2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Nissan Kicks
2018 Nissan Kicks

What’s new

  • The 2018 Nissan Kicks is an all-new vehicle.
  • Part of the first Kicks generation introduced for 2018.

Pros & Cons

  • High fuel economy estimates
  • Larger-than-average cargo capacity
  • Inexpensive compared to rivals
  • Less power than rivals
  • All-wheel drive isn't available
  • Missing a few desirable features
Nissan Kicks years
Nissan Kicks for Sale

Which Kicks does Edmunds recommend?

The SV trim appears to be the sensible pick in the 2018 Nissan Kicks lineup. It comes with creature comforts such as padded armrests, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and automatic climate control. You also get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

Subcompact crossover SUVs are wildly popular at the moment, thanks to elevated ride heights, versatile interiors, accessible pricing and ease of maneuverability. The 2018 Nissan Kicks is the latest to join this class and should deliver on a number of fronts. Compared to much of the competition, the Kicks has a lower price, a larger cargo space and higher fuel economy.

Holding it back, however, is an engine that is weak even by subcompact crossover standards. Nor can you get all-wheel drive, which diminishes the appeal of the vehicle from a utility standpoint. Also, Nissan fitted it with rear drum brakes, which don't offer the more consistent and confident braking power of more modern disc brakes. Overall, though, the 2018 Nissan Kicks' bold design and price make it worth checking out.

2018 Nissan Kicks models

The 2018 Nissan Kicks is available in three trim levels: S, SV and SR. The S trim is very basic as are the upper trims compared to other subcompact crossovers. All models receive a 1.6-liter four-cylinder (125 horsepower, 115 pound-feet of torque) that is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. All-wheel drive isn't available.

Standard equipment for the S trim includes 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights, hill start assist, forward collision warning with automatic braking, cruise control, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free integration, three USB ports, a rearview camera and a six-speaker audio system.

The SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, a driver information display, interior chrome accents, padded front door armrests, automatic climate control with rear heater ducts, a cargo cover, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and satellite radio.

The range-topping SR comes with LED headlights and foglights, heated mirrors, a rear roof spoiler, a surround-view parking camera system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgraded cloth upholstery.

The optional SR Premium package adds an eight-speaker Bose audio system, simulated leather upholstery and heated front seats. Both the SV and SR trims are eligible for a two-tone paint scheme.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the 2018 Nissan Kicks SR (1.6L inline-4 | CVT automatic | FWD).


The Kicks' power output trails the class average. Certainly, it's adequate for low-speed driving around town, but add in a full load of passengers, or a college kid with all her belongings in the back, and you're going to be wishing for a little more grunt.


The Nissan Kicks takes a no-nonsense design approach to the cabin. The SR Premium package adds some visual interest with its simulated leather upholstery and contrasting stitching. The driver's seat has six-way adjustability, and it's well-cushioned and easy to get in a comfortable position.


Based on the spec sheet, the Kicks has one of the biggest cargo capacities in its class. The rear seats are split 60/40 and can be folded down to provide additional room.


Every Nissan Kicks comes with a 7-inch touchscreen. When you move up to the SV or SR trim, you also get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking is standard, which is a nice touch.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

5 star reviews: 56%
4 star reviews: 19%
3 star reviews: 16%
2 star reviews: 6%
1 star reviews: 3%
Average user rating: 4.2 stars based on 32 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • interior
  • fuel efficiency
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • appearance
  • value
  • climate control
  • technology
  • comfort
  • maintenance & parts
  • sound system
  • handling & steering
  • seats
  • spaciousness
  • doors
  • visibility
  • road noise
  • lights
  • warranty
  • acceleration
  • dashboard
  • driving experience
  • electrical system
  • infotainment system
  • safety
  • engine
  • cup holders
  • brakes
  • oil
  • towing
  • transmission
  • ride quality

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Great car for oroce
SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

Car met my price point as well as my expectations. I needed a good commute car with decent gas mileage. That’s exactly what I got.

4 out of 5 stars, Few bugs that the dealership won't address.
SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

I really like my Kicks. Bought it brand new at around 50 miles and find it a steal at the price. It handles well and though the CVT is an adjustment, I really enjoy how it drives. As others have said, the climate control is picky. Either it blows really hot or really cold, no matter what temp you set it to. Dealership insists that its performing as designed. The collision detection tends to get 'blocked' by the rain, even in a light drizzle, and throws a warning light and notification. The entertainment touchscreen occasionally blacks out and becomes unusable until you restart the car, which is a minor annoyance but should be addressed by Nissan. My biggest concern so far has been that it once stalled the engine at a stoplight. We stopped, the Kicks shuddered and then stalled completely. We had to restart it in the middle of the road. Once again, Nissan claimed there was no problem with it when we took it in. I'll be much happier if Nissan addresses these problems. So far, they have issued NO recalls on a vehicle with clearly multiple issues.

5 out of 5 stars, Buy it.
SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

Buy it you will love it. What can I say it's a great car, handles well, brakes well, loaded with safety features. The only thing I miss from my previous car is automatic day time running lights. I find no problem with the engine, seems peppy to me. It really feels sold on the road and take the bumps around Tucson in a grand manner. Lots of head room, easy to enter and get out of. I wish I would have looked at Nissan years ago.

5 out of 5 stars, Not kicking my Kicks
Don Kane,
SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

Very good value and surprising standard features (rear view cam, blind spot warning, bluetooth, Sirius XM, are just a few of the things I like. I am a senior citizen and I get odd looks when I exit the vehicle (I guess people are expecting a younger driver). After a month of using I have enjoyed it. Nice job Nissan Corp, but not good follow up by the dealer (Modern Nissan of Cornelius, N.C. With now over 7800 miles all is well. Good value but only negative is the short warranty of 1 year or 10000 miles.

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See all 32 reviews

2018 Nissan Kicks video

MT7sJ60RoQw - 2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive

2018 Nissan Kicks First Drive

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.

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

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic

N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic

See all 2018 Nissan Kicks features & specs


Our experts’ favorite Kicks safety features:

Forward Collision Warning
Warns if a front collision is imminent with audible and visual alerts.
Automatic Emergency Braking
Applies the brakes at full force if the forward collision warning is triggered and the driver does not respond in time.
Blind Spot Warning
Alerts the driver if a vehicle is lurking in a blind spot.

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Nissan Kicks vs. the competition

2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Nissan Kicks

2018 Honda HR-V

2018 Honda HR-V

Nissan Kicks vs. Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V's engine is rated as one of the weakest in the subcompact crossover class, with only 141 horsepower. The Nissan Kicks' output is even lower, at 125 hp. On top of that, all-wheel drive is not offered on any Kicks, nor is a built-in navigation system. The top-of-the-line SR with the optional Premium package does dress up the Nissan a bit, however, and it will cost about as much as the entry-level HR-V.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Honda HR-V features

Nissan Kicks vs. Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR is comparable to the Nissan Kicks on a number of levels. Both are underpowered for the class, and neither can be had with a built-in navigation system or all-wheel drive. Where they differ: price. The C-HR runs about $4,000 more than the Kicks, but it benefits from additional advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Toyota C-HR features

Nissan Kicks vs. Hyundai Kona

The new Hyundai Kona costs about $2,000 more than the base Nissan Kicks, but you get much more for your money with the Kona and other added benefits are available, too. The Kona is one of the best subcompact crossovers to drive, thanks to an available turbocharged engine, plus it's packed with more features than the rest of the class. Hyundai's industry-leading warranty coverage is yet another advantage over the Kicks.

Compare Nissan Kicks & Hyundai Kona features
More about the 2018 Nissan Kicks

With a starting price in the $18,000 range, the all-new 2018 Nissan Kicks is one of the most affordable choices in the subcompact crossover class. If you like the idea of getting an affordable set of wheels but don't want a boring economy sedan, the Kicks could be for you.

Standard feature highlights for the base S trim include 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, Nissan's Easy Fill Tire Alert, forward collision warning with automatic braking, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver's seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth and a 7-inch touchscreen.

The SV adds 17-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, a driver information display, padded front door armrests, automatic climate control, satellite radio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The top SR trim comes with LED headlights and foglights, heated mirrors, a rear roof spoiler, a surround-view monitor, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and upgraded cloth upholstery. To that, the optional SR Premium package adds a premium Bose audio system, simulated leather upholstery, contrasting stitching and heated front seats. Both the SV and SR trims are eligible for a two-tone paint scheme.

As enticing as the 2018 Nissan Kicks may be from a pricing standpoint, there are otherwise few advantages. The 125-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is weak even by the class standards, which are already far from impressive. Some notable features are also not available on any Kicks model, including all-wheel drive, lane keeping assist, a built-in navigation system or a sunroof.

With any luck, our opinion may change once we get the opportunity to drive it for ourselves. In the meantime, check out all of the information and tools on Edmunds to see if the 2018 Nissan Kicks could be a good fit for you.

2018 Nissan Kicks Overview

The 2018 Nissan Kicks is offered in the following submodels: Kicks Hatchback. Available styles include SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT).

What do people think of the 2018 Nissan Kicks?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Nissan Kicks and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Kicks 4 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 2018 Kicks.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Nissan Kicks and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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.

Which 2018 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) 2018 Nissan Kicks for sale near. There are currently 11 new 2018 Kickses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,050 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $530 on a used or CPO 2018 Kicks available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Nissan Kickss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Nissan Kicks for sale - 1 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $24,135.

Find a new Nissan for sale - 5 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,422.

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.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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