New 2023 Nissan Kicks Reviews, Pricing & Specs | Kelley Blue Book (2022)

As a starter vehicle, the 2023 Nissan Kicks shines. Packing a whopping amount of technology and spunkiness into a tidy, affordable package, Nissan’s tiniest SUV makes a big impression. What’s more, it looks pretty good, too. Pricing starts at $20,290.

Nissan decided to trot out the 2023 Kicks without any changes from the previous year. Although we’d cheer for a bit more get-up-and-go, we find this small crossover very easy to live with. The Korean brands deserve the recognition they receive for value; however, the Kicks has earned the same praise. It opens with the base S grade, providing a legion of surprises. For example, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, proximity keyless entry, a comprehensive bundle of safety and driver-aid technologies are all standard.

Nissan engineered the Kicks to be an urban warrior. Therefore, it’s easy to park, has sufficient spark for stop-and-go city driving, and delivers an estimated 33 mpg in combined driving. Check, check, check.

Easy on the eye and the wallet, the 2023 Nissan Kicks is a sensible place to begin your search for a subcompact crossover. Others you may want to check out include the Hyundai Venue, Toyota C-HR, and Chevy Trailblazer.

Starts at $22,850

The 2023 Nissan Kicks starts at $20,290. Nissan keeps things relatively simple for Kicks buyers. For instance, there are only three trim levels. Moreover, only the top-end SR grade offers any factory-installed option packages. You don’t even need to dither over all-wheel drive (AWD) because the Kicks doesn’t offer it; it is front-wheel drive only.

The top-end Kicks SR starts at $22,850, a reasonable $2,560 upcharge that brings with it a lot of content. For example, a larger 8-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, a surround-view monitor and much more. If your budget can manage it, we say, go for the gusto and grab the SR.

Every Kicks is also subject to a $1,295 destination charge.

Driving the 2023 Nissan Kicks

Nissan achieves the respectable estimated fuel economy numbers it does with the Kicks by mating a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). On one hand, this duo delivers solid mileage. On the other hand, acceleration is, shall we say, leisurely. Around town you won’t notice it as you zip by gas station after gas station. The Kicks is well-suited to the cadence of crowded city streets. Where you might notice it is heading uphill with a cabin full of people and a cargo area packed with luggage.

For a tiny crossover, the Kicks provides a relatively pliant ride, and the steering is responsive. We live in an age of small crossovers managing mpg with a CVT. One common issue they all share is maintaining higher than usual rpms, which can cause a fairly constant drone under the hood. It does carry into the cabin.

As a runner of errands, a big plus for the Kicks is the generous — by subcompact standards — cargo area. It is roughly the same as in the Trailblazer, but significantly larger than the Venue and C-HR.

A Surprisingly Roomy Subcompact

Nissan furnishes the tidy cabin for five. However, we think three adults across the 60/40 split-folding backseat is tight for jaunts longer than getting to the office lunch spot. Up front, two can sit comfortably, enjoying the view. The cloth-covered front seats offer multiple manual adjustments. Ten airbags provide some peace of mind.

Passengers can stay connected through Bluetooth, and three USB ports keep the devices charged. We find the infotainment system with its 6-speaker audio system and satellite-radio capability to be user-friendly.

Cargo Room

According to Nissan, the Kicks provides 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat. Folding that seat swells the cargo space to 53.1 cubic feet. This is better than the segment average.

Top Features And Tech

1. Full bundle of safety tech
Even in the base S, the Kicks comes with forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Also included are rear-park assist with automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning.

2. Surround-view camera
Rare for a subcompact crossover, the Kicks uses a series of cameras located around the vehicle to create a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its immediate surrounding area. This feature is on the top-line SR trim.

3. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Standard in every Kicks, this smartphone integration allows you to access your own music, contacts, and navigation through the vehicle’s infotainment system.

4. Bose audio
Available in the top-end SR grade, this 8-speaker Bose system delivers clear, crisp sound.

5. Advanced Driver Assist Display
Using a 7-inch LCD screen, this feature displays important driver information, such as mpg, text messages, trip-computer info, and more. It’s standard in the upper two trims.

6. Auto brake hold
It’s not hard to keep your foot on the brake while waiting at a long stoplight. But it’s easier not to.

High Safety Scores

In the six safety tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Kicks earned the top score of Good in all six tests.

Impressive Fuel Economy

Nissan arms the Kicks with only one powertrain. With an eye on fuel economy and urban mobility, this 4-cylinder engine provides sufficient grunt to safely navigate busy city streets and highway cruising. It is one of the better subcompact SUVs for taking on the city.

1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine
122 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
114 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA combined fuel economy: 33 mpg (31 city/36 highway)

Final Word: Small but Practical

Nissan’s subcompact SUV is big on features and can transport plenty of cargo. It goes about its business safely and economically.

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Rather than pulling random numbers out of the air or off some meaningless checklist, KBB’s editors rank a vehicle to where it belongs in its class. Before any car earns its KBB rating, it must prove itself to be better (or worse) than the other cars it’s competing against as it tries to get you to spend your money buying or leasing.

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