Nissan has seen a significant increase in sales of the Kicks e-POWER thanks to attractive upgrades and price adjustments for all four variants.
First introduced in 2020, the Kicks e-POWER features a series hybrid system that works like an EV, with a 1.2-liter petrol engine used to drive a generator instead of the wheels.
This gives the Kicks e-POWER an EV-like character, as the generator not only charges the battery but powers the electric motors that drive the front wheels.
Last year, the coronavirus pandemic and semiconductor shortages forced automakers to make big changes, but Nissan announced the launch of the Kicks e-POWER, which features a second-generation hybrid system with more power and torque. I was able to come up with the latest version. As well as lots of new features.
The price of Kicks e-POWER has also been significantly reduced. For example, VL used to sell him for 1,049,000 baht, but now he sells for only 899,000 baht.
Meanwhile, the top Kicks e-POWER AUTECH variant reviewed in this issue costs just 949,000 baht, making it one of the best buys in the segment. Other competitors include the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30 and Toyota Corolla Cross, all priced above one million baht. There is also Haval Jolyon for less than 1 million baht and his MG4 electric car.
The AUTECH variant I drove features a “premium sporty” look designed by Autech Japan, a subsidiary of Nissan known for car personalization.
In addition to the V-motion front grille, LED lights, and floating roofline, it also features a newly designed skirt, a stylish rear spoiler, and a rear finisher panel that connects the boomerang LED taillights.
Exterior highlights include silver accents on the front, side and rear skirts, a black roof, and black 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 Continental EcoContact6 tires.
The interior has also been upgraded with a new center console and gearshift knob, leather seat upholstery with blue stitching, piano black inserts, redesigned cupholders and a significantly increased soft-touch area on the console and door panels.
The multifunction steering wheel is covered in leather with blue stitching and is both reach and rake adjustable. Both front seats are compact, more firm than comfortable, and only manually adjusted.
The instrument panel is dominated by a 7-inch color display, with the downside that the speedometer on the right is still analog (similar to the Almera ecocar).
The 8-inch touchscreen is responsive and easy to use, and has an intelligent around-view monitor, but the image isn’t very sharp. There’s also an intelligent rearview camera that comes in handy if your mirrors are blocked by obstacles inside the car.
As for connectivity, we have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Nissan Connect and voice recognition. There is one USB port in the front, two more for rear passengers, a 12V outlet (our outlet had a USB adapter installed) and an AUX-IN.
The rear seat backrests can be split and folded to increase the 423 liters of luggage space if required. There is plenty of headroom in the backseat, even for adults, but not enough legroom, and the headrests are ridiculously small.
There is also an ambient light switch with eight illumination colors to choose from.
In terms of safety, the Kicks e-POWER AUTECH comes with a full package including 6 airbags and Nissan Intelligent Safety.
I’m not complaining, but there are some signs of cost cutting. For example, the windshield wipers aren’t automatic, nor is the wireless charger or electric rear his tailgate.
The new Nissan Kicks e-POWER has an 82hp and 103Nm 1.2-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine, but it’s a second-generation e with an integrated electric motor and inverter that share the same housing to help reduce weight. Comes with -POWER system. 30%
Meanwhile, the size of the 4-module 96-cell lithium-ion battery has also been increased to 2.06kWh. As a result, Nissan claims the electric motor’s maximum power has been boosted from 129hp to 136hp and peak torque from 260Nm to 280Nm.
Despite the power increase, the average fuel consumption remains at 23.8kpl, which is achievable in real life. During testing it averaged around 20kpl in real driving.
The Kicks e-POWER series hybrid system is a fun car to drive with good acceleration from the electric motor. The only difference from the EV is the noise emitted by the petrol engine during hard acceleration.
Kicks e-POWER has Normal, Sport and Eco drive modes, as well as an EV mode that can be operated via a button on the center console. The cruising range isn’t that great, but it’s enough for trotting to a convenience store, and there’s no engine noise, so it won’t bother your neighbors late at night.
The e-pedal mode is convenient once you get used to it (feels like a golf cart) and helps maximize energy return to the battery during deceleration.
The Kicks e-POWER has a 10.2m swivel circle that helps in tight spaces, so it’s great for getting around town. The steering is light and responsive, offering precise cornering.
Suspension is strut at the front, torsion beam at the rear, and all-disc brakes. The Kicks e-POWER’s handling is a plus, but ride quality isn’t a plus.
Over sharp speed bumps and deep potholes, the suspension can feel tight, but generally there is enough damping to keep the occupants comfortable most of the time.
Nissan has done an impressive job of reviving the aging Kicks e-POWER with cosmetic changes and improved performance, increased luxury, and significant price cuts across the model range.
Nissan Kicks e-POWER AUTECH
Price: 949,000 baht
Electric motor: type AC3 synchronous
Maximum power: 136hp@4,000-8,992rpm
Maximum Torque: 260Nm@500-3,008rpm
Transmission: automatic single-speed gear reduction
Engine: 3-cylinder DOHC
Maximum output: 79hp@6,000rpm
Maximum Torque: 103Nm@3,600-5,200rpm