Nissan has seen the light of SUVs and is releasing a new SUV/cross-over model for the 2017 model year. Besides that, they also redesigned their existing CUVs, like the Juke. We are not sure if the focus on cross-overs indicates a new core incentive for Nissan, or if they just feel the need to catch up with the market that has shifted towards the SUV/crossovers. Anyway, the 2017 Nissan Kicks is here to go to battle with the bus load of other crossover vehicles, and we’re quite interested to watch that unfold.
To start off, the Nissan Kicks is a market-safe adaptation of the Nissan Kicks Concept Car from 2014. Everyone is aware of the fact that the mass-production editions of concept cars are never as groundbreaking and architecturally advanced. Although many appreciate concepts for what they are, the actual sales wouldn’t skyrocket, because the car would just be too much of an eye-catcher. After all, people are always looking for something distinguished yet conventional at the same time. That, and of course the fact that concept cars would be way too expensive as a mass-production vehicle.
Taking that information on concept cars into account, it really is quite astounding how much the production-ready 2017 Nissan Kicks looks like its conceptual source.
The first you’ll notice on the debut production model is the same grey paint job with orange floating roof. We didn’t quite expect that one to make the final cut, but we’re glad it did. We furthermore expect some other contrasting roof colours, plus the option to have a uniformly coloured Kicks, like all black and all grey.
The front of the car is much like the concept’s. Of course, there are different lamps in the headlights, but the shape roughly remained the same. The grille is a bit bigger and wider and features a different grille pattern. The chrome outline of the grille carries over, but the lower air intake is completely different.
2017 Nissan Kicks side and rear
On the side of the car much takes over as well. The pointy edges of the headlights still run over to the side, creating a look of the car being able to reach breakneck speeds. The lower side of the car is a little different, on the 2017 Kicks there’s an extra body line. Furthermore, there are regular door handles instead of the push-and-protrude handles on the concept and the chrome line under the side windows is absent too.
The back of the car is mainly similar, too. The taillights are the same shape, though with slightly less pointy edges. The rear window still makes a deep plunge down from the sides. The trunk door is cut from one chunk of metal and bends in where the taillights are. This is a feature that requires more than just a simple action in production, so it’s great to see Nissan adopted this on the 2017 Nissan Kicks.
The lower bumper actually looks better than the concept. On the concept there was a light-coloured middle part, which has been left out on the 2017 Kicks. The exhausts are a remarkable shape and are centred in the middle now, really pulling together the whole look of the Kicks.
Hats off to you, Nissan! The exterior really shows the company’s anticipating qualities when confronted with far from conventional, beautiful automobiles like the 2017 Mazda CX-3.
In the interior a bit less similarities with the concept are to be found. Obviously, the automobile market isn’t ready for touch screens that run all the way from the top of the center stack towards the gear shifter. Although that looks great, it’s not quite practical and technology is still too expensive to make it into a production-ready vehicle. Instead, the Kicks interior takes on many cues from the reliable and high-class Nissan car, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder.
Nissan jumped on the dashboard bandwagon and created a one-piece dash. The steering wheel is a high-class material with a nice silver touch. The silver also returns on the door panels, the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) vents and center stack features. The latter is looking very tidy, with little to no excess buttons. Everything is incorporated in the individually standing seven inch infotainment screen or on the HVAC system below.
The instrument cluster is digital and looks very clean and clear. Also, the standard speedometer is always visible, but the rest of the meters can be customized as one wishes.
The colour scheme in the interior is a cognac-y light brown and black on the debut model. We expect at least an all black option and a grey and black scheme to be offered as well.
Nissan has not disclosed any details on the Kicks’ engine yet. One thing we know about the engine is that it will feature an automatic transmission, which is shown on the official release pictures. Europe will probably also get a manual shifter, which is standard there.
Then, there are some speculations about the engine. One of those is combined with the speculation that the Nissan Juke is going to be discontinued in the near future. If that is the case, it might be likely that the Juke’s standard engine will be carried over to the Kicks. That is a 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and is good for 188 horsepower. Otherwise, a good option is the 170 HP 2.5 liter from the astonishing and comfortable 2017 Nissan Rogue.
Other engine options consist of engines that currently reside in other Nissan models like the Rogue or Qashqai.
Nissan offers a nice range of technological features on the 2017 Nissan Kicks. To meet the brand’s demands in its Nissan Intelligent Mobility the car has some upscale semi-autonomous driving features, either optional or standard.
To start off the Kicks offers Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection. These features use four on-board cameras that watch the road and car’s surroundings. If necessary, the system gives notice of possibly unseen objects.
Other technical features are Active Trace Control, which lets the car brake autonomously while in curves, when the system notices a straying of the driving line. Also, there’s Active Ride Control, which lets the car brake autonomously when the car is going to hit a big bump at a too high speed. This should help the car to not give a great reaction to the bump. However, an upscale (and therefore costly) damper system won’t be necessary.
The 2017 Nissan Kicks’ infotainment system comes with audio, satellite navigation and full smartphone integration.
Price and sale date
The 2017 Nissan Kicks has gone on sale in Brazil in this year’s August. Brazil is the first country in which the Kicks is presented, with Latin America following. No further information on when the Kicks is coming to Europe and the US has been disclosed by Nissan. However, we expect the Kicks somewhere in 2017.
The price of the car is also just guesswork, at the moment. However, considering where it stands in Nissan’s line-up and the fact that it’s supposed to be a more affordable vehicle, we expect a price of around $17,000.