Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Nissan Kicks Offers Respectable Cargo Space for Its Class

The Nissan Kicks is one of the smallest SUVs you can buy. Despite this, Nissan managed to make this tiny car really useful in the cargo department. One of the things CarFax loved the most about the Nissan Kicks was its ample luggage and passenger capacity.

The Nissan Kicks is also an enticing option for drivers on a tight budget, going for around $20,000. It comes outfitted with many standard tech features, plus multiple advanced safety functions. CarFax claims that the Nissan Kicks is only average compared to its competition, but it still has much to offer.

Plenty of room inside the Nissan Kicks

You probably wouldn’t guess that the Nissan Kicks is particularly spacious from its small stature. It has over 25 cubic feet of space behind the back seats and 53 cubic feet of space with the second row folded. It’s a pleasant surprise for a small SUV, though some critics note that the seats don’t fold completely flat.

In addition to a large cargo hold, there are plenty of interior storage compartments. Front-seat drivers get a large glovebox, two deep door pockets, two cupholders, and a storage bin under the armrest. The backseat occupants also get a pair of cupholders and door pockets.

CarFax was also impressed at the amount of room in the second row of this SUV. Three adults can fit comfortably in the backseat, a rarity for this segment. Both rows provide plenty of headroom, but taller drivers may have trouble getting situated in the low driver’s position.

Edmunds noted that the Nissan Kicks is lacking in rear legroom and the front seats don’t provide adequate support. The standard cloth seats don’t look very fancy, but you can also get synthetic leather on higher trims. It’s black and comes with contrasting orange stitching for a unique flair.

Peppy performance

RELATED: Why the Nissan Kicks Is Actually Worth Buying

The Nissan Kicks only comes with one engine option, a 122-hp four-cylinder paired with a CVT and front-wheel drive. On paper, it’s one of the weakest vehicles in the segment, but it’s surprisingly fun to drive. Car and Driver reported that the SUV feels energetic on city roads with precise steering and excellent cornering.

It’s definitely not the fastest small SUV, taking nearly 10 seconds to reach 0-60 mph. Still, the Nissan Kicks is also great on gas. It can get 31 mpg while driving around town and 36 mpg once you merge onto the highway. 

Some drivetrain hiccups

As you could probably guess, the Nissan Kicks struggles if you try to drive it on the highway. It strains to pass other cars and the engine complains loudly if you push it too hard. The brake pedal also feels too squishy to inspire much confidence.

For these reasons, it’s better to avoid the interstate whenever possible if you drive a Nissan Kicks. Another thing many critics didn’t like about the car is its notably absent all-wheel-drive option. The suspension is good enough to handle large potholes, but you wouldn’t want to take this car off-road.

The Nissan Kicks’ shabby interior components

There are plenty of hard plastics inside the Nissan Kicks that detract from its interior quality. You can expect to see a lot of it inside the cabin and on the door panels. Consumer Reports commented that the floor mats feel cheap.

However, higher trims will switch out some of the plastic for leather trim on the dash and fabric-lined door panels. A fully-decked out model costs $22,415, which definitely isn’t bad for a small SUV. If you’re looking for a good commuter car with plenty of luggage space, the Nissan Kicks is a great option.