Saturday, 22 June 2024

2022 Nissan Kicks is an affordable, tech-savvy crossover   Featured

Posted On Friday, 24 June 2022 02:17 Written by
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The 2022 Nissan Kicks is a strong option for drivers who regularly travel in urban areas and prefer a smaller vehicle. The 2022 Nissan Kicks is a strong option for drivers who regularly travel in urban areas and prefer a smaller vehicle. Photo courtesy of Nissan


As large as vehicles have gotten these days, with the biggest SUVs looking more and more like monster trucks than ever, there is still a strong market — particularly among younger people and those who drive mainly in urban areas — for smaller and more maneuverable vehicles that don’t take up so much space.

That’s where vehicles like the 2022 Nissan Kicks — a subcompact crossover first introduced a few years back — come into play. WIth a no-frills approach that’s the polar opposite of the ultra luxury offerings available today, it’s focused mainly on offering an attractive, tech-savvy ride that is also affordable.

I recently tested the 2022 Nissan Kicks (in the top SR trim level), and I’m back with a full report of what it offers and how it compares to the myriad small SUV offerings available to today’s car-buying public.


Design is a strong aspect of the Kicks, as both the front and rear of the Kicks are bold and eye-catching. The front has a unique design on its grille, air intakes and headlights that distinguish it from rivals. And the bulbous rear lighting design also stand out in segment.

The overall silhouette is attractive compared to rival small crossovers.

Exterior features include LED headlamps, LED fog lights, heated outside mirrors w/ turn signals, roof rails, and 17-inch black alloy wheels.

A wide variety of bright colors are offered, from Electric Blue Metallic to  Super Black and Aspen White TriCoat, as well sa two-tone paint offerings (i.e. Super Black/Monarch Orange Metallic).

The interior of the Kicks is attractive and relatively comfortable, but takes a purposely no-frills approach to keep costs down.

All controls are well placed, and easy to use. The only design downside on the Kicks is the limited amount of space — limited cargo space, limited small storage options up front, and limited leg room for rear passengers.

But this is hardly a problem unique to the Kicks … it is a segment-wide issue. Typically, if you get a vehicle this small, you are less likely to have a full load of passengers anyway, and it’s a tradeoff you’ll likely be willing to accept in exchange for the savings you’ll see vs. larger vehicles.


Vehicles in this subcompact segment aren’t exactly known for their power, and the Kicks is as limited as its rivals in this regard.

Powered by a 1.6-liter 4-Cylinder Engine, paired with a CVT transmission, the Kicks can claim only 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque.

It’s FWD only, with no AWD option, and slow to accelerate (nearly 10 seconds from 0 to 60 mph)

But if we’re being honest, you don't buy a vehicle like the Kcks for speed or power or driving thrills.

On the plus side, due to the small size and low weight, the Kicks is very nimble and handles well (it’s a good city car, where space can be tight).


Tech is an area where the Kicks thrives, which makes sense since it is aimed at younger buyers.

From the Bose speakers embedded in the driver's headrest, to the simple but functional and user-friendly infotainment system, it's a perfect match for tech-savvy drivers.

Voice commands work very effectively on first attempt, and navigating the touchscreen controls is a breeze. Screen size is decent at either 7 or 8 inches, depending on trim level.

Standard features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for phone mirroring, multiple USB ports, Bluetooth for music and phone streaming, an available Wi-Fi hotspot and keyless entry.

There’s also some cool tech features like Intelligent Driver Alertness that will determine if you are potentially too drowsy to drive. The Bose sound system with 8 speakers is also impressive for a vehicle in this class.

The Kicks also delivers a ton of great safety features you would not expect to see. 

The Intelligent Around View Monitor — which offers multiple angles when getting in and out of parking situations — is extremely helpful when backing out, and not usually offered on vehicles at this price. 

The Kicks has an overall four-star rating from the government (out of five stars) for safety.

Standard on all Kicks trim levels is the Nissan Safety Shield 360 package, featuring: Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist and class-exclusive Rear Automatic Braking.

It also features anti-lock brakes, traction control, tire pressure monitoring and more.


The official fuel numbers in the Kicks come in at 31 city/36 highway/33 combined. In my real-world testing, however, I only averaged 25 miles per gallon — decent but not spectacular numbers — but my driving style wasn’t very focused on maximizing fuel economy.

And even with this drop from the listed numbers, it still compares pretty well with rivals such as the Toyota C-HR, Honda HR-V and Kia Soul, all of which are officially listed at several mpg below the Kicks.


Affordability is the name of the game in this segment, and the Kicks delivers in that regard.

My test vehicle was priced just under $26,000; and base price starts about $21K, making it one of the most affordable vehicles available today.

There are three trim levels offered — S, SV and SR — and all are sold values considering what they offer.

The warranty coverages include a three-year, 36,000 mile overall warranty, and five years/60K miles for the powertrain.


The 2022 Nissan Kicks is an attractive, affordable, high-tech subcompact SUV aimed at younger drivers and those on a budget who are not focused on power or space.

It’s also a good fit for urban dwellers who need a smaller ride, and worth a test drive if you are searching for a vehicle in this segment. can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu. Follow @autotechreviews on Instagram.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2022 Nissan Kicks   
  • Price as tested: $25,930 (starts around $21K)   
  • Best feature: Attractive design, strong tech and safety features, affordability     
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars     
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Subcompact SUV hunters seeking an affordable, safe, tech-savvy ride
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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