The 2020 Nissan Kicks Is a Way Better SUV Than You Thought

The 2020 Nissan Kicks isn’t exactly out there winning the World Car of the Year award. But it is a way better SUV than you thought. MotorTrend calls the Nissan Kicks “downright pleasant to drive.” This compact Nissan SUV is a prime example of how much more value can be had for an extremely affordable price point. It has the potential to tote the family around town safely and efficiently –– for under $20,000.

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This is Nissan’s smallest SUV on the market today. It fits in right under the Nissan Rogue, and Rogue Sport. Though it does not come with available AWD, the 2020 Nissan Kicks brings a lot to the table for a bargain starting price.

The Nissan Kicks has “great ride quality”

First on the list of MotorTrend‘s Pros list for the 2020 Nissan Kicks is its “great ride quality.” Though the Nissan Kicks isn’t the primary compact SUV on people’s radar, it handles itself very well compared with others in its class. MT points out that, even lacking the AWD option, it can hold its own against popular competitors like the Kia Soul, Honda HR-V, and Toyota C-HR, and even AWD compact SUVs such as the Hyundai Kona.

“The cabin is light and airy, which does wonders for outward visibility. There’s more steering feel than most of its competitors, ride quality is excellent, and despite its meager engine, the low curb weight of the Kicks means it rarely feels underpowered.” 


Standard features for the 2020 Kicks

As with any budget model like this, the standard features are important. If you are opting for a bargain SUV like the 2020 Kicks, you likely care a lot about how far your dollar will stretch. According to US News and World Report, the Nissan kicks seats five people. Both front and rear seating is amply spacious and the standard cloth-upholstered seats are comfortable for driver and passengers alike. It also boasts ample cargo space of 25.3 cubic feet of trunk space, or 53.1 cubic feet when the rear bench is folded.

spacious rear cargo of the 2020 Nissan Kicks
2020 Nissan Kicks rear cargo | Nissan USA

The base Nissan Kicks S trim features a 7-inch touch display screen, 6 speaker audio, 3 USB ports, and hands-free operation. Available upgrades can be added like an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and satellite radio. In MT’s First Drive of the 2020 Nissan Kicks, the review even says the upgraded Bose setup “sounds better than the base audio system in a $180,000 Bentley Bentayga.”

Nissan’s new standard safety features

Nissan’s updated standard safety suite means driver-assist active safety features are now standard for every Nissan. So for standard safety the 2020 Kicks gets auto emergency braking and pedestrian detection, auto high beams, blind-spot monitoring, rear auto braking, a rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning.

How much does a 2020 Nissan Kicks cost?

The S trim is the entry-level model, which starts just under $20 grand with a starting price point of $18,870. After that is the Nissan Kicks SV for $20,500 which adds the infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio. The SV trim level also includes automatic climate control, remote start, and alloy wheels.

The fully loaded Nissan Kicks

The top tier SR trim stars at $21,120. This version is equipped a leather-wrapped steering wheel and modern parking camera system. the Premium upgrade can be had for $1,000, meaning the fully loaded 2020 Kicks with heated synthetic leather seats, and the Bose audio costs just $22,120.

dash view of the 2020 Nissan Kicks interior
2020 Nissan Kicks Interior | Nissan USA

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Performance and fuel economy

Every trim of the 2020 Nissan Kicks runs on a 1.6-liter 4 cylinder engine coupled with a CVT automatic transmission. Its 122 hp and 114 pound-feet of torque throw power to the front wheels to bring it up to 60 in 9.7 seconds.

It’s not winning street races by any stretch of the imagination, but it maneuvers well as a commuter on city streets. Plus, its EPA-rated fuel economy of 31 city/36 highway fuel economy easily makes up for it. Overall, the 2020 Nissan Kicks is a good affordable compact crossover. In fact, it’s probably a way better SUV than you thought.