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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Nissan KICKS - Kicks Arse and How!




For a while now, driving long distances is something that I have fallen in love with. And the chosen destination every single time (well, almost!) have been the Himalayas. I've a certain relationship with them,  I believe, for every few weeks,I am back and how.

This time, I had the chance to sample the Nissan Kicks and boy does it kick arse, all puns intended. You see, Nissan has had a strong portfolio in the country but since they haven't really updated their product portfolio all too often, their initial sales might have suffered or taken a hit. But, they are back with the Kicks and driving it for a better part of 1000kms. was such a pleasure.

If you look at the Kicks from the outside, it is more or  less the same to what is being offered at the international markets. It is also interesting to note that the Kicks is the 'official car' of the Cricket World Cup, 2019. So, that's an interesting fact! Now, coming back to the design, if you look at the car from the front, the car looks absolutely smashing. Be it the faux aluminum skid-plate or the bold chrome V-motion grille that looks powerful. The Kicks also looks pretty strong and intimidating from the front three-quarter or from the side profile..




















Coming to the rear of the Kicks, it looks very different from anything in the market at this time. The windshield is steeply raked and the tailgate is pretty wide. That rear tail-lamp somehow reminded me of some of the Lexus models; there is that uncanny resemblance, really. However, from what I am being told, the India spec Kicks is larger than the international model. Infact, the wheelbase is longer too, making it bigger than even the Terrano, but it doesn't feel too large that it would hamper your driving experience.

I was also pleasantly surprised as I moved to the inside. The Nissan Kicks makes a strong point here too. Yes, it does miss out on a couple of important bits, but overall, I feel the interior is a fabulous place to be in.  For example, the dashboard is all leather-wrapped which looks and feels premium to touch and feel. However, taking the centre-stage is the huge 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system that is easily one of the best in-class. It is very responsive and with Apple car-play and Android auto, it is an absolute breeze to use. I also love digital instrument consoles and the Kicks makes me happy with its console. The semi-digital instrument console has two pods - one for the tacho and the secon one for the fuel gauge; while the speedometer is fully digital read-out.

Driving long distances non-stop is no joke. I love vehicles that have comfortable seats, good lumbar support and decent back support. And all these boxes were checked big time by the Nissan Kicks. We instantly fell in love with the front seats. Extremely good lumbar and back support and side bolstering means driving long distances was a breeze and even after constantly driving for more than 250kms. at a stretch, I wasn't tired in anyway. That speaks volumes about the comfortable seats and the overall comfort levels of the Kicks. Also, since the driver's seat is quite high, you get a beautiful, commanding view of the road ahead which helps in your overall driving experience.

Since I was going to be out of town for 4-5 days, I had quite a lot of luggage with me - starting from expensive camera equipment to bags carrying clothes and daily requirement stuff. And the massive 400-litre boot swalloed it all up like nobody's business! It is so huge that you could probably make a couple of people sleep there and still have space left for their luggage! Total dhamaal, this! Another important aspect that I would want to talk about before coming to the engine bit, are the suspensions. I mean, in one word  - they are BRILLIANT!  No matter what we threw at it, everything was soaked with zero complaints! The Kicks has a few first in-class features as well like a 360-degree camera and that leather covered dash that I just spoke about a couple of paragraphs back. However, what it does miss out on is a sunroof, wireless charging and probably something that I absolutely dislike is that central armrest that doesn't move or fold. It does come in the way of fastening the seatbelts, on occassions.

The Kicks comes with 2 engine variants - the 1.5-litre H4K petro motor and the 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine. We had the diesel one for the travel story and boy, did we enjoy the torque spread of the motor or what! With a 100 horses and 240-Nm of torque at 1,750RPMs, this engine is so much fun to play around with. It might feel a tad sluggish below the 1,500RPM mark but once cross that, and it feels eager to lunge ahead. Keep that tacho needle in the right range, and the Kicks is definitely a fun car to drive. 

That 1.5-litre diesel engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. The first two gears are short and does require a little more than usual shifts, but personally, I pretty much prefer short shifts. Jumping onto higher gears more quickly also means it returns a good fuel effeciency.

Overall, if I talk about the Kicks, from the beautiful and strong exterior to the comfortable and rich interior to the rather long feature list and the brilliant suspension and engine, the Kicks does kick arse and how! Yes, it might not blow your mind out of the park, but it does a lot of things perfectly well. There's absolutely no denying the fact that Kicks can be a worthy consideration to soemething like the Creta, if you are looking for something different. I, for one, am totally in for the Kicks!
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Item Reviewed: Nissan KICKS - Kicks Arse and How! Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Bobby Roy
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