Nissan India has begun producing the Kicks compact SUV from the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai. The Kicks is a compact SUV that the brand also sells in Latin America. In India, the Kicks has been lengthened slightly, and is based on the B-Zero platform. The Nissan Kicks shares this platform with the likes of the Renault Duster and Captur.
In Nissan India’s car line-up, the Kicks will replace the Terrano, and will be priciest vehicle from the brand for at least a year or two. As for competition, the Nissan Kicks will take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Duster/Captur. It’s expected to be more premium than both the Duster and the outgoing Terrano. We’ll be able to give you our first impressions of this SUV later this month.
The Kicks that will be sold in India is larger in size compared to the South American version. This move is expected to liberate more room on the inside. There will be two engines on offer – a 1.6 liter petrol that puts out 105 Bhp- 140 Nm, and a 1.5 liter K9K turbocharged diesel with 108 Bhp-240 Nm. 5 speed manual and CVT automatic transmissions will be offered with the petrol while the diesel is expected to get a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard.
The Kicks will be a five seat monocoque SUV with a front wheel drive layout as standard. Nissan is unlikely to offer an all wheel drive system on the new SUV though the platform is perfectly capable of supporting such an option. In India, demand for an all wheel drive layout is minimal, and is restricted to less than 5 % of buyers, which is perhaps why most automakers shy away from offering this feature.
In terms of features, the Kicks is likely to be quite loaded. From a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to twin airbags and ABS, the SUV is expected to offer enough features to match the segment leading Hyundai Creta. A segment-leading 360 degree parking camera, Automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, steering mounted audio controls, push button start, key less entry and a cooled glovebox are the various other features likely to be offered on the top-end trim. A sunroof isn’t likely to be in the scheme of things though.
Ride quality has been one of the high points of both the Renault Duster and the Captur – platform mates of the Nissan Kicks. Why, even the Nissan Terrano was known for its excellent ride. This trait is likely to continue on the Nissan Kicks. A very comfortable ride could be one of the SUV’s biggest selling points, and our first drive from the Rann of Kutch will bring you more details.
As for pricing, the Nissan Kicks is expected to slot in at under Rs. 10 lakhs for the base model. The top-end trim in diesel could go up to Rs. 14 lakhs. In a sense, the Nissan Kicks is a comeback vehicle for the Japanese automaker, which has not been doing very well in the Indian market as far as domestic sales are concerned. Sharp pricing will be key for the Kicks success.