2022 Nissan Kicks

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
January 4, 2022

Buying tip

The Kicks SV has the best value of the lineup, thanks to a bigger touchscreen and standard adaptive cruise control.

features & specs

S FWD
SR FWD
SV FWD
MPG
31 city / 36 hwy
MPG
31 city / 36 hwy
MPG
31 city / 36 hwy
MSRP
$19,700
MSRP
$22,240
MSRP
$21,550

The 2022 Nissan Kicks hatchback packs features and value into its small footprint, but it’s not very quick.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 Nissan Kicks? What does it compare to?

Nissan calls the Kicks hatchback its entry-level SUV, even though it lacks all-wheel drive. It’s not the only five-door fudging the crossover facts: so do rivals like the Hyundai Venue.

Is the 2022 Nissan Kicks a good car?

Review continues below

The Kicks grabs attention with its wedgy shape, but it doesn’t have much power, and seat comfort varies for different body types. We give it a TCC Rating of 5.3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 Nissan Kicks?

Not a thing. It carries over with no changes, after a 2021 refresh that adopted a deeper twin V-shaped grille and LED taillights. The Kicks does a lot with its stubby body: its wedge shape, blacked-out roof pillars, and arrow-shaped taillights jazz up what could be a run-of-the-mill tall hatchback. The interior’s more straightforward, but a big digital instrument cluster and central touchscreen elevate its tech quotient above its rivals.

All Kicks hatchbacks tap a 122-hp 4-cylinder for power, sending it to the front wheels via a CVT. Nissan tunes the Kicks for punchy stoplight launches, but its power underwhelms and its transmission lags as speeds build. It’s fitted with drum rear brakes in the base Kicks S, though discs swap in on the top two models. The upside: an EPA-rated 33 mpg combined.

Short seat bottoms and narrow backrests limit comfort in the Kicks; cloth seats can be upgraded with heating and synthetic leather upholstery. The back bench can tote two medium-sized passengers, but taller riders won’t have enough knee or head room to get comfortable. Cargo space totals 32.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down, but they don’t go completely flat.

Nissan fits every Kicks with standard automatic emergency braking, but the NHTSA gives it a four-star overall rating. Mid-grade models add adaptive cruise control, while the Kicks SR gains a surround-view camera system.  

How much does the 2022 Nissan Kicks cost?

The $20,875 Kicks S gets 16-inch wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen, along with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty. We like the $22,725 Kicks SV and its 17-inch wheels, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and adaptive cruise control. 

Where is the 2022 Nissan Kicks made?

In Mexico.

6

2022 Nissan Kicks

Styling

The Kicks remixes hot-hatch cues for a fresh look.

Is the Nissan Kicks a good-looking car?

We like the interesting shape Nissan assigns to the Kicks, even if the interior’s more traditional. We give it a 6 for styling.

Though it has a tall-wagon body, the Kicks resists most of the typical SUV styling clichés. It wears a big V-shaped grille flanked by vertical slits that look like air intakes, but don’t function that way. Black cladding rims its round wheel arches and lines its rocker panels. Most of the visual appeal comes from the rear end, where angular lines frame its cargo space and pointy LED taillights rise up to lend it a wedgy stance. Kicks S hatchbacks ride on 16-inch steelies, while the SV and SR sit on 17-inch alloy wheels. 

The Kicks cabin wears dark cloth or synthetic leather and has a high-set dash with round side air vents and planks of silver-painted trim on the doors. Its most engaging features, a digital gauge cluster, displays tach and speedo with information about driver assistance, audio, and trips. It’s a higher-end touch on what can seem a thrifty cabin in S spec; the SR offers an option for synthetic leather upholstery with contrasting colors and stitching on the dash, livening up what can read as a somber cabin.

Review continues below
4

2022 Nissan Kicks

Performance

The Kicks puts efficiency before power and handling.

With a thin stream of power from its 4-cylinder engine and CVT, the Kicks has limited performance appeal. It drops below average for weak acceleration, for a 4 here. 

Is the Nissan Kicks 4WD?

All Kicks crossovers are front-wheel drive.

How fast is the Nissan Kicks?

The Kicks taps a 1.6-liter inline-4 for power. It builds up 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, and it weighs only about 2,700 lb. With quick throttle tuning it steps off from stoplights quickly, but strains to keep up with power demands as speeds build from urban streets to interstate highways. A 65-mph cruise demands a heavy foot and planning to pass; the tachometer bounces from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm, its belt-and-pulley CVT changes ratios to extract every bit of power possible, but the Kicks just doesn’t have enough in the performance tank to make anything happen quickly. What it does best is deliver 33-mpg EPA combined fuel economy.

The Kicks has a basic front strut and rear torsion-beam suspension. It’s tuned for leisurely cornering, despite the message sent by the flat-bottomed steering wheel. The ride motions get quelled well enough by 16- or 17-inch wheels and all-season tires, but the Kicks leans plenty into corners and doesn’t offer much steering feedback.

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4

2022 Nissan Kicks

Comfort & Quality

The Kicks has good cargo space, but seat comfort comes up short.

We give the Kicks a 4 for comfort and utility. It’s long on cubic feet for cargo, but the seats need more and better padding.

The Kicks’ manual-adjustable front seats come covered in cloth on all but the top model, which can be fitted with synthetic leather and heaters. The seats themselves have narrow backrests and short bottom cushions, which renders it uncomfortable on long trips for larger passengers. Nissan fits an armrest console to the Kicks SV and SR; there’s also an available wireless smartphone charging pad that sits among the quart-bottle cup holders. It’s a budget-friendly vehicle, with a budget-friendly interior.

In the back, the Kicks offers a high, stiff bench seat that’s broad enough for two medium-sized passengers. It has 33.2 inches of rear leg room, so 6-footers will rub their knees on the front seatbacks. The split rear seatbacks can fold to boost the Kicks’ 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space to 32.3 cubic feet—but the seatbacks don’t fold completely flat.

Review continues below
5

2022 Nissan Kicks

Safety

The Kicks’ safety gear is stronger than its crash-test scores.

How safe is the Nissan Kicks?

It scores OK in IIHS testing, where it’s rated “Good” in crash tests but doesn’t earn a Top Safety Pick award due to weak headlights. The NHTSA gives it four stars overall, which costs a point; it earns it back with standard automatic emergency braking. It’s a 5 here.

Every Kicks comes with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams. Adaptive cruise control comes with the Kicks SV, and the Kicks SR gets a surround-view camera system; it’s useful since the view to the rear can be obscured by seats and roof structure. 

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7

2022 Nissan Kicks

Features

Pick the Kicks SV for the best value.

The Kicks earns a 7 here, with a point above average for a good set of standard features and for swell infotainment.

The base $20,875 Kicks S has power features, 6-speaker audio, 16-inch wheels, cruise control, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and three USB ports. The standard warranty of 3 years/36,000 miles is just average. 

Which Nissan Kicks should I buy?

The $22,725 Kicks SV is our pick. It gains 17-inch wheels, a center console, a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, satellite radio, and keyless start. 

How much is a fully loaded Nissan Kicks?

The top $23,415 Kicks SR adds LED headlights and LED foglights, a surround-view camera system, a rear spoiler, and options for synthetic leather upholstery, Bose audio, and heated front seats.

Review continues below
6

2022 Nissan Kicks

Fuel Economy

Gas mileage is one of the Kicks’ standout traits.

Is the Nissan Kicks good on gas?

Yes, thanks to a 1.6-liter inline-4 and an efficient CVT. The EPA rates it at 31 mpg city, 36 highway, 33 combined, which earns a 6 here. That compares with vehicles such as the Hyundai Venue, which tops out at 31 mpg combined. 

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$19,700
MSRP based on S FWD
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5.3
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 4
Safety 5
Features 7
Fuel Economy 6
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2022 Nissan Kicks Pricing Insights

  • 2021 Nissan Kicks is a great value
  • Leasing: No lease specials, which is unusual
  • Rebates: No cash incentives
  • Financing: From 0% APR for 36 months
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