The 2021 Nissan Kicks Arrives as a Small SUV With Big Features

When the Nissan Kicks first arrived back in 2016, it was marketed as the brand’s cheapest crossover. Despite this, the tiny Kicks managed to offer a great set of features for its sub-$20,000 starting price. For 2021, the tiny crossover builds on that ethos by offering a re-designed look and excellent interior tech. According to Nissan, the 2021 model also benefits from new available driver-assist features.

The 2021 Nisan Kicks looks sharper than ever

An image of the 2021 Nissan Kicks in-studio showing its new design cues.
2021 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

As we predicted, the 2021 Nissan Kicks sports the same exterior design we saw in the release of the Japanese version. This is a major plus as the sharper aesthetic gives the small crossover a refined look. The headlights, for example, are now both longer and larger than before. These flank a brand-new and larger front grille. A V-shaped strip of chrome surrounds the grille and ties the whole design together. The result here is that the Kicks now looks more robust and should offer a greater road presence.

The 2021 Nissan Kicks retains the contrasting roof color for various trim levels, highlighting its overall design. According to Nissan, buyers can choose between 100 million available color combinations for the new Kicks. The result here is that you don’t have to buy your daily-driver crossover in a boring color.

The changes continue in the rear-end. This is where the 2021 Kicks now gets a re-designed rear bumper, darkened taillights, and a new gloss black trim that houses the Nissan badge. This matches with the similar rear-end design language we see in the all-new 2021 Armada.

The 2021 Nissan Kicks now gets standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

An image of the 2021 Nissan Kicks in-studio showing its new design cues.
2021 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

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While the 2021 Nissan Kicks’ exterior is a great upgrade, the interior is where the best improvements are found. As standard buyers now get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity in both the seven-inch and eight-inch screens. Additionally, buyers can now option USB Type-C ports if they want to connect with newer devices. You also now get a seven-inch driver information display, which helps to digitize the instrument cluster partially. Like in other models, the small display is configurable to show the driver important information.

Despite clearly being a budget crossover, there are new interior touches to refine the 2021 Nissan Kicks. For example, buyers can get new trim materials in the re-designed door cards and center armrest in higher trim levels. The benefit here is that improved materials on the contact points should make the cabin feel more upscale. This is especially important when you consider that the Kicks are no stranger to the widespread use of cheap plastics.

A direct carryover from the original model is the inclusion of Bose Personal Plus. In short, there are speakers embedded in the driver headrest that pair with the rest of the speakers to provide a better audio experience.

New driver-assist features should make the Kicks a smooth drive

An image of the 2021 Nissan Kicks in-studio showing its new design cues.
2021 Nissan Kicks | Nissan

Aside from the flashy new features, the 2021 Nissan Kicks also benefits from new standard driver-assist features. For starters, buyers now get Intelligent Cruise Control, Active Engine Brake, Intelligent Trace Control, and Intelligent Ride Control in the range-topping SR trim. While they are reserved for the highest trim level, the SR is designed not to break the bank.

Although official pricing is not yet available, the current-gen Nissan Kicks starts at $19,070. From there, the range-topping SR trim costs $21,310. The result here is that upgrading between trims to get the best features likely won’t be ridiculously expensive. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if the 2021 model gets a price bump.