Nissan Kicks BS6 Long Term Reports

By Shivank Bhatt | on January 22, 2022
Long Term Report: January 2022 (End of Term)

The end of 2021 was also the time to part ways with our long-term Nissan Kicks Turbo CVT. After 4 months of being part of our fleet, the Kicks Turbo turned out to be way more impressive than what we had expected.

Let me start with what’s good. The 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine, clubbed with a CVT gearbox, is a masterpiece. Strong performance, meaty mid-range, and a smooth-shifting transmission currently make it the very best drivetrain in the segment. More importantly, the CVT doesn’t bog it down – instead, it plays along with the engine’s character beautifully. Not to mention, this SUV gets up to triple-digit speeds quite briskly, which is hardly surprising, for it packs 150+ horses under the bonnet!

Another area where the Kicks shines is in the ride-and-handling department. It may sound like a broken record now, but I can’t emphasize how phenomenal the ride quality of this SUV is. Except for its twin brother, the Renault Duster, I can’t think of any other car under `30 lakh that glides over our bad and broken roads this well. It dismisses bad roads like a tank! In addition to that, the handling is pretty good. The hydraulic steering oozes with feel, and the Kicks remains composed even when you try to hustle it around bends unnecessarily. Overall, I’ve to say, the Kicks Turbo CVT is a great mechanical package.

What’s not good? A lot of things, to be honest. The interior looks and feels dated, and a couple of creature comforts that you expect in an SUV from this segment are missing, especially in the CVT version since it’s not offered in the top-spec variant. There is a lot of hard plastic all over the cabin, too, and it doesn’t have the rich or premium feel of its fresher competition. That said, it’s quite spacious and roomy.  And yeah, the fuel efficiency – it drinks like there’s no tomorrow.

Overall, I see the Kicks Turbo CVT as an SUV that’s meant for buyers who care more about the fundamentals of a machine (engine, performance, ride-and-handling, and space) than frills (features, gadgets, design, etc.). And this means that it stays under the radar for most car buyers today. However, if you are the odd one out and know your stuff, the Kicks Turbo is still one of the most accomplished SUVs out there.   

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: September 2021

Current odo reading: 8,887kms

Mileage this month: 1,106kms

Fuel efficiency: 9km/l

What’s good: Performance, ride quality

What’s not: Looks & feels old, missing features

Long Term Report: December 2021
Nissan Kicks Long Term Report December 2021

Last month, I didn’t get to drive the Kicks much as it had gone back to Nissan for two weeks. They needed the car for a campaign activity, which was fine because I anyway wanted to send it back for wheel balancing. The Kicks is now back with us, and, the service team has fixed the problem – no more wobbly wheels at high speeds.

What this has done is that it’s made driving the Kicks (at high speeds) a bit of a deceptive affair. Now it reaches crazy speeds within no time and the high-speed stability is phenomenal. The Kicks’ 1.3-litre unit is one of the best turbo petrol engines out there, honestly. It deserves more loving! Not to add, the CVT gearbox allows for a seamless turn of speed, while also being effortless in daily driving.

Another thing that I love about the Kicks is its understated sleeper-car looks, especially in this silver colour, it simply manages to fly under the radar. I’ve to admit that I managed to surprise a couple of boy racers with the Kicks in the last few days, for this thing bolts off the line when you pin the throttle. Apart from that, what I quite like about the Kicks is the brakes – the feel and progression of the pedal are so well-calibrated.

Is there anything that I don’t quite enjoy in daily driving? Not a lot of things, to be honest. Maybe it could do with some more creature comforts, but, overall, it is, fundamentally, a very strong mechanical package.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: September 2021

Current odo reading: 7,781kms

Mileage this month: 382kms

Fuel efficiency: 9.5km/l

What’s good: Deceptively quick, brakes

What’s not: Interior feels outdated

Long Term Report: November 2021
Nissan Kicks 1 3 Turbo CVT Long Term Report November 2021

It’s just been two months living with the Nissan Kicks and it has already made me realise why car buyers ignore it. And the reason is, the Kicks can’t market itself properly! You see, there’s a famous quote 'Jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai' and that means unless and until you see or hear about a product, you aren’t likely to buy it. The Kicks has a similar problem. On one side, it has flashy rivals from Korea and Germany, while on the other its own sibling, the Magnite, makes it look a bit dated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a handsome looking vehicle, but it does look a bit anonymous, and that doesn’t work in this segment. I hope Nissan gives the once over that it’s due for - the Kicks facelift is already out in global markets, so it’s only a matter of time.

As for its underpinnings, I still believe the Kicks is the closest to being called an SUV despite having a monocoque body. There’s an air of sturdiness in the way it rides and handles over bad roads. But the rest of the package needs some refinement. Like the interior feels a bit dull, especially in this CVT version, and the plastic quality has to be improved. I’ve no complaints about its engine, suspension and space, to be honest. I quite enjoy driving it.

However, there’s one big issue with the car that has come to my notice recently. The wheels are out-of-balance and at high speeds, it's become a major concern. In fact, the violent kickback from the hydraulic steering and the wobbling wheels make driving at triple-digit speeds a nerve-racking affair. So, that’s to be fixed asap. Oh, and this car enjoys drinking fuel. As in, the moment you floor the throttle, you can see the fuel gauge needle drop! But then that’s the disadvantage (or fun) of having a 150+bhp SUV.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: September 2021

Current odo reading: 7,399kms

Mileage this month: 645kms

Fuel efficiency: 9km/l

What’s good: Robust underpinnings

What’s not: Wheels are out of balance

Long Term Report: October 2021

Nissan Kicks 1 3 Turbo CVT Long Term Report October 2021

Say hello to the Nissan Kicks 1.3 Turbo CVT, which has just become a part of our long-term fleet. Yeah, we know it’s a bit of a thing of the past, given the arrival of newer entrants like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, and the recently launched VW Group twins – the Taigun and Skoda Kushaq. Still, there is no denying that the Kicks has its strengths, and that’s what we’re hoping to explore in the coming months.

First things first, I didn’t know that the CVT version of the Kicks is not available with the top-of-the-line XV Premium (O) variant. Instead, it’s offered in XV Premium trim, which makes do without goodies like dual-tone paint, a 360-degree camera, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, leather seats, a soft-touch dashboard top, and more. So, yes, the car does look and feel a bit plain, especially in comparison to its rivals. Having said that, it’s still decently kitted out because you get all the features that you’d probably need in a car – LED projector headlamps, keyless entry and start/stop, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The screen is crisp and the touch response is great, but for some reason, it doesn’t switch to dark mode while using Android Auto at night, with headlamps on. So, every time I’ve to manually switch to dark mode from my phone’s developer settings.

But these are small issues, and quite frankly, they don’t bother me much because of the way the Kicks drives. The 1.3-turbo petrol motor is a gem, thanks to its strong and linear torque delivery throughout the rev range. It doesn’t actually feel like a turbo engine – there’s no sudden ‘kick’ when you floor the accelerator pedal. The CVT gearbox does take some fun away from the equation, with its rubber-band effect; however, overall, I prefer it to the manual version for its effortless and seamless shift quality. So, the best thing about the Kicks? Well, it has got to be the ride quality – it’s supple and unbelievably sturdy over bad roads. I don’t think there’s any other car – except for its cousin, the Renault Duster – that offers such good ride quality in the segment. Overall, I’m warming up to the Kicks already, although its fuel efficiency, considering the rising cost of petrol, is definitely a bummer.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: September 2021

Current odo reading: 6,754kms

Mileage this month: 540kms

Fuel efficiency: 9km/l

What’s good: Ride quality, engine

What’s not: Plain design, heavy drinker

Read more:

Nissan Kicks Long Term Report: March 2020 

2020 Nissan Kicks launched

Tags: Nissan Nissan Kicks

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