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$18,870 - 21,120 MSRP

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2020 Nissan Kicks Review

The 2020 Nissan Kicks sits in the top third of our subcompact SUV rankings thanks in part to its ample list of standard features and one of the largest cargo capacities in the class. Its slow acceleration is one of its few negatives.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Low starting price
  • Abundant cargo space for class
  • Plenty of standard features
  • Slow acceleration
  • Lackluster stopping power

New for 2020

  • Several active safety features now standard
  • Driver drowsiness monitoring now optional

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.0
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 7.5
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Nissan Kicks?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Nissan Kicks a Good SUV?

Yes, the Nissan Kicks is a good subcompact SUV. In fact, we named it a finalist for our Best Subcompact SUV for the Money because of its solid combination of quality and value. It boasts outstanding gas mileage estimates, a roomy cabin, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Some rivals provide nicer cabin materials, though, as well as a more engaging ride.

Should I Buy the Nissan Kicks?

The Nissan Kicks offers a lot of value for its price, which is below average for the class. This Nissan comes packed with standard safety and technology features, it has a composed ride, and it earns terrific fuel economy estimates. That said, there are other vehicles worth considering before you settle on the Kicks, including the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Kona. Unlike the Kicks, both of these SUVs offer all-wheel drive. Additionally, the HR-V has more-flexible passenger and cargo space than the Kicks, and the Kona has more-powerful engines.

Compare the Kicks, HR-V, and Kona »

Should I Buy a New or Used Nissan Kicks?

The 2020 Kicks belongs to a generation that began with the 2018 model year. There were no major changes for 2019, but several active safety features became standard for 2020. These include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and high-beam assist. Driver drowsiness monitoring is also newly available.

A new Kicks is a good choice to ensure you get the most safety features in your Kicks, but many of these newly standard features were previously optional in older models. You may be able to get a similar Kicks for less money by shopping around.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Kicks and 2019 Kicks reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Kicks »

We Did the Research for You: 24 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 24 Nissan Kicks reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

This 2020 Kicks review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for the 2018 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Nissan Kicks Cost?

The 2020 Nissan Kicks starts at $18,870 for the base S trim, which is low for the subcompact SUV class. The midlevel SV trim goes for $20,500, while the top-of-the-line SR trim has a starting price of $21,120. Even the top Kicks trim costs less than the base price of some classmates, including the Toyota C-HR and Subaru Crosstrek.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

Nissan Kicks Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Nissan Kicks or Honda HR-V?

The Honda HR-V's standard rear Magic Seat folds both forward and backward, letting you configure it in various positions for increased versatility when carrying passengers or cargo. The HR-V also has more legroom in the back than the Kicks does, and it's available with all-wheel drive, which you can't get in the Nissan. That said, the Kicks is a more well-rounded vehicle. It comes with a lot more standard safety tech, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection, as well as a more user-friendly infotainment system. Plus, it boasts superior fuel economy estimates and more comfortable and spacious front seats.

Which Is Better: Nissan Kicks or Hyundai Kona?

The Hyundai Kona doesn’t have as much cargo space as the Kicks, but this pint-sized SUV is a better all-around vehicle. With a standard 147-horsepower four-cylinder engine and an available 175-horsepower turbo-four, its power plants are a lot stronger than the Kick's lone 122-horsepower four-cylinder. And thanks to its agile handling, the Kona is also more engaging to drive. Add in standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are only options in the Kicks, and this Hyundai is a true winner.

Compare the Kicks, HR-V, and Kona »

Kicks Interior

How Many People Does the Kicks Seat?

There's seating for up to five people in the Kicks. Both rows have comfortable and supportive seats. The front row has plenty of space, and there's room for two adults to sit comfortably in the rear. Cloth upholstery is standard. Seating upgrades include synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Kicks and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the middle seat. The Kicks' LATCH system is easy to use.

Kicks Interior Quality

The Kicks features a well-constructed interior, but Nissan's use of hard plastics prevents it from looking and feeling as nice several class rivals.

Kicks Cargo Space

The Kicks has an above-average amount of cargo space for a subcompact SUV. There's 25.3 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 53.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. However, the rear seats don’t fold completely flat, which might make it harder to stow bulkier items.

Kicks Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Kick's standard infotainment system features easy-to-use physical climate and audio functions as well as intuitive touch controls. Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, three USB ports, Bluetooth, and Siri Eyes Free. Available features include a NissanConnect infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, and satellite radio.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Kicks Performance

Kicks Engine: Just Enough Kick

A 122-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine powers the Kicks. It's paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This vehicle is good for commuting in stop-and-go city traffic, but it takes a while to get up to highway speeds.

Kicks Gas Mileage: Some of the Best

With an EPA-estimated 31 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the Kicks delivers superb gas mileage figures for the class.

Kicks Ride and Handling: Smooth Cruising

This subcompact crossover is easy to maneuver into tight parking spaces, and its suspension system nicely softens out road bumps. However, several rivals offer tighter handling and stronger stopping power. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is not available.

Read more about performance »

Kicks Reliability

Is the Nissan Kicks Reliable?

The 2020 Nissan Kicks has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Nissan Kicks Warranty

The Kicks comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Kicks Safety

Kicks Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Kicks four out of five stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Kicks the highest rating of Good in all six crashworthiness tests. ST trims earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. S and SV trims received the lowest rating of Poor.

Kicks Safety Features

The Kicks comes standard with lots of safety features, including a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, and high-beam assist. Available active safety features include a surround-view parking camera system and driver drowsiness monitoring.

Read more about safety »

Kicks Dimensions and Weight

The Kicks is about 14.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,691 to 2,720 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Nissan Kicks Built?

Nissan builds the 2020 Kicks in Mexico.

Which Nissan Kicks Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Nissan Kicks comes in three trims: S, SV, and SR. The S trim is loaded with safety tech like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, but it doesn't come standard with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, so you may want to step up to the SV trim.

Nissan Kicks S

Starting at $18,870, the S trim comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, three USB ports, a six-speaker audio system, push-button start, remote keyless entry, and automatic headlights.

The extensive list of standard safety tech includes a rearview camera, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, high-beam assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and rear parking sensors.

Nissan Kicks SV

The SV trim starts at $20,500 and includes most of the base trim's features as well as the NissanConnect infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio. Automatic climate control, remote start, and alloy wheels are also standard.

Nissan Kicks SR

The SR trim (MSRP: $21,120) builds off the SV trim and adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a surround-view parking camera system.

The SR Premium package is available for $1,000 and includes synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, and an eight-speaker premium Bose audio system.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Nissan dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Nissan deals page.

See 2020 Nissan Kicks specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2020 Nissan Kicks is a good value in the subcompact SUV class thanks to its low price and generous features list. It also offers great fuel economy and a large amount of cargo and passenger space. Some rivals are quicker to accelerate, however, especially at high speeds.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2020 Nissan Kicks is perfect for folks looking to make the switch from subcompact sedan to subcompact crossover. Don't be fooled by this Nissan's tiny dimensions, it's actually surprisingly practical. Along with a price most people can afford, the Kicks has a big back seat and plenty of space to store cargo." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you’re looking for a crossover SUV priced around $20,000, the Kicks deserves a look. It’s stylish, efficient and practical, plus it boasts plenty of personality and comes standard with automatic emergency braking." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "To start, the Kicks is priced significantly less than other small crossovers, and even a fully loaded Kicks costs less than midtier rivals." -- Edmunds (2019)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: October 16, 2020

Dipping Demand: The Nissan Kicks is currently selling in the middle of the subcompact SUV segment. The Kicks has a way to go to reach the top, as the best selling Chevrolet Trax and Subaru Crosstrek are both currently outselling it by nearly 2 to 1. The Kicks won’t be reaching the top anytime soon, since dealerships have moved 9.4 percent fewer models to date in 2020 compared to the same period last year.

Research more buying advice »
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