2018 Nissan Kicks First Look: City-Friendly and Focused on Fuel Economy

The 2018 Nissan Kicks arrives in the U.S. at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show as the new entry-level subcompact crossover in the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Already on sale in other global markets, the Kicks will likely replace the Juke as the gateway crossover and will be offered with cool styling cues such as two-tone exterior colors. Three trim levels will be offered, the base S, midgrade SV, and top-end SR model.

Originally previewed as a concept in at the 2014 São Paulo auto show, the front-drive-only Kicks made its debut in production form last year. The car’s design was a collaborative effort between Nissan Design America San Diego and Rio de Janeiro and was overseen by the automaker’s gobal design center in Japan. At 169.1 inches in length, 69.3 inches in width, and 62.4 inches in height, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is 3.3 inches shorter, 3.0 inches narrower, and 0.1 inch lower compared to the larger Rogue Sport in front-drive form. (The all-wheel-drive Rogue Sport is 0.9 inch taller than the Kicks.) Compared to the Juke, the Kicks is 6.7 inches longer, 0.6 inch taller, and 0.2 inch narrower. With a wheelbase of 103.1 inches, the Kicks is longer than the Juke’s 99.6-inch wheelbase but 1.1 inches shorter than the Rogue Sport.

Powering the 2018 Kicks is a 1.6-liter I-4 with 125 hp and 115 lb-ft of torque paired exclusively to a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive will not be available on any variant of the Kicks for the U.S. market. Nissan is targeting an EPA combined fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, which means the 2018 Kicks might be one of the most fuel-efficient entries in its class. All models feature front disc and rear drum brakes. SR models feature Nissan’s Integrated Dynamic-Control Module (IDM), which bundles active engine braking, Active Trace Control, and Active Ride Control for improved ride and handling. Up front the 2018 Kicks has independent suspension, and the rear has a torsion beam with twin-tube shock absorbers.

Standard features on the base S trim include Bluetooth, three USB ports, automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels, and roof rails. The SV trim adds the NissanConnect infotainment system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, automatic climate control, keyless entry/start, remote start, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and 17-inch alloy wheels. SR models round things off with features such as LED low-beam headlights, foglights, black side-mirror covers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Nissan’s Around View Monitor 360-degree camera system. Heated front seats are optional on the SR trim, as is a Bose premium audio system. Automatic emergency braking comes standard on all trim levels of the 2018 Nissan Kicks.

Pricing will be announced closer the Kicks’ on-sale date in spring 2018.

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