Great pricing and outstanding efficiency are just weeks away! Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – May 8, 2018 2018 Nissan Kicks Last November at the 2017 LA Auto Show Press Days, I was fortunate to see the 2018 Nissan Kicks in person. From the show floor, some of my impressions as linked included the following: Today, Nissan released pricing on the soon to be released all-new 2018 Nissan Kicks CUV. Set to reach Nissan dealerships nationwide next month, the new Kicks becomes the sixth member of the Nissan crossover and SUV line-up. The 2018 Nissan Kicks will be available in three front-wheel-drive only trims, the S, SV and SR. The S trim arrives with Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), Bluetooth, three USB ports, roof rails and Intelligent Auto Headlights (I-AH) standard. The SV adds to the S Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Nissan Intelligent Key, 17” alloys, body color heated outside mirrors and outside door handles, rear passenger underseat heater ducts, tonneau cover, Automatic climate, Easy Fill Tire Alert, 7.0” driver display, SiriusXM, and Remote Engine Start. SR adds to the SV LED low-beam headlamps w/ LED DRLs, fog lights, black heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob with chrome accents, SR seat fabric with interior trim and accents, front and rear bumpers with body color inserts, rear roof-mounted spoiler, dark chrome grille accents, Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM). Each is equipped with a 125 hp and 115 lb-ft of torque 1.6L I4 mated to the brands wide ratio CVT. While we wait for the final EPA estimates, Nissan touted its 33-mpg combined rating which in any guise shows it is going to be damned efficient on the Interstate. Possibly as high as 38 mpg matching most current compact and sub-compact sedans! 2018 Nissan Kicks MSRP Kicks S FWD - $17,990 USD Kicks SV FWD - $19,690 USD Kicks SR FWD - $20,290 USD D&H is a bit steep at $975. Considering its B-segment competitors, the Kicks and its possible 33 mpg combined rating really stands out as the best value and efficiency by far!!! Here is how the retail pricing and FWD EPA combined ratings shake out: 18 Nissan Kicks S/SV/SR (33 mpg) - $17,990/$19,690/$20,290 18 Chevrolet TRAX LS/LT/Premiere (28 mpg) - $21,995/$23,895/$28,295 18 Toyota C-HR XLE/XLE Premium (31 mpg) - $22,500/$24,350 18 Ford EcoSport S/SE/SES/Titanium (28 mpg) - $19,995/$23,000/$26,880/$25,880 18 Honda HR-V LX/EX/EX-L (31 mpg) - $20,470/$22,520/$25,140 18 Hyundai Kona S/SE/Ltd./Ultimate (30 mpg) - $19,500/$21,150/$24,700/$27,400 18 Mazda CX-3 (31 mpg) - $20,100/$22,195/$25,165 Across the board, Out - Fricken - Standing!!! The 2018 Kicks is Nissan's newest entry in the affordable compact crossover market. 2018 Nissan Kicks Exterior Design The new 2018 Kicks is built upon on a larger than segment 103.8” wheelbase with 7.0” of ground clearance. Its design includes the brands striking V-Motion grille, boomerang front and rear lamps, and a floating roof with a new "wrap-around visor" look to the windscreen and side glass. The floating roof has been expanded taking in the entire C-pillar providing a unique rear quarter appearance. The rear hatch opens high enough for a six-foot tall person to access the cargo area without having to duck. Standard wheel arches, good looking 17” alloys and lower body cladding with a brushed aluminum like insert make for an attractive profile. The SR being described looks great! The S trim includes 16” steel wheels while the SV and SR include sharp looking 17” alloys. Some additions include Intelligent Auto Headlamps (I-AH) with adjustable sensitivity and timing (including twilight and wiper activation), rear wiper and roof rails – along with available LED low-beam headlamps with LED DRLs, fog lights, heated outside mirrors with integrated turn signals and a rear roof spoiler. Directly from a previous release, the 2018 Kicks will be offered in seven exterior colors – plus five two-tone combinations. Three of the two-tone color schemes utilize a black roof and contrasting body colors (white, orange or red). Also offered: an orange roof with gray body, and a white roof/blue body combination. Let me say that the orange looks fantastic in person. 2018 Nissan Kicks Interior Design The interior was also better than expected given the low rent materials used throughout the segment. The SR trim in particular looks great. Front seat occupants face Nissan's "Gliding Wing" dashboard design, with a centrally mounted 7.0” full color display housing a comprehensive infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Kicks SR Premium Package includes a Bose Personal Plus sound system using eight speakers and proprietary Bose signal processing to provide "360 degrees of immersive sound." A pair of lightweight 2.5-inch speakers are located within the Kicks' driver's seat head rest. The system also includes 6.5” Bose speakers in each front door, cross-firing 1.0” tweeters in each A-pillar and 5.25” wide-range speakers in each rear door. I have not seen the infotainment lit up or heard the output, so any positive impressions would be a guess at best over past poorly functioning and rated Nissan infotainment systems. The Kicks can be purchased with the brands highly regarded Birds Eye Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM), the Kicks, including an on-screen heads-up when it detects moving objects near the vehicle. A flat-bottom wheel, comfortable 6-way driver's seat, 4-way adjustable front passenger seat and 60/40-split fold-down rear seat are all part of the Kicks comfortable looking persona. Heated Prima-Tex like leather front seats are available with the SR Premium Package. Other available interior features include leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob, tonneau cover and Auto climate. 2018 Nissan Kicks Safety Kicks includes Traction Control System (TCS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA), front disc/rear drum Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and electric power steering with a tight 34.1-foot turning radius standard The SR includes an Integrated Dynamic-Control Module (IDM), featuring Active Engine Brake, Active Trace Control and Active Ride Control. Seven air bags, RearView Monitor, and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) are standard on all trims!!! How is that for a first and at these price points is incredible!!! SV and SR trims add Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. In addition, the SR includes the Intelligent Around View Monitor (I-AVM). As it stands, this could be my choice for Best Compact CUV” available. I have yet to drive the Kona or uber expensive imho EcoSport yet but from the few moments with the Kicks, it is the most comfortable – read less cramped – B-segment CUV offered at this time. 2018 Nissan Kicks I am hoping to receive my first time behind the wheel at the MAMA Spring Rally in just over two weeks. I will hopefully be able to provide a more encompassing impression from that event and the drive after the fact.