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You might not equate one of the cheapest new SUVs with high quality. But the 2023 Nissan Kicks is not only affordable but also reliable. You also might be shocked to learn that a crossover starting around $20,600 would have great resale value. But the Kicks excels in that category, too. Here’s a look at the surprisingly good 2023 Nissan Kicks.

The 2023 Nissan Kicks is an affordable, reliable SUV with high resale value

Cheapest new SUVs: 2023 Nissan Kicks driving
2023 Nissan Kicks | Nissan Motor Corporation

The 2023 Kicks has plenty to offer beyond its low MSRP. This Nissan SUV is reliable, too. J.D. Power gave it an 82 out of 100 in the “Quality & Reliability” category, based on owner feedback. That “great” rating means drivers can trust this subcompact crossover to get them where they need to go dependably.

In addition to being reliable, the 2023 Nissan Kicks also has above-average resale value. That’s important because it means this SUV will retain more of its value and depreciate less than the average vehicle. In other words, owners will get more for their Kicks when selling or trading. The Kicks earned an 85 out of 100 in this category from J.D. Power, which the market research firm considers “great.” The 2023 model should lose only about $8,572 of its original value after five years.

The Nissan Kicks is also notable because it has “great” scores in all four areas where J.D. Power rates vehicles. These categories also include “Driving Experience” and “Dealership Experience.” They prove that a vehicle doesn’t have to be expensive to be high-quality. Even the cheapest new SUVs can show real promise.

Furthermore, because the 2024 Nissan Kicks remains virtually unchanged from the previous model year, it should have similarly high ratings.

1 of the cheapest new SUVs provides a pleasant driving experience

The 2023 Nissan Kicks isn’t the fastest or most powerful. It packs a paltry 1.6-liter inline-four engine making 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. It also has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive — no all-wheel-drive option. So, its 0-to-60-mph acceleration time is only about 10 seconds.

Still, it provides a pleasant driving experience for one of the cheapest new SUVs. For instance, it offers a smooth ride and a comfortable amount of passenger space. It also crams plenty of standard features into its petite package. And it’s more agile than larger SUVs, making the Kicks ideal for urban driving.

Additionally, that weak engine translates to excellent fuel economy. Its EPA-estimated gas mileage is 31 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. That means it can go nearly 335 miles in the city and 389 miles on the highway with a full tank of gas.

This subcompact SUV has a solid interior

2023 Nissan Kicks interior dashboard
2023 Nissan Kicks | Nissan Motor Corporation

For a cheap SUV, the reliable 2023 Nissan Kicks has a decent interior. No, it’s not the trendiest, but it’s well-built and attractive. Beyond providing generous passenger space, it also has split-folding 60/40 rear seats, ample cargo capacity (25.3 cubic feet behind the back row), and smart storage options.

Tech features include a 7.0-inch touchscreen in the base model and an 8.0-inch unit in the higher SV and SR trims. Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are also available, as are many advanced driver-assistance systems. However, many of those options require an upcharge or upgrade to pricier trim levels.

Overall, the Kicks provides plenty of value. Not only is it affordable, but it also delivers a solid driving experience, holds its value well, and boasts excellent reliability. You can’t ask for much more in one of the cheapest new SUVs.