Palm tree

The new Nissan Kicks SR CVT is the latest in subcompact crossover SUVs from the maker of sports cars, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks and more. The Kicks is none of the above, but it’s really worth a look. It’s perfect for those interested in a vehicle that can haul plenty of cargo in an upright-riding vehicle. Read along as Napleton News takes a look.

rounding the bend
The Nissan Kicks rounds a bend.

Tell us more about the Nissan Kicks SR CVT

A sipper of go-go juice, the new Nissan Kicks SR CVT is the latest in a lineup that was introduced in 2018. Although it’s not the best conveyance for off-roading because Nissan doesn’t offer all-wheel drive, it does manage to do almost everything well. It’s perfect for the city dweller and those who wouldn’t think of playing in the mud.

1.6-liter
The 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder engine powering the Kicks.

The new Nissan Kicks SR CVT is a high-roofed compact crossover with seating for five. It is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 cylinder engine that develops 122 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 114 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. That power is sent to the front wheels by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) designed to be easy on the wallet and with fuel consumption.

crosstown
Crosstown traffic in the Kicks.

This subcompact is available in various trim levels ranging from the base Kicks S followed by the mid-range Kicks SV. The top-end tags in with the Kicks SR, which has traditionally been Nissan’s designation for a sporty trim level. As we mentioned, AWD is unavailable on the Nissan Kicks, so if it is part of your must-have list, you would be wise to look at some of its competitors.

How does the Nissan Kicks SR CVT look?

PCH
Along the Pacific in the Kicks.

Not awkward like the old Nissan Juke, the new Kicks offers a visage more in line with the new looks found in the rest of its family. These include a modified V-motion grille, a floating-style roofline and more. Its smart looks help set it apart from others in the same segment. The two-tone paint helps to set it off and give it a premium look at the same time.

Our SR test model included the premium paint package and a rear roof spoiler with 17-inch black alloy wheels.

What about inside?

Dashboard
The redesigned 2022 Nissan Kicks has been updated to provide even more features, technology, customized style and value that buyers are seeking in a compact crossover. New changes include standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, a refreshed exterior styling with a bold new “Double V-motion” grille and an updated interior with a new center console, new seating and trim materials.

The interior of the Kicks SR included many desirable features that you would expect to find on vehicles costing much more. Our tester included the Nissan Kicks Premium Package. This included features like a Bose Personal Plus Audio System with eight speakers and a driver’s headrest speaker set. It’s like wearing headphones without the, uh, headphones.

Seating
The redesigned 2022 Nissan Kicks has been updated with new seating and trim materials. Note speaker in driver’s headrest.

Other package components include Prima-Tex covered seats, a heated steering wheel and Nissan Connect services powered by SiriusXM. The Kicks Premium Package also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot that allows drivers and passengers to remain connected.

Behind the wheel of the Kicks

Driving the Nissan Kicks finds us behind the wheels of a competent, well-sorted, max headroomed crossover vehicle. Around town, the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is sufficient to pull you where you want to go. Just don’t expect to be the King of the Stoplight Drag Racers. Instead, you get 122 ponies of fuel-sipping power that will propel nicely unless carrying a hefty load.

parking
The Nissan Kicks soaks up the sun.

At that point, the engine will work under protest, squawking until able to achieve cruising speed. The CVT offers an unsatisfying grunt absent any of the gear changes that at least give you the impression that the engine and gearing are doing some motivating under the hood. In other words, the CVT has overstayed its welcome, at least in the case of the Nissan Kicks. As an aside, we are happy to see the transmission being phased out of other Nissan vehicles.

That’s not to say it’s a bad vehicle. The Nissan Kicks is very good, in fact, and needs a proper transmission. At that point, it’s the brand’s perfect city car and one that fits everywhere you would like it to.

2022 Nissan Kicks SR CVT Specifications

2022 Nissan Kicks SR CVT
Engine Type 1.6-liter naturally aspirated inline-4
Horsepower 122 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque 114 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission CVT w/ OD
Fuel Economy 33 mpg (31 city/36 hwy)
Suspension McPherson Strut/Torsion Bar
Turning Circle 34.1 ft.
Also Available S, SV trim levels
Specs
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4-star
Max Seating Capacity 5
Wheelbase 103.1 inches
Overall Length 169.1 inches
Width 69.3 inches
Height 63.4 inches
Cargo Room (Behind 2nd and 1st row) 25.3/32.3 Cubic Feet
Headroom, Front 40.4 inches
Headroom, 2nd 38.5 inches
Legroom, Front 43.7 inches
Legroom, 2nd 33.5 inches
Shoulder, Front 53.0 inches
Shoulder, 2nd 53.2 inches

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