2022 Nissan Kicks SV
Class: Subcompact Crossover
Miles Driven: 212
Fuel Used: 6.9 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||122-hp 1.6-liter|
|Drive Wheels||Front-wheel drive|
Real-world fuel economy: 30.7 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 31/36/33 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular Gasoline
Base price: $21,550 (not including $1175 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: 2-Tone Paint ($595), carpeted floor mats with cargo mat ($225), 17-inch black alloy wheels ($495)
Price as tested: $24,040
The great: Value pricing, standard safety features
The good: Good fuel economy with decent performance
The not so good: All-wheel drive is not offered, rear seats don’t fold flat with the cargo floor
Subcompact crossover SUVs have essentially become America’s entry-level vehicles of choice. While the subcompact-car class is all but dead on our shores—the Chevrolet Spark and Hyundai Accent are both being discontinued for the 2023 model year, and the future of the Kia Rio and Mitsubishi Mirage seems shaky at best—the subcompact SUV category has proliferated in recent years.
At the low end of the class are the Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul, and Nissan Kicks—especially small, affordable models that don’t offer all-wheel drive like the rest of the group does (save for the quirky, FWD-only Toyota C-HR, whose future also seems questionable). The lack of available AWD is one reason these vehicles are so affordable; the Venue and Soul both start a bit above the $20K mark, and the Kicks starts a little above $21K. That’s still a good bit pricier than the base MSRP of a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback ($16,125) or Nissan Versa sedan ($16,675), but a considerable number of shoppers apparently value the SUVs’ higher body build, improved passenger/cargo versatility, and spunkier attitude enough to cough up the extra dough.
The Kicks debuted for the 2018 model year and underwent a mild freshening for 2021. It rolls into 2022 with just one minor tweak—it now wears Nissan’s recently revamped corporate logo on its front grille (and elsewhere). As such, you can check out our previous Test Drive and Test Drive Gallery reports for more info and impressions. Unlike our previous Kicks test vehicles, our 2022 tester was a midline SV model instead of the topline SR trim. The SV comes with a very respectable level of standard equipment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, rear disc brakes instead of drum brakes, climate control, keyless access and starting, driver-attention monitor, adaptive cruise control, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen.
However, features such as LED headlights and fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a 360-degree surround-view monitor are reserved for the SR model, which can also be outfitted with an SR Premium Package that adds “Prima-Tex” simulated-leather upholstery instead of cloth, NissanConnect remote-access services and a Wi-Fi hotspot, heated front seats and steering wheel, and an 8-speaker Bose-brand stereo system. Regardless of which trim level you choose, the Kicks comes with a good level of features for the money.
A couple of our previous Kicks test vehicles performed surprisingly well in terms of fuel economy—with a majority of highway driving, we exceeded the highway EPA-estimate number by a couple MPG. However, with a slight majority of city driving, we didn’t do as well with our 2022 tester—we averaged 30.7 mpg, a shade below the EPA city estimate of 31 mpg.
Still, a non-hybrid vehicle that achieves 30-mpg-plus in mostly city driving qualifies as fuel-efficient these days, and not many of those can be had relatively well equipped for less than $25K. The Nissan Kicks can, and it offers a likable personality to boot.
2022 Nissan Kicks SV Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)