First Drive – 2017 Nissan Kicks

The all-new 2017 Nissan Kicks is a part hatchback and part SUV. It’s back to basics Crossover

 

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I always maintained that often when you have too many options to choice from, then you end up choosing nothing at all. Choose one and choose better. Here in the Middle East, Nissan has started the clean-up act of its vast product line-up. Starting from the compact and zippy Tiida (hatchback and its sedan variant) to the Juke.

Tiida was better car altogether, chuckable lightweight and fast. Moreover, hatchbacks are like personal things like wrist watches, necklace something personal and close and a daily day thing that live without them. So it’s sad to say goodbye to Tiida.

On contrary to the Tiida,  Juke was a pesky little crossover. Challenging everyone with its design, it was hard to digest car. Some say it is a bold design, I’d say the owner is bolder than the Juke. Inadvertently Juke had its moments. It was graced with the Nismo badge as well and got a chance to amuse the crowd at Goodwood Speed Of festival as well.

In comes, the all-new compact crossover the Nissan Kicks replacing Tiida and Juke from the urban setting and replacing them with the all-new Nissan Kicks compact crossover. Kicking off first from in the massive urban market in Brazil it was launched out in Rio de Janeiro, during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Samir Cherfan, Managing Director of Nissan Middle said: “The all-new Nissan Kicks was developed with the modern urban commuter in mind, with the aim of delivering the most innovative, stylish and functional crossover in its class. These commuters will appreciate the car’s ability to deal with the rough and tumble of the urban jungle, courtesy of its advanced chassis control technology. They will also love the ease of parking thanks to the Around View Monitor and the amazing functionality of the 7-inch color touchscreen. From the cosseting interior to the bold styling to the advanced technology, everywhere you look on the car there is evidence to back up our belief that Kicks will be a big hit with young people all over our region.”

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V-motion, Floating design

Kicks is developed in the times where there is no shortage of inspiration. Recently, all Nissan cars have been following the V-motion design theme.  Hence, from the front grill to the boomerang-style headlights, Kicks has adopted the family appearance. Also, noticeable are the blackened pillars from A to C that creates a floating roof effect. To enhance the SUV/ crossover impact Nissan has raised the height of the Kicks chassis by 200 mm of the ground. Though Kicks will only be available as front wheel drive format.

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The cabin is spacious and comfortable. Nissan made every effort on this Kicks crossover to make it better by cascading higher factor elements from its top product line to the bottom. The driver and the front passenger will be benefited from the fatigue less “zero gravity seats”. The “gliding-wing” design dashboard is covered with leatherette to raise the feel of the cabin even though the door cladding plastic feels low cost.

One important feature that Nissan emphasized is the new hybrid instrument cluster. It is part analog and part digital which is customizable via the buttons available of the flat bottom steering wheel. There’s ample space for even for the back seaters and cargo capacity is good overall.

Drive Time

During the brief drive session, Nissan had allowed us to take the car on our own with two reporting points. The idea was not to be a part of the convoy, but with a free will to explore. A confident step that allowed us to experience Kicks on our own. Power came from a naturally aspirated 1.6l – 4cylinder with a max output of just 118hp and 149NM of torque delivered via X-Tronic D-Step transmission. IMG_9082.JPGNissan has highlighted that the transmission has variable simulated points to provide gear change feel whenever it is required.

Now that the Kicks will be an entry level car here in the GCC, Nissan has ensured a high level of technology over the competition, which is usually available in an upper segment like X-Trail. Kicks boosted a pleasant drive but not a sporty one, even on the speed bumps, the suspension absorbed it nicely without transmitting any jerks to my spine, thanks to the Active Ride Control that irons out the impact by automatically applying required pressure on the brakes.

While driving on the high-speed road the rubber-band syndrome was prevalent from the CVT, however, Kicks felt well planted on the road with a good steering response to change the lane.

A New Standard

Kicks is the new beginning for Nissan here in the GCC region. It’s a car well suited for the new drivers to the students and onwards. A back to the basic crossover which features a lot more than its rivals in the market. From top safety features like Around View Monitor (AVM) and the Moving Object Detection system (MOD) that ease-off the parking challenges then while driving the chassis is enhanced with Active Trace Control to keep the car stable on the bends, and Active Engine Brake which actually corresponds with the reducing speed and further engages the CVT to shift down that enables less wear and tear on brake pads.   to the available convenience.

The available convenience features come now in the shape of technology and making it further accessible by 7-inch color touchscreen. These functions include navigation, audio, and Bluetooth phone connections and a USB media hub.

The expected price for the Kicks will be in the range of AED 56500 – AED74000, depending on the trim level and the options.

Tiida and Juke will still be available in the Levant region, however now discontinued for GCC region!

 

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