While American and European-based automakers are trying to conquer China with their luxury sedans and crossovers, Nissan is trying to conquer the world with an affordable CUV. The new CUV seeks to unsettle the stranglehold the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 currently hold of the CUV market segment. The new CUV dubbed the 2017 Nissan Kicks is based on the Nissan Kicks Concept, the automaker showcased in Sao Paulo Auto show in 2014.
According to Keno Kato, the Vice President in charge of Product Planning, the “Kicks” is based on the best Nissan tradition and is purposely developed to meet needs of buyers all over the world. Nissan has expertly designed the model to offer the best convenience, technologies and the best-in-class rear space. The vehicle is the best Nissan car yet to showcase the automakers commitment to “Nissan Intelligent Mobility”. Though Nisan has not confirmed it, the “Kicks” might be set on replacing the ageing Nissan Juke. Read along to see why Nissan claims the car is the best in its segment:
2017 Nissan Kicks Exterior
The exterior design looks like the Concept though it has been toned down for production purposes. To start with, the design still features the signature Nissan’s signature V-motion grille which is flanked by recessed boomerang headlights. The upper parts of the headlights slightly touch the grille. The hood is smooth and features a slight ridge on each side. The front also features fog lights at the extreme corners with an air-dam in between.
On the sides, a body line that starts at the rear of the headlights and runs close to the front door creating a wheel arch kind of feature. Another body line runs at the center of the door up to the front corner of the taillights. Yet another body line runs from the front door to the rear doors and then slants upwards as it terminates at the rear.
At the rear, the vehicle has a short overhang which features the same burnt-orange finish as the floating roof. Just like the headlights, the taillights too feature a boomerang shape. The hatch, on the other hand, has an hourglass-shape where it slumps inwards close to the taillights and then bulges towards the bottom. A black cladding that starts on the flanks extends to the rear covering the rear completely. A light-gray insert runs from one side of the rear to the other and features rectangular reflectors below it. The burnt-orange roof top finish extends to the sides and wraps around them creating a “wrap-around visor” look on the top of the doors.
To complete the look is grayish-sliver body paint with a contrasting burnt-orange finish on the “floating rooftop”. However, if you don’t like this combination, worry not as there are other color combinations to choose from.
2017 Nissan Kicks Interior
The cabin of the “Kicks” is well designed though the automaker has used rather cheap looking materials. The first feature that captures your attention is the dashboard which Nissan has dubbed the “Gliding Wing”. The dashboard rim curves around the top of the unit transitioning well into styling lines of the doors. This makes it look like a bubble from the inside. The dash also features rounded HVAC air vents.
On the other hand, its instrument cluster is a good mix of old and new. It features an analog needle gauge speedometer and a digital rectangular-shaped digital display for engine temperature, fuel level and other important information of the vehicle. The cabin also features a flat-bottomed, three-spoke steering wheel.
In the tech department, the CUV features a 7.0-inch infotainment system mounted in the center stack with physical buttons on the sides as well as a single knob on each side.
The cabin features a 2-tone color scheme with a light brown theme on seats, dash and on the insert surrounds of door handles. The front part of the console features a leather-wrapped shifter and a storage pocket while the rear part which is placed below the seats comes with a storage compartment, two cup holders and holds the vehicle’s handbrake. Controls for the HVAC system are placed between the center console and the center stack.
The rear is quite comfortable with ample legroom which is the best in the class. The rear seats have a 60/40 split folding capacity which comes in handy when extra cargo space is needed. However, Nissan has used a lot of plastics on various panels on the inside making the cabin look rather cheap. Despite the fact that it will be offered to price-sensitive buyers, the automaker could have done better with the cabin.
Engine Specs and performance
Nisan has not disclosed the engine (s) that will drive the “Kicks” as of this writing. However, there are two likely engines. The first is the 1.6 L, turbocharged mill which is capable of producing 188 hp.
However, the automaker will use a different engine in case the model will be shipped to the US which is likely considering it is being built in Mexico. The probable engine is the 2.5 L unit from the current Rogue. It has the capacity to produce 170 horses. Check back later for more updates on the 2017 Nissan Kicks drive-train.
Price and release date
Nissan is still keeping the price of the Kicks a mystery. However, I expect the model to be affordably priced. I believe a starting price of around $ 16,000 is likely with the top trim fetching as much as $22,000.
According to Nissan, the “Kicks” will be sold in over 80 countries. It will first go on sale in Brazil this August.
As said earlier, the 2017 Nissan Kicks fiercest rivals will be the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. The Chevrolet Trax will also have something to say in the market.
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