Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks

By

Automotive Editor

After graduating from GMI with a bunch of other car geeks, Matt Pilgrim spent time in many areas of the auto industry - manufacturing, durability testing of prototypes, and collaborating with stylists to engineer exterior components for cars such as the NSX. Turning his attention to journalism, he brings together his engineering background and passion for cars and has written for several automotive publications and sites, including The Car Connection and his own site, Pilgrim Motor Press.


, Automotive Editor - July 28, 2023
2023 Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V and the Nissan Kicks serve as each brand’s entry-level crossover. The HR-V is fresh off of a complete redesign that brought a slew of upgrades as well as a significant growth spurt. On the other hand, the Nissan Kicks is at the end of its design generation and a new version is expected next year. This mismatch of their model timelines has created noteworthy disparities when put back to back. Let’s dig further.

Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks Price

2023 Nissan Kicks

The Honda HR-V's price tag ranges from $24,895 to $28,695 and is among the least expensive vehicles to lease while those looking to own won't likely find too many deals beyond a loyalty discount.

The Nissan Kicks' price is significantly less than the Honda HR-V with base prices ranging from $21,585 to $24,145. Look for discounts with the 2023 model as dealership lots begin to receive the new 2024 model. Based on traditional automotive norms, the new Kicks will be slightly larger and more expensive which will further align it with the larger HR-V.

Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks Engine

2024 Honda HR-V Engine

The small size of these two crossovers means they can “get away” with smaller engines as they chase low-cost and high efficiency. The HR-V’s 2.0-liter engine is relatively large compared to the Nissan’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder and delivers 36 more horsepower and 24 more pound-feet of torque (158 HP and 138 lb-ft vs 122 HP and 114 lb-ft).

Both engines are saddled with a continuously-variable transmission that sends power to the front wheels, while only the HR-V is offered with all-wheel drive. Neither engine is going to win any traffic light drag races and highway merging and passing will require some planning ahead. It should be noted, however, that the Nissan’s approximately 2,700-pound curb weight is almost 500 pounds less than the HR-V which is a bit of an eye-opener and plays into the overall performance and mileage.

Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks Performance & Mileage

2024 Nissan Kicks Engine

Neither one of these powertrains will satisfy anyone with a need for speed and the HR-V’s larger engine puts it at a significant disadvantage to the Kicks in terms of fuel efficiency.

The HR-V’s EPA-estimated rating of 28 miles per gallon combined for the front-wheel-drive model (27 MPG when equipped with all-wheel drive) is not too impressive and is even less than that of the larger and more powerful CR-V with its turbocharged engine. Compared to the Nissan’s 33 miles per gallon combined rating, the Kicks looks to save about $250 in annual fuel expenses.

Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks Passenger & Cargo Space

2023 Honda HR-V Interior

Both of these models are the smallest crossovers that their brands offer, however, the older Kicks is notably smaller than the new-for-2023 Honda HR-V. Outside, the body measures 179.8 inches in length and 72.4 inches in width which is more than 10 inches longer and three inches wider than the Nissan. Expectedly, that contributes to a roomier interior.

While both offer seating for five, the Nissan offers just 33.5 inches of rear legroom which is rather tight compared to the 37.7-inch measurement in the HR-V. Also, the Honda’s added width translates to three more inches of shoulder room in front and two more in back.

Cargo space is another measurement where the HR-V’s larger size contributes to a significantly larger figure. Behind the rear seat, the Nissan actually delivers more cargo space (25.3 cubic feet vs 24.4 cubic feet), however, the Honda is superior in its overall capacity with 55.1 cubic feet compared to just 32.2 cubic feet in the Kicks. Sadly, the HR-V loses the flip-up Magic Seat of the model’s previous generation.

Which Is Better: Honda HR-V vs. Nissan Kicks?

The Honda HR-V features a nicely equipped cabin with all of the expected features for a vehicle at its price range, however, it is more expensive than the Kicks by a significant margin. That greater expense buys you a larger vehicle that wears Honda’s latest low-and-horizontal interior design with premium feeling controls and a low ownership cost.

The Kicks can be impressively equipped in terms of headlining features such as a surround-view camera system, a Bose sound system, and a heated steering wheel which makes it very attractive for someone prioritizing price over spaciousness, a slight bump in performance, and the availability of all-wheel drive. If a low-cost, basic form of transportation is the goal, the Kicks delivers the best package. For everyone else, the HR-V gets the nod.

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

After graduating from GMI with a bunch of other car geeks, Matt Pilgrim spent time in many areas of the auto industry - manufacturing, durability testing of prototypes, and collaborating with stylists to engineer exterior components for cars such as the NSX. Turning his attention to journalism, he brings together his engineering background and passion for cars and has written for several automotive publications and sites, including The Car Connection and his own site, Pilgrim Motor Press.


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