Nissan Kicks

The hybrid market in the Philippines is slowly starting to fill up with choices, however, these options that buyers have in this segment tend to lean towards the expensive side and above the P1.5 million price range. One company seeks to change this with their latest crossover to enter the market with the Nissan Kicks e-Power. It's a hybrid crossover that is both affordable and ready to dominate the segment with its attractive pricing. 

Nissan Philippines recently allowed us to drive this hybrid and gave us a quick primer on what it can do and what makes its e-Power technology so groundbreaking. The Japanese automaker also showcased to us its key features and why you should put the Kicks e-Power on your crossover shortlist especially with the fluctuating gas prices.

On our test drive with the Kicks e-Power, we were given the chance to drive around the VL variant. It comes with a sporty and stylish design that is accented by the V-motion grille, sleek LED headlights, and sharp bumper lines at the front. On the side, it comes with a floating roof design with a lower accent to blend things, it also sports a set of 17-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, It comes LED taillights and the brand’s signature design language as well. One thing to note is that the Nissan Kicks does not come with a spare tire, instead, it comes with a tire repair kit. This was done to save on weight and give the car a better power-to-weight ratio and increase its fuel efficiency. 

Nissan Kicks interior

On the inside, the Nissan Kicks comes with a straightforward cabin layout. The dashboard has a dual-layer design with circular air vents on either side and horizontal vents in the middle. It does come with a semi-digital gauge cluster as there is no tachometer to speak of just a power display. The speedometer, however, is analog. Its air controls are easy to use and everything is easily within reach.

One thing we do have to note is that there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the gear shifter of the crossover as it differs from what you would expect from a normal car. Also, the electronic handbrake button is located near the storage space under the dashboard, so it can be a bit hard to find it at first when you are new to the car.

Nissan Kicks infotainment

Tech is abundant in the Nissan Kicks thanks to the brand’s intelligent mobility suite. It gives you access to features such as an around view monitor with sensors that help you maneuver your vehicle. The around view monitor also works well in dark conditions but don't expect the resolution to be in high definition so the images shown on the infotainment system will be a bit grainy. Regardless it's still a handy feature to have especially if you are parking or maneuvering in a dark area. The sensors are also a great help with the vehicle as they can also sense objects around the car pretty easily and with minimal to no delay.

In terms of its infotainment system, the Nissan Kicks comes with an 8-inch advanced touchscreen that comes with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It works well and quickly pairs with your phone once you plug it in. 

Nissan Kicks driving

Powering the Nissan Kicks is an AC Synchronous Motor, that's right, it isn’t run on a gasoline engine. The only purpose of the 1.2-liter 3-cylinder gasoline engine in the car is to act as a generator for the battery. Speaking of the battery it comes with a Lithium-ion one that has a capacity of 213 kWh. While some may point out that it is small, the internal combustion engine does a good job of keeping it charged. One thing to note is that the software in the car will not fully charge the battery and will only keep it up to 90% full. This was done to prolong and preserve its life as it will be in a constant state of discharge and recharge. 

Nissan Kicks engine

As the Nissan Kicks is powered by an electric motor you can expect near-instantaneous torque on demand. It's enough to shove you into your seat but it isn’t a harsh experience. Nissan has done a good job to make it feel linear and comfortable while still giving you a decent amount of pull. If you were wondering about the power figures of the Kicks, it dishes out 134hp and 280 Nm of torque.

Driving the Kicks feels like a normal car as it will automatically crawl forward like a conventional automatic internal combustion engine vehicle. Those worried about its regenerative braking will be happy to know that it can be toned down so that the car can coast for a bit. Only when you want the car to charge the battery will you feel its effects. When you put it into sport mode the Kicks comes alive and gives you all that it's got just be prepared to hear the drone of the 1.2-liter motor. It's not annoying as you would expect it to be but you will hear it.

Nissan Kicks display

The Nissan Kicks is special in the hybrid market as it presents itself as a “your first EV starter pack” crossover. It gets rid of the fear of range anxiety with its 1.2-liter generator all while giving you the benefits and driving experience of an EV. With a starting price of P1,209,000, it's hard not to find this vehicle attractive, especially with its feature set. It is important to note that the unit we tested here is priced at P1,509,000 so it has all the bells and whistles as it competes with the likes of the Corolla Cross hybrid.

As the Kicks is a new addition to the market it still has a lot to prove to the Filipino buyer, but rest assured that Nissan has informed us that its battery won’t go out on you if you have to travel through a flood as it comes in a sealed unit. 

If you are interested in buying the Nissan Kicks, just know that this is new to the Philippines technology and as such expect there to be a bit of a few hiccups along the way as you will be one of the first few adaptors of this new tech. It's a great stepping stone if you want to get an EV in the future and will prepare you well for it. Those looking to get it as a fuel-efficient crossover will also be happy to know that it checks all the right boxes as your next comfortable daily driver.


Specifications

Engine

1.2 L

Fuel Type

Hybrid

Performance

134 hp @ 0 rpm

Transmission

Automatic

Summary

Name Nissan Kicks VL e-Power AT (Pre selling)
Body Type Crossover
Price ₱1,509,000
Transmission Type Automatic

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology

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