As the smallest and most affordable SUV in Nissan’s lineup, the pint-sized 2021 Nissan Kicks trades primarily on its low price point. Even in the subcompact SUV class, where space constraints and tight development budgets have always required compromises, the Kicks feels like a lightweight competitor. On the whole, Nissan’s newest products have impressed us with their improved interiors, technology and materials. The 2021 Kicks, however, is a refresh, not a new design, according to Edmunds.
- Restyled exterior
- Mild upgrades to cabin materials
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now standard
- SV and SR add standard rear disc brakes and available adaptive cruise control
- Part of the first Kicks generation introduced for 2018
The handful of minor updates made for 2021 do go some way toward addressing livability in the Kicks, but the enhanced exterior styling and wider availability of color combinations will likely drive the most interest. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are nice to have, of course, but the added tech and upgraded materials for 2021 simply aren’t enough to make the Kicks a top pick in the segment.
The new rear disc brakes on the SV and SR trims are worth noting, though — the current Kicks turned in a subpar performance in our braking test with its rear drum brakes (which remain standard on the base S trim), so we look forward to testing the new setup to see if it makes a difference. Full review breakdown with Will Kaufman here.
Release Date: February 2021
Estimated Price: Starting at $20,500 (estimated)