2021 Nissan Kicks vs. Toyota C-HR: Battle of the Featherweight SUVs

  • Which model is more affordable?
  • Does one have more cargo room than the other?
  • Which model should you buy?

Two of the smallest SUVs in the entire automotive world should be put up against each other.  This featherweight fight is being duked out between the 2021 Nissan Kicks and the 2021 Toyota C-HR

If you’re looking for a subcompact crossover SUV that brings you affordability, efficiency, and versatility, these two names should be somewhere near the top of your list.  Let’s dive in and see how they compare.

2021 Nissan Kicks2021 Toyota C-HR
Price Range$19,600 to $22,140$21,695 to $26,750
Engine Options1.6-liter 4-Cylinder2.0-liter 4-Cylinder
Horsepower 122 horsepower144 horsepower
Torque114 lb.-ft.139 lb.-ft.
TransmissionCVT AutomaticCVT Automatic
MPG Rating31 city/36 hwy27 city/31 hwy
NHTSA Safety Rating4 Stars5 Stars
Data Source: Newcars.com

What you’ll find in the 2021 Nissan Kicks

Nissan Kicks at Mumbai show 2018
Nissan’s new compact SUV ‘Kicks’ is seen on display during its launch in Mumbai on October 18, 2018. (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo credit should read PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

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This SUV is the most affordable model offered in the Nissan lineup. It’s easy to see that it’s the more affordable model of the two, giving you the answer to one of the questions posed.  When you open the doors to the Kicks, you’ll find enough room for five people to enjoy the ride, as long as one is a child in the middle of the rear seat.  That being said, four adults fit nicely in this Nissan.

How much cargo can you carry?

According to Autotrader, you’ll find 25.3 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats for your luggage.  Whether you’ve got a growing family and need to bring along all the gear that goes with having an infant, or you want to carry your adventure equipment for rock climbing, hiking, or camping, this space is plenty to handle the job.

If you fold down the rear seats, you’ll find 53 cubic feet of open space, which could be enough for a mountain bike, some of your small furniture items, or a playhouse that you want to bring home to the kids.

What’s new for the 2021 Nissan Kicks?

This SUV is offered in three trim levels, which are S, SV, and SR.  the SV and SR have upgraded items offered including, new 17-inch wheels, a padded center armrest, and an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen that brings you Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  This SUV has a strong package of safety features at all trim levels, ensuring you can drive around and know this little Nissan SUV will help to take care of you.

What you’ll find in the 2021 Toyota C-HR

Toyota C-HR next to a large home
Toyota C-HR | Toyota USA Newsroom

The name stands for “Coupe High-Rider” and the C-HR is a remaining vehicle that was intended to be part of the Scion brand lineup.  The look is a bit polarizing, but this Toyota can offer you the reliability of this brand, an impressive place to enjoy a drive, and a small and efficient SUV that will work great when you’re behind the wheel.

Does this SUV offer the cargo room you need?

The cabin area of the C-HR is smaller than the Kicks, and the cargo area behind the rear seats carries that factor forward for you.  You’ll find 19 cubic feet in the rear, which could be enough to bring some groceries home, but it does leave you wanting a bit more.  Folding down the rear seats opens up the area to 33 cubic feet, but that still falls short of what you find in the Nissan Kicks.

Qualities you’ll admire in the Toyota C-HR

The 2021 version of the C-HR brings you an upgraded list of standard active safety features along with a new trim level that looks incredible.  This new trim is called Nightshade, which includes blacked-out items and a set of 18-inch wheels.

Four trims are found for the Toyota C-HR, which are LE, SLE, Nightshade, and Limited.  All models bring you an excellent roster of safety and technology items to give you the drive you’re looking for.  One item to note, this is a Toyota, and it has received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA to be the safe vehicle you want to drive.

Which subcompact crossover SUV is right for you?

Although you have more trims to choose from, more power, and the benefits of Toyota reliability in the 2021 Toyota C-HR, the model that you want to drive is the 2021 Nissan Kicks.  This little Nissan is more affordable, offers you more cargo room, and it has an excellent package of safety Items to keep you out of trouble when you take a drive.

Next, check out these rickshaws powered by Audi batteries, or watch the comparison of the C-HR and Kicks in the video below:

This article was updated on 9/2/2022.

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