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2018 Nissan Kicks

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 S 4dr Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $18,290
2018 SV 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $19,990
2018 SR 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $20,590


Crossovers are mounting a full-scale assault on sedans, and brands are constantly filling out their lineups with more options. Nissan was an early entrant to the compact crossover market, but the polarizing Juke has been replaced by Nissan’s first new nameplate in eight years: the flashy 2018 Nissan Kicks.

What's New for 2018

The Nissan Kicks is an all-new model for 2018.

Nissan Kicks

Choosing Your Nissan Kicks

The Kicks begins with a 1.6-liter engine pumping out an underwhelming 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. It makes up for anemic power with impressive mileage: the EPA estimates that the Kicks will get up to 31 miles per gallon city, 36 mpg highway, and 33 combined. All Kicks (Kickses? Kicksi?) are front-wheel drive and get an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Cargo space also leads the class, with 25.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Seating is comfortable for four (though not more). Safety is a priority, with standard automatic emergency braking and forward collision warning, and a full suite of available technologies.

Other standard features include keyless entry, push-button start, and three USB ports. Infotainment runs through a central seven-inch touchscreen. All models also get a few nice bonuses like heated side mirrors, a rearview camera, and automatic headlights.

The rest of the features are divided across three trims: S, SV, and SR.


At $18,965 (all prices include the $975 destination fee), the base Kicks S is the cheapest in the lineup. It rolls on 16-inch steel wheels and still gets a standard set of roof rails on top. It has all the basics, but not much else – seats are cloth, color choices are limited, smartphone compatibility is minimal, and Nissan reserves most of the toys and comforts for the higher trims.

No packages are available on the Kicks S. Notable standalone options include an upgraded sound system for $595, a rear parking sensor for $150, an auto-dimming rearview mirror for $215, a rear spoiler for $360, and a WiFi hotspot that includes a few apps and requires a monthly subscription.


The Kicks SV adds a host of useful features and bumps the starting price up to $20,665. It boasts 17-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and remote start. Also standard are automatic climate control, a beefed up driver display, and heated side mirrors. In the safety department, the SV gets blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert as standard equipment.

Outside of a full range of exterior colors, options remain the same as the Kicks S and no packages are available.


The Kicks SR does its best luxury-car impression with LED headlights, sport cloth seat trim with accents, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The exterior sees a few tweaks, and the rear roof spoiler is standard. Also included are a 360-degree surround-view camera, a leather shift knob, and fog lights. The new features raise the starting price to $21,265.

The other big addition to the Kicks SR is the Premium Package ($1,000), which adds faux-leather seats, heated front seats, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, and upgraded security. Where they aren’t standard, standalone options remain the same.

CarsDirect Tip

Unless you want the exterior upgrades, the 2018 Nissan Kicks SV is the sweet spot for trims. For the price, it adds an impressive amount of tech savvy to the Kicks’ practical personality.

Get your price on a Nissan Kicks »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

It's an unarguable truth that the traditional sedan is shrinking in relevance as crossovers continue their rapid-fire ascent of the sales charts. To keep profits up, automakers are turning to an old trick – gussy up an existing platform in an attempt to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. It's been happening since Ford took their Falcon and turned it into the first Mustang, and now Nissan is trying to reap the same rewards by draping the underpinnings of the compact Versa with a crossover body. Called the Kicks, this newest addition to the Nissan lineup answers the market's continuing clamor for masculine-looking 'utes.

Best Value

Just as the Nissan Versa proudly proclaims itself as the cheapest new car available in America, the 2018 Nissan Kicks can truthfully proclaim that it's one of the most wallet-friendly crossovers on the market. Buyers can scoop up a base Kicks S for under $19,000 after destination charges, and even at that bargain-basement price they'll get bells and whistles like automatic emergency braking and a seven-inch color touchscreen. But as enticing as the stripper model is, we're ponying up the additional $1,700 for an SV. The mid-pack model brings along features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic climate control, and blind-spot monitoring. Here's the Kicks we'd be trying on for size:

  • Model: 2018 Nissan Kicks SV
  • Engine: 1.6-liter inline-four
  • Output: 125 hp / 115 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 31 City / 36 Hwy
  • Options: N/A
  • Base Price: $20,665 (including a $975 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $20,665


Nissan Kicks

With all of 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque, the Kicks is no paragon of speed. However, the 1.6-liter four-cylinder has enough gusto to move the 2,650-pound crossover around town without too much trouble. Initial throttle tip-in delivers a peppy takeoff, and sprinting off once the light goes green doesn't require pinning the throttle to the floor or sending the tach needle into the red area.

Get the Kicks onto the interstate and it becomes clear that those 125 ponies aren't going to be entering the Kentucky Derby anytime soon. There's just not enough power here to merge or accelerate with any authority, and overtaking in particular isn't for the faint of heart. There's no doubt that the Kicks is first and foremost an urban runabout.

To keep costs down, antiquated bits of tech found their way underneath the all-new Kicks. The most glaring of these are the rear brakes, which are of the old-as-dirt drum design. Luckily, the rear drums pair well with the front discs and the low curb weight to provide a satisfactory stopping experience. Also old-school is the torsion-beam rear suspension, a now-outdated piece of hardware that can't provide the ride or handling of a more complex design such as an independent rear suspension. We were impressed, however, with the lack of choppiness or noise over the road – the Kicks does a good job of mitigating unwanted motion and muffling the moans of the powertrain or the howls of the wind.


Prefacing the Kicks was the Juke, that homely, frog-looking thing that vexed dealers for seven years before it was finally put to rest. Thankfully, the Kicks doesn't wear any of its predecessors' design language, and we're happy to report that from no angle does it appear even remotely amphibious. Instead, the Kicks looks decidedly modern, offering that baby, traditionally masculine styling currently in vogue.

The nicely sculpted character lines also belie this front-driver's lack of capability, and the abrupt rise of the beltline at the back of the of the rear door helps convince onlookers that the Kicks is less a Versa-based hatch and more of a true crossover. All trims use blacked-out pillars to give the impression of the also-trendy floating roof. Overall, the sheetmetal of the Kicks has just enough verve to draw in style-conscious shoppers.

While the exterior is playful and novel, the interior is anything but. You can't expect greatness in a car with an 18-grand sticker price, but we were disappointed with the materials, comfort, and compromises that were rampant within the Kicks. For instance, the rear seats fail to fold flat, making it difficult to utilize the 53 cubic feet of total cargo space that's technically available when they're dropped. And at just 49 inches of rear hip room and 51 inches up front, it's also noticeably narrow inside – don't expect to stuff three adults abreast in the second row. In both rows, the materials used are all subpar at best. Look around and it's nothing but a hodgepodge of somber black plastic, mouse-fur carpet, and a sad-looking headliner. We get that this car was built to deliver a hearty feature count at an affordable price, but it's too bad that even top-spec SR trims couldn't have had a little fun with the look and feel of the Kicks' innards.

At least there's enough features here to make a stripper BMW blush. Base models get niceties like a seven-inch touchscreen, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and a rearview camera. SV trims step it up with Apple CarPlay, 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring, and keyless entry; top-shelf SR models come with heated seats, headrest-integrated speakers, a Bose audio system, and LEDs. On a feature-per-dollar analysis, it's hard to beat the Kicks.

The Best and Worst Things

The exterior is fun and cohesive, and is probably the best expression of Nissan's design language. Coupled with the impressive feature count, we have no trouble imagining buyers falling for the Kicks.

Unfortunately, you can't often have your cake and eat it too. The Kicks suffers from lack of power, a depressing interior, and mediocre drum brakes.

Right For? Wrong For?

Nissan Kicks

Urban millennials who don't yet have a family and merely need to get around town would find the Kicks a good choice.

However, if your family is bigger than two or you find yourself on the highway more often than not, stay away from this little bugger. The lack of room and absence of high-speed manners would make this a poor choice.

The Bottom Line

Well equipped and affordable, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is a strong value proposition for the buyer who isn't put off by the interior and doesn't find themselves traversing the highways and byways of America. If you're just looking to navigate around your local city streetscape, the hip Kicks is an enticing option.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 125 HP / 115 ft.lbs.
2-spd CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
31 / 36 / 33 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 125 HP / 115 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
31 / 36 / 33 Mpg
Front Disc/rear Drum
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Semi-independent Torsion Beam Beam
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
10.8 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
32.3 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
94 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
169.1 "
Exterior Width
69.3 "
Exterior Height
62.4 "
Front Headroom
40.7 "
Rear Headroom
38.5 "
Front Legroom
43.7 "
Rear Legroom
33.2 "
Front Shoulder Room
53.0 "
Rear Shoulder Room
53.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
2,639 Lbs.
Wheel Base
103 "
Turning Radius
17.1 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Steel
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Front Body-colored
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel / Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm, Clock, Seek-scan
6 / 6 Rockford Fosgate
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt Style
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Automatic Emergency Braking (aeb) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2018 Nissan Kicks for Sale

4 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
Color: Gray



77,188 mi

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605 Auto Sales (17 mi)

Phone: (562) 461-7400
Color: White



65,500 mi

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STG Auto Group of Montclair (42 mi)

Phone: (855) 404-2728
Color: White



75,493 mi

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North Hollywood Toyota (16 mi)

Phone: (818) 762-7478
Color: Silver



52,806 mi

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STG Auto Group - Garden Grove (30 mi)

Phone: (855) 976-5827
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