The 2019 Nissan Kicks, the brand's smallest crossover, continues to offer an affordable entry point into the utility vehicle sector. Launched last year, it features three trims, but only one engine and transmission option.
Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
The 2019 Kicks is arriving at dealerships as a carryover. Like the sold-out 2018, it features standard automatic emergency braking, making it the lowest-priced SUV on the market with this equipment. Unfortunately, AWD is still not an available option.
Special offers from Nissan vary by region (our examples are based on a Los Angeles location) and are available through October 31, 2019.
The 2019 Kicks is eligible for $500 cash back this month, which cannot be combined with this month’s promotional financing offers.
In addition, there’s a $1,000 bonus cash incentive available, which can be stacked with other offers.
Low APR financing:
Promotional rates start at 0.9% APR for 36 months, 2.9% APR for 60 months, or 3.9% APR for 72 months, and this month’s bonus cash incentive is compatible with these rates.
Lease from $275/month:
Returning lessees who trade in their currently leased Nissan vehicle can lease a 2019 Nissan Kicks SV with two-tone roof from $275 per month for 36 months with $1,829 due at signing (12,000 miles per year). Unfortunately, this is not a good value at all.
This ranks as an excellent deal based on our expert analysis of: vehicle price, length of lease term, amount due at signing, monthly payment, etc.
Prices vary by style
|Customer Rebate Nissan Customer Cash (Expires 10/31/19) Customer Rebate: Customers must take delivery of this vehicle prior to the expiration date to be eligible for this manufacturer rebate. This rebate may not be available on special factory orders or used in conjunction with special manufacturer financing or leasing programs. Other special financing programs may be available. Please check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer for complete details.%NotesManuf% %Eligibility% Residents residing in qualifying regions of the United States listed in the BUSINESS CENTER BOUNDARIES section.||$500|
|Bonus Cash Nissan Retail Only Bonus Cash (Expires 10/31/19) Customer Rebate: Customers must take delivery of this vehicle prior to the expiration date to be eligible for this manufacturer rebate. This rebate may not be available on special factory orders or used in conjunction with special manufacturer financing or leasing programs. Other special financing programs may be available. Please check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer for complete details.%NotesManuf% %Eligibility% Customers who reside within the Mid-Atlantic region.||$500|
|Promotional APR Offer Promotional APR programs available for qualified buyers. Please check with your CarsDirect Trusted Dealer for complete details.%NotesManuf% %Eligibility% Residents residing in qualifying regions of the United States listed in the BUSINESS CENTER BOUNDARIES section. Customers must finance through NMAC|
Eligibility Residents residing in qualifying regions of the United States listed in the BUSINESS CENTER BOUNDARIES section. Customers must finance through NMAC
Unique crossover with mild styling imbalance. Had it not been for its funky-looking predecessor, the Nissan Juke, the 2019 Nissan Kicks would be a turn to the wild in terms of styling for Nissan. But compared to the Juke, the Kicks is actually a step toward the conservative. That said, the 2019 Nissan Kicks is still a unique-looking, love-it-or-hate-it crossover that offers loads of standard features, but buyers will notice a styling imbalance when sliding into the driver’s seat.
Wild side only skin deep. On the outside, Nissan’s design team used all the hard lines it could drum up to create the Kicks. We dare you to find one swoopy line or smooth transition. This gives the 2019 Nissan Kicks its wild exterior design that stands out in any crowd. Moving inside, though, this wild styling takes a back seat to more traditional looks. While this may seem like a strange transition, it’s understandable because staring at a loud-designed interior on a several-hour road trip could be a little much.
Fortunately, the cabin isn't completely void of any style. There's bold quilting on the standard cloth seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel to tie the wild exterior to its more reserved cabin. This toned-down interior also has loads of cargo space. With its rear seats upright, the Kicks offers up to 25.3 cubic feet of room, beating the Chevrolet Trax by 6.6 cubic feet, the Mazda CX-3 by 12.9 cubes, and the Toyota C-HR by 6.3 cubes. Fold down the rear seats, and this cargo space grows to 53.1 cubic feet.
Features galore. Though it’s an inexpensive crossover, the Nissan Kicks has plenty of advanced features. Even the base S trim comes well-equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and a USB port at just $19,585 (destination fees included). The only competitor that has significantly more standard features is the C-HR, but its base price is much higher at $22,090.
By far the best value in the 2019 Kicks lineup is the midrange SV trim, which includes more youth-focused goodies like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, 17-inch wheels, keyless ignition, automatic climate control, and more for just $21,295.
Surprisingly, the Kicks’ available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are hard to find in this class. The CX-3 offers neither, while the C-HR only has available Apple CarPlay and no Android capabilities. Only the Trax one-ups the Kicks with its standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Small but safe. Small crossovers have a negative stigma for having all the downsides of high-riding SUVs without the added crash protection they provide. This isn't the case in the 2019 Nissan Kicks. The IIHS rates it a Top Safety Pick, making it one of the few subcompact crossover to receive this distinction. As for competitors, the Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona are Top Safety Pick Plus models, and the CX-3 is a Top Safety Pick. Otherwise, the rest of the Kicks’ competitors fell short in IIHS testing.
What’s more, the Kicks matches the likes of the C-HR and CX-3 by making the IIHS-required automatic emergency braking a standard feature. Buyers can also add other advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Final thoughts. Younger buyers with tight budgets who still want a crossover that’ll stand out in a crowd will want to check out the 2019 Nissan Kicks. It offers wild styling, loads of safety features, and plenty of tech options to please even the pickiest buyer. Plus, when you head off to college, its up to 53.1 cubes of cargo room allows you to bring practically everything to the dorm in a single trip.
For buyers looking for a more toned-down look, the Chevy Trax is about as vanilla as they come. If you want more cargo room, there's no beating the Honda HR-V and its insane 58.8 cubic feet of space.
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