Nissan Kicks Turbo CVT long term review, second report


There are plenty of stories about unsung heroes and then there are a few in the case of cars as well.  Case in point is our long term Nissan Kicks.

Over the past couple of months, the Kicks has been serving us as the tracking and support car for all motorcycle shoots. And in the time that we’ve spent driving it or being driven in, we’ve grown fonder. Let me tell you why.

Considering the distances we cover to get to our shoot locations, a comfortable car to travel in is imperative. The Kicks delivers on that front with its spacious cabin and well-cushioned seats.

AUTO MODE: Nothing beats the sheer convenience of a nice auto box after a tiring workday.

The driver seat, especially, has decent cushioning in the right places, so 12-hour days spent in it didn’t lead to aches and pains.

The passengers seated at the rear, however, occasionally complained about the backrest being tad upright for long journeys. The trade-off for putting up with this niggle is a capacious boot that we’ve come to appreciate a lot.  You see, we bike guys have no concept of travelling light as we need to carry our helmets, jackets et al to go pick up test bikes and shoot. The boot easily swallows our riding gear as well as shooting equipment – again making for a good support vehicle.

LIGHT IT UP! Headlights do a pretty good job of lighting up a dark highway.

The other aspects that get us Kick‘ed’ (hehe, had to happen!) about driving the Kicks is the smooth petrol engine, solid ride quality and planted handling.

I particularly like the engine for its responsiveness, nice spread of power and the way the transmission works in conjunction to take the effort out of driving. After spending over 12-hours shooting, the ease of driving that the car offers on the trip back home is something that all of us appreciate.

GULP! GULP!: Engine guzzles fuel at an alarming rate if the car is driven enthusiastically.

The only thing that’s worrying about the drivetrain is its thirst for petrol when you give it the beans. Drive enthusiastically and you’ll see the MID display a sub-5kpl reading. In fact, the sight of the analogue fuel gauge descending rapidly to the ‘E’ mark gave me a minor heart attack. The trick to extract better fuel economy is to be ultra gentle with the throttle, which, in turn, results in a 10-11kpl reading.

That’s decent, considering the 156hp engine and all the weight of a big ‘SUV’ that it has to lug around. I think our accounts office is also happy seeing these fuel economy figures, given the way we pay through our nose for petrol these days.

BAD ANGLE: The rear seat is a tad upright and passengers found this uncomfortable over long trips.

And last but not least, the Kicks’ solid underpinnings and absorbent suspension makes it easier to deal with Mumbai’s infamous pothole-riddled roads. All that punishment, however, seems to have taken its toll on the wheel alignment and that’s something that needs to be taken care of during the next service. While at it, we’d also like Nissan to reattach a portion of the cladding on the driver’s side door that’s suddenly come loose. More on this and the service experience in the next report.

Also see:

2021 Nissan Kicks Turbo long term review, first report

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