2021 Nissan Kicks

MSRP range: $19,600 - $22,140
4.7 out of 5 stars(16)
MSRP$20,775
What others are paying$21,426
Low supply is pushing the market average above MSRP.

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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.

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. 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 $19,600.

Other versions include:

  • S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $19,600
  • SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $21,450
  • SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT) which starts at $22,140
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 4.7 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.

Pros

  • Comes standard with lots of advanced driver aids
  • Affordably priced
  • High fuel economy
  • Easy-to-use controls

Cons

  • Leisurely acceleration
  • Uncomfortable seats
  • Not much rear legroom
  • No optional all-wheel drive

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)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 12 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)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 9 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)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 7 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 22 new 2021 Kickses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $21,475 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.

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

Find a new Nissan for sale.

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 mpg 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 mpg 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 mpg 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.
WidthN/A
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