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.