Nissan Kicks BS6 review: Good but why not your first choice

NEW DELHI: It’s a bit of a shame that Nissan India can’t compete fiercely in the compact SUV segment with Kicks – an SUV that offers nothing but practical features, the most energetic engine and at a competitive price. What works in favor of the Kicks BS6 and what doesn’t, we tried to figure out with a long-term car.
For starters, I loved driving the 1461cc BS4 Kicks which was torquey, great on the highways and exuded ruggedness. The diesel is nearly done, and Nissan opted for a 1.3-liter turbocharged unit (and a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter) with the option of CVT or 5-speed manual.

On paper, the 154 hp seems noticeably stronger than its peers and the engine is also fun to drive. Overcoming initial turbo-lag, the HR 13DDT engine performs with a boost between 2,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm. The CVT isn’t the best in the business, but tries to optimize fuel efficiency in start-stop traffic. The manual should be more driver-focused.
Creta, Seltos and a handful of rivals, coupled with Nisan’s nonchalant sales and service network, mean Kicks has yet to achieve what it should have. It wasn’t until Magnite came along that Nissan’s dealership and service bays tended to increase.
Speak what you can of the design, it’s the same as before. It’s weird upside down. Not a boxy, textbook-style SUV look, Kicks is greatly aided by a segment-best 210mm ground clearance.

Kicks won’t greet you with a view of the sky or a fancy driver display prompt, but precise features like cornering fog lights, 360-degree projection, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a functional roof rail and a suite of connected technologies (Nissan Connect) are a boon while driving.
If you’re not convinced to buy a Kicks, you can opt to give it a shot via Nissan’s subscription model, which starts at around Rs 25,000 per month. Riding the Kicks is a wholesome feeling, except for a few details. The ride quality is firmer and the chassis can take a good amount of pounding on bad roads before it bottoms out. The SUV is well anchored on the highways and inspires confidence in the turns.

That said, expect a fair amount of body roll and NVH levels to bother when pushed all the way. The top trim offers premium upholstery in black and brown. Additionally, if XV Premium (turbo) is your choice, the safety package includes 4 airbags, ABS + EBD, traction control, electronic stability control, vehicle stability management as well as hill start and hill start assist. The icing on the cake is the 5-star rating in the Asean NCAP crash test.
What should you do? Kicks operates in a price range that is one of the fastest growing segments of the market. While Kicks is a pretty decent product, it’s Nissan India that needs to do a better ground job.


Comments are closed.