The most affordable crossover that Nissan offers is the Kicks, and it’s moving into 2022 with a starting MSRP still under $20,000. Despite its low price point, the small crossover has interesting looks aimed directly at younger buyers. In fact, it’s hard not to think of the now-discontinued Nissan Juke, though the Kicks is a larger vehicle packed with with more technology and, importantly, improved fuel economy too.
The entry-level 2022 Nissan Kicks S FWD starts at $19,700, the automaker has confirmed. The midrange version is the Kicks SV FWD, starting at $21,550. Finally, sitting at the top of the range is the Kicks SR starting at $22,240. None of those MSRPs includes Nissan’s $1175 destination handling charge, mind.
No matter which Kicks grade is chosen for the 2022 model year, they all use the same power-plant. The engine under the hood is a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder engine utilizing Nissan’s Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, and rated for 122 horsepower and 114 pound-foot of torque. All versions of the Kicks use the same Xtronic CVT transmission, and all are front-wheel drive. Despite the crossover aesthetic, there’s no all-wheel drive option which could limit the 2022 Kicks’ appeal in states that face tough winters.
As you would expect from a modestly powerful and small crossover, fuel economy is solid. The EPA estimated fuel economy ratings for the 2022 Kicks are 31 MPG in the city, 36 MPG on the highway, and 33 MPG combined. It’s worth noting that the price of the entry-level Kicks is almost identical to the price of the entry-level Ford Maverick pickup, which is rated for 42 MPG in the city with its standard hybrid powertrain. Granted, the hybrid Maverick is virtually impossible to get until sometime next year.
Nissan has crammed impressive safety and infotainment technologies into the budget-friendly vehicle. All versions of the Kicks come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for instance.
Nissan also equips all versions of the Kicks with its NissanConnect Services convenience and security features, that include an available Wi-Fi hotspot, with the ability to control locking and unlocking the doors remotely. Nissan Safety Shield 360 is also standard on all versions Kicks, including providing Rear Automatic Braking which Nissan says is class-exclusive.
Other safety features include standard Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Rear Sonar for parking. The Kicks SR also adds additional features, including an integrated dynamics control module providing active ride control, intelligent trace control, and intelligent engine braking.
All versions also have power locks and power windows. While the entry-level S model gets standard cruise control, SV and SR models get Intelligent Cruise Control. Manual operating air-conditioning and heater standard on the S while the mid and high-grade versions get automatic temperature control.
SV and SR Kicks models get a 7.0-inch Advanced Driver Assist Display and Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Start. Remote Engine Start is standard on SV and SR grades, along with Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert.
The standard infotainment system for the complete range of Kicks models is an AM/FM stereo with six speakers, USB and aux inputs, satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, and smartphone connectivity. The Kicks S has a 7.0-inch color touchscreen display, while the SV and SR models get an 8.0-inch color touchscreen.
Buyers of the SR model can choose a Bose Personal AM/FM system with eight speakers. The USB port in all models is iPod compatible, and the mid and upper-grade models offer speed-sensitive volume control. All versions have steering wheel audio controls and support for Bluetooth music streaming. SR buyers who choose the Wi-Fi hotspot option can also get OTA firmware updates, when Nissan pushes them out.
The 2022 Nissan Kicks has a wheelbase of 103.1 inches and an overall length of 169.1 inches. Its overall width is 69.3 inches, with an overall height of 63.3 inches for the S model and 63.4 inches for the SV and SR. The crossover’s minimum ground clearance is seven inches.
The interior has 40.4 inches of headroom in the front seats and 38.5 inches in the second row. Legroom is 43.7 inches in the front and 33.4 inches in the rear, with the vehicle capable of hauling five people. The curb weight for the Kicks S is 2686 pounds, the SV weighs 2738 pounds, and the SR weighs 2752 pounds.
Fuel capacity is 10.8 gallons, which should provide around 330 miles of driving range per tank of fuel. Naturally, the driving range and fuel economy vary depending on driving style.
Nissan does offer a single options package for the SR grade and available 17-inch black aluminum wheels on SV and SR grades. The option package available for the SR model is the Premium Package, which adds the Bose audio system previously mentioned, Prima-Tex covered seats, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, security system, tonneau cover, and Wi-Fi hotspot. Prima-Tex is Nissan’s take on artificial leather.
The 2022 Kicks is available at dealerships now, Nissan says, though given the ongoing chip shortage availability is expected to be constrained. Affordable cars are tough to find right now, and many buyers are paying over sticker price when they find one.