By Jane Davis

The Nissan Kicks was unveiled last year during the Los Angeles Auto Show as the sixth member of the company’s SUV and crossover lineup. Nissan’s sales in these segments are at an all-time high and the automaker hopes the Kicks will generate additional growth.

“The new Kicks is designed to fit the needs of singles or couples looking for expressive styling, personal technology, smart functionality, and advanced safety features at an affordable price starting under $18,000,” explained Michael Bunce, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

Power & Performance

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will pack a little punch with its standard 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder. Complete with a Continuous Variable Valve Timing Control System, the engine generates 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft. of torque. With an Xtronic transmission, the front-wheel drive Kicks achieves 33 mpg combined. All-wheel drive is not available.

Photo: Nissan North America.

Design Language

We’ve come to expect the V-Motion grille, a signature found on every Nissan today. The 2018 Kicks also features unique wheel arches, boomerang headlights and taillights, and a “floating” roof for a “wrap-around visor” look. There are seven different exterior colors and five two-tone schemes on offer, three of which utilize a black roof and contrasting body colors (white, orange, or red). An orange roof with a gray body, or a white roof with a blue body can also be had.

Interior Treatments

Nissan notes the “Gliding Wing” design of the dashboard, anchored by a seven-inch color display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Those who enjoy tunes while they navigate will appreciate the Bose premium stereo with UltraNearfield neodymium speakers, located inside the driver’s headrest.

Nissan says the new Kicks has one of the largest load areas in its class.

“With its good ground clearance, high eye point, electric power steering, and small turning radius, Kicks is a great vehicle for both everyday and weekend adventures,” Bunce added.

Safety & Security

The 2018 Nissan Kicks comes standard with Automatic Emergency Braking, RearView Monitor, and seven air bags. SV and SR grades add Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

Pricing & Availability

The 2018 Nissan Kicks will be offered in three grades: S, SV, and SR. The S begins at $17,990, the SV at $19,690, and the SR at $20,290. Expect the 2018 Nissan Kicks at dealerships later this spring.