Here in the US, Toyota generally has a better reputation than Nissan. Toyota has branded its products with rock-solid reliability and simplicity. Nissan’s sales fall behind Toyota year after year, but there is one place that Nissan beats Toyota bigtime. If we pit their subcompact SUVs in a head to head battle against each other, the Nissan Kicks comes out on top of the Toyota C-HR.

2020 Nissan Kicks
2020 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

From price to fuel economy, the 2020 Nissan Kicks is the better buy. Both MotorTrend and Car and Driver agree that the 2020 Toyota C-HR lags behind the Nissan subcompact. If you want a subcompact SUV that will give you the most bang for your buck, the Nissan beats the Toyota in pretty much all respects.

Fuel Economy

As one of the primary reasons one chooses the subcompact over a larger SUV, fuel economy is an important point of judgment between these two small SUVs. According to US News and World Report, the 2020 Nissan Kicks gets 31 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. This is the first place we see Toyota lose to Nissan in terms of their subcompact SUV offerings.

The 2020 Toyota C-HR only gets 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. While this is still better than most larger SUVs, it clearly falls behind the Nissan subcompact SUV. As far as fuel economy goes, the Toyota loses to Nissan here.


When you decide to buy a subcompact instead of an SUV, it’s presumably because you desire a bit more space. If you want a roomy cabin and spacious cargo, go with the Kicks instead of the C-HR. According to US News and World Report, the Toyota C-HR has a “snug back seat and cargo space.”

A new Toyota C-HR on display at an auto show
Toyota C-HR | Gerlach Delissen – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

The Nissan Kicks, on the other hand, has “abundant cargo space for (its) class.” US News and World Report even included the Kicks on the list of best subcompact SUVs. It’s easy to see here that in terms of the subcompact SUV segment, Nissan beats Toyota. The Toyota CH-R has just 19 cubic feet of space behind its back seat row and 36.4 cubic feet with the row down. The Nissan Kicks boasts 25.3 cubic feet of room behind the rear row and 53.1 cubic feet with the back seats folded down. These numbers speak for themselves.


The Toyota C-HR isn’t priced super high, but its starting price range definitely lacks value. The 2020 C-HR starts from $21,295 – $26,350, while the 2020 Nissan Kicks has a starting range of $18,870 – $21,120.

Not only does the 2020 Kicks boast better acceleration, but it also starts thousands of dollars cheaper. Where both vehicles have similar standard safety and infotainment, the Kicks beats the 2020 C-HR in terms of sheer value. Not only is it less expensive, but the 2020 Nissan Kicks packs more value into its low price.

Nissan beats Toyota

Though these 2020 SUVs both lack in strong acceleration and neither come with AWD as an option, they are both popular little city drivers. Toyota often comes out on top of Nissan in other segments, but Nissan beats Toyota in the subcompact SUV class.

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The 2020 Nissan Kicks comes out on top when these two duke it out. From the above-average cargo to the value-packed low price point, the Nissan is superior to the 2020 Toyota C-HR. Both would be more alluring with an AWD option, though.