First Drive: 2022 Nissan Kicks SR

Nissan Kicks SUV Parked Near Beach

by Michael Satterfield -05/05/2022

Prices on SUVs today seem to keep climbing, even in the compact SUV segment which has all but replaced the compact hatchback in the USA. While most small SUVs start at around $24,000 the Nissan Kicks comes in with a base MSRP of just under $20,000 (plus destination and delivery). Even the top trim level SR starts at just $22,550, but what makes the Kicks really stand out is the standard equipment that is included in even the base model. 

Our fully loaded test Kicks SR came in with an MSRP of $25,620, which includes the $1,200 SR Premium Package, with that you get an 8-Speaker Pose audio system, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, NissanConnect Wi-Fi Hotspot, and a vehicle security system. Our tester also features two-tone paint, for $645, and that MSRP even includes the destination and delivery of $1,225. 

Nissan Kicks SUV Photo of Interior

My first impression upon getting in the Kicks SR is that it has a lot more room inside than I expected, the seating position is comfortable and the visibility is very good. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels nice, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the buttons and touch screens are easy to reach and read. The interior is minimalist, but well done, contrasting colors and a clean design give it a refined feel, I found the front seats very supportive even on longer drives, but I did have some complaints about the angle of the rear seat with some passengers finding it uncomfortable for extended periods.

Nissan Kicks SUV Back Seat

The Kicks is only offered with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and there is one engine option, the 1.6-liter, 122-hp, four-cylinder. It won't win any drag races The Kicks is offered in front-wheel-drive only, so this won't be your next Overlanding vehicle but is perfect for your urban adventures. Where the Nissan really impresses is the standard driver-assistance features, like standard automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning, and optional adaptive cruise control. 

Taking it out for a drive the Kicks is great around town, smooth, easy to park, and very responsive. But when getting on the freeway you feel the limitations of the CVT which makes the Kicks feel underpowered, once up to speed the Kicks soaks up highway miles with ease. I took it for a bit of a road trip to Circuit of the Americas for a NASCAR race and it performed beautifully on the back roads here in Texas, all while averaging gas mileage in the mid-30s. 

Nissan Kicks SUV, Driving through city

Overall the Kicks SR offers a ton of value in a package that is less than a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE, Mazda CX-30, and Honda CHR. For more information visit