2018 Nissan Kicks Preview: A less peculiar Juke replacement


The Nissan Juke was an interesting thing. It seemed strange, but it worked well and was one of the original pioneers of the subcompact SUV. But even rare things must finally face their demise. Nissan has a follow-up on the charts, and it's a bit strange like the Juke, but the 2018 Kicks is wrong towards milquetoast.

Slotting under the Rogue Sport, the 2018 Kicks expands in the dimensions of the Juke without stepping on the big brother's toes. Regarding appearance, it remains true to the Kicks Concept that first appeared in 2014. The mudguards have some volume, and the "floating" C pillar works in this application. Lose some of the fresh and funky nature that made the Juke so fun, but such is the price paid for the mbadive appeal. For me, it seems that a Juke tries to use the skin of Rogue Sport.

The interior is a bit more traditional, too, but it seems quite nice for its segment. There are some interesting layers on the dashboard, and the group of indicators on the top trims presents a 7.0-inch screen. Three USB ports are standard, as is Bluetooth and a backup camera. The heated seats are optional, such as the leather-wrapped steering wheel and automatic climate control.

The Kicks comes with just one infotainment setup: a 7.0-inch screen that includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although you must move up to Kicks SV to get those two connectivity options. The SR Premium package pumps the bbad with a Bose audio system that features a pair of 2.5-inch speakers built into the driver's headrest.

Safety-Tech experts will be happy to hear that the Kicks comes standard with autonomous emergency braking and frontal collision warning. If that is not enough, the SV and SR adjustments add blind spot monitoring and subsequent cross traffic alert. The SR takes it one step further with Around View Monitor, which offers drivers a panoramic view of the vehicle based on multiple cameras around the outside, as well as LED headlights.

The engine is a bit boring, but if you want efficiency, that's how it should be. Its 1.6-liter I4 produces 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque, coupled exclusively to a CVT. That's a far cry from the 188 hp Juke output, but while the Juke gained 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, the Kicks is estimated at 33 mpg combined. There is no option for all-wheel drive in the Kicks.

The 2018 Nissan Kicks goes on sale in the spring, and prices will be announced closer to its sale date.

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