2019 Nissan Kicks SV: small SUV that’s big on surprises

I love surprises.

The 2019 Nissan Kicks SV is a small front-wheel-drive crossover SUV introduced as a new model last year. It was my first time to experience the model, and I liked it all… I didn’t expect to.

And I don’t believe I’m in the target market Nissan is trying to entice. Kicks is aimed at city-living singles and young couples looking for expressive styling, personal technology, smart functionality – and advanced safety features – at an affordable price.

In a word – Millennials. If they were looking to attract people my age or older, the slogan would have been “Get your Kicks on Route 66!” But I digress.

Nissan’s Kicks is available in three well-equipped models: Kicks S, Kicks SV and Kicks SR. Among the list of standard features found on Kicks S are automatic emergency braking, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, three USB ports, keyless entry, push button start, roof rails and intelligent auto headlights.

Kicks seats up to five adults and the cargo area is generous for a small-sized crossover. We were able to squeeze $390 worth of Costco groceries into the back – but I guess that’s not saying much these days.

Powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC, 16-valve, four-cylinder engine mated to an automatic, continuously variable transmission, Kicks gets 33 miles per gallon in combination of city and highway driving.

The exterior looks fresh and bold, even to an old fart. Features like Nissan’s V-Motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights and the “floating roof “with a wrap-around visor create a distinctive and eye-catching appeal. My tester included a coat of Fresh Powder Aspen White TriCoat enamel. Black, 17-inch alloy wheels completed the look.

Inside, the Kicks story is one of quality and futuristic design in a cabin full of the innovative features expected by its tech-hungry target audience. Kick’s modern and simple Gliding Wing instrument panel design is dominated by a centrally mounted, seven-inch full-color infotainment system. Kicks offers three interface choices – NissanConnect, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

And, for the ultimate audio experience, the Kicks SR Premium Package includes the class-exclusive Bose Personal Plus sound system with eight speakers that deliver “360 degrees of immersive sound.”

The SV trim level includes Kicks SV includes a long list of additional features – blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, Nissan intelligent key, body-color heated outside mirrors and door handles, automatic temperature control, easy fill tire alert, SiriusXM satellite radio, remote engine start and more.

With a base price of close to $20 grand, Kicks had more than its fair share of creature comforts. In addition to all those previously mentioned, add cruise control, rear-view monitor, variable intermittent wipers with a rear wiper and automatic climate control.

But don’t take my word for it. Test drive one for yourself and enjoy the surprise!

Base Price: $21,355

Price As Driven: $22,105

Destination charge is included in the base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.

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