2022 Nissan Kicks: A Colourful Commuter

Published on August 26, 2022 in Test Drives by Dominic Boucher

Nissan’s small crossover, the Kicks, benefited from a significant mid-cycle update last year and returns with no major changes for 2022. There are five trim levels to choose from including: S, SV, SV Special Edition, SR and SR Premium. Pricing ranges from $20,548-$25,748.

In this segment, the Kicks has to contend with the Chevrolet Trax, Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul and Toyota C-HR. Here’s a detailed account of the week we spent with a top-line SR Premium model.

Young Soul

The 2022 Nissan Kicks stands out with youthful looks and personality. The design is nicely executed, and customers have a wide selection of body colours depending on the model.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

The base S comes in black, grey, white and blue, while the SR Premium at the other end of the lineup adds five two-tone options: white/black, orange/black, red/black, grey/black and blue/black. All SR models sport black 17-inch wheels.

The interior is surprisingly roomy, both up front and in the rear, while the trunk can pack up to 716 litres of cargo, which is pretty good given the diminutive footprint. The seats lack comfort, though, and could use slightly larger seatbacks. The available Prima-Tex leatherette with orange accents and stitching is nice.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Agile Commuter

The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine under the hood of the 2022 Nissan Kicks delivers a very modest 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. While performance is just good enough for driving around town, handling and visibility are both far more commendable.

Aided by a decent CVT, the Kicks proves fairly zippy up to about 60 km/h, but then quickly runs out of breath. Passing manoeuvres on the highway need to be carefully planned and undertaken.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

When it comes to deceleration, our fully loaded tester obviously relied on four-wheel disc brakes, but beware if you select the base S model: the rear brakes on that one use drums instead.

The Kicks is a FWD-only crossover and doesn’t offer a hybrid option. That’s not really a problem, mind you, as combined fuel consumption was a frugal 6.9 L/100 km on our watch.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

Pleasant Stereo

Facing the driver is an oddly styled albeit easy-to-read instrument cluster that combines a seven-inch display on the left side with an analogue speedometer on the right side (the base S model has a pair of analogue gauges only). Over to the centre stack, the eight-inch touchscreen comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

In top-line trim, the Kicks boasts an eight-speaker Bose Personal Plus sound system with UltraNearfield driver headrest speakers. This is great since you can hear a range of sounds that would otherwise get lost in the cabin while driving.

Photo: Dominic Boucher

In the safety department, Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 has you covered with Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Automatic Braking and High Beam Assist. Our tester also featured Intelligent Cruise Control and Intelligent Around View Monitor, the latter making parking manoeuvres easier by providing a 360-degree view.

Bottom Line

The 2022 Nissan Kicks is one of the most accommodating vehicles in its class and it burns gasoline with moderation—two solid arguments for customers. Despite being short on power and devoid of AWD, this little crossover proves to be a colourful and convenient commuter.

Test drive report
Test model 2022 Nissan Kicks
Trim level SR Premium
Price range $20,548 – $25,748
Price as tested CA$25,748
Warranty (basic) 3 years/60,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 5 years/100,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 7.7 / 6.6 / 6.9 L/100km
Options Super Black/Grey paint ($795)
Competitive models 2022 Toyota C-HR, 2022 Chevrolet Trax, 2022 Hyundai Venue, 2022 Kia Soul
Strong points
  • Spacious interior
  • Great fuel economy
  • Pleasant stereo
Weak points
  • Modest power
  • FWD only
  • Comfort issues
Editor's rating
Fuel economy 4.0/5 While no hybrid option exists, the Kicks achieved an impressive 6.9 L/100 km on our watch.
Comfort 3.0/5 The seats lack comfort and could use slightly larger seatbacks.
Performance 2.5/5 The Kicks’ biggest shortcoming is power. Passing manoeuvres on the highway need to be carefully planned and undertaken.
Infotainment 4.5/5 The Bose Personal Plus stereo is much appreciated, while the multimedia interface is ergonomic.
Driving 3.0/5 The Kicks is agile around town but too underpowered and not comfortable enough to make drives memorable.
Overall 3.5/5 Spacious and efficient, the Nissan Kicks comes with a good dose of technology and proves a sensible purchase. If only there was more power on tap.
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