanced system, but it gets the job done. It's also more eager to accelerate when gaps open up than some other systems, which can have reaction times like tortoises on Ambien.

Finally, the SR's Premium package now outfits the Kicks with a Wi-Fi hotspot, which enables over-the-air updates for the infotainment system.

How's the Kicks' storage?

The Kicks offers a usable trunk with the seats up — certainly more than a match for a routine shopping trip or a weekend getaway. The low load floor and relatively tall trunk opening are both welcome. But once you start folding the seats down, the Kicks can't touch the undisputed subcompact cargo king, the Honda HR-V.

The rear seats don't fold flat, and if you're going to fold them down you'll have to pull the rear headrests to get a full range of motion from the front seats. You can cram a decent amount into the space, and while it's not as flexible as the Honda, it's better than average for the class.

Interior storage is a mixed bag as well. There's a handy cellphone tray, and the cupholders are reasonably sized, but the door pockets are tight and the armrest box tiny. You can at least empty your pockets with ease, but not much more.

How economical is the Kicks?

With an EPA-estimated 33 mpg combined, the Kicks offers excellent fuel economy for the subcompact SUV class. Our real-world testing of the pre-refresh model saw an average of 33.4 mpg over the duration of the test, and our best fill was 37.4 mpg. That means not only is the Kicks more economical than competitors on paper, but it can back those numbers up in the real world.

This is the upside to the Kicks' slow acceleration, and for some shoppers, savings at the pump will be an acceptable trade-off. Once again, the Kicks proves a solid value if nothing else.  

EdmundsEdmunds says

With a more attractive exterior and improved tech options, along with excellent fuel economy, the 2021 Kicks makes a case for itself as a value-oriented subcompact SUV. Unfortunately, it's also achingly slow and not particularly comfortable to sit in for very long.


FAQ

Is the Nissan Kicks a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Kicks both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.4 out of 10. You probably care about Nissan Kicks fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Kicks gets an EPA-estimated 33 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Kicks has 25.3 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Nissan Kicks. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Nissan Kicks?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Nissan Kicks:

  • Restyled exterior
  • Mild upgrades to cabin materials
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration now standard
  • Part of the first Kicks generation introduced for 2018
Learn more

Is the Nissan Kicks reliable?

To determine whether the Nissan Kicks is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Kicks. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Kicks's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Nissan Kicks a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Nissan Kicks is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Kicks and gave it a 7.4 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Kicks is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Nissan Kicks?

The least-expensive 2021 Nissan Kicks is the 2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $19,550.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $19,550
  • SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,350
  • SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,990
Learn more

What are the different models of Nissan Kicks?

If you're interested in the Nissan Kicks, the next question is, which Kicks model is right for you? Kicks variants include S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT). For a full list of Kicks models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks Overview

The 2021 Nissan Kicks is offered in the following submodels: Kicks Hatchback. Available styles include S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT). Nissan Kicks models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 122 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Nissan Kicks comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The 2021 Nissan Kicks comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Nissan Kicks?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Nissan Kicks and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Kicks 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Kicks.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Nissan Kicks and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Kicks featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Nissan Kicks?

2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $21,450. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is trending $944 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $944 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $20,506.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is 4.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 23 2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $23,205. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is trending $964 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $964 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $22,241.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is 4.2% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 21 2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

The 2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $25,265. The average price paid for a new 2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is trending $1,026 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,026 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $24,239.

The average savings for the 2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) is 4.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 18 2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Nissan Kickses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Nissan Kicks for sale near. There are currently 62 new 2021 Kickses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,400 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Nissan Kicks. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,567 on a used or CPO 2021 Kicks available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Nissan Kickss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Nissan for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $12,824.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Nissan Kicks?

2021 Nissan Kicks S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
33 compined MPG,
31 city MPG/36 highway MPG

2021 Nissan Kicks SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
33 compined MPG,
31 city MPG/36 highway MPG

2021 Nissan Kicks SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), continuously variable-speed automatic, regular unleaded
33 compined MPG,
31 city MPG/36 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG33
TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
Drive Trainfront wheel drive
Displacement1.6 L
Passenger Volume119.2 cu.ft.
Wheelbase103.1 in.
Length169.1 in.
Width69.3 in.
Height63.3 in.
Curb Weight2682 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Nissan Kicks?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials