In a short yet energetic press conference, Nissan unveiled the Kicks at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. Here are some important things to know about this affordable new entry into the hot subcompact crossover segment.
Its design is rooted in South America
In terms of aesthetics, the Kicks takes inspiration from Brazil's vibrant Carnival festival held each year. The original Kicks concept, which made its debut in 2014, was the result of a collaboration between Nissan's design studios in San Diego and Rio de Janeiro. The final product looks quite similar to the concept, including the floating roof design and the lively two-tone color schemes. You can opt for an orange roof with a gray body, a white roof with a blue body, or a black roof with a white, orange, or red body.
It's a global vehicle
A while back, Nissan announced the Kicks would go on sale in more than 80 countries, although we didn't expect the U.S. to make the list. The small crossover is produced in Brazil and went on sale in Latin America last year.
Nissan is looking for young buyers
Considering that Nissan spent half of its LA Auto Show press conference giving a live electronic music concert, it's clear the automaker is targeting millennials with this vehicle. Nissan says it expects to attract customers who are looking to move up from small entry-level sedans. Not surprisingly, the Kicks looks pretty small in person.
It offers a host of safety features
The Kicks comes with standard automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and a rearview camera on all grades. Other available safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an advanced surround-view monitor multi-camera system.
It offers an interesting sound system
Nissan is offering a Bose audio system with eight speakers, two of which are mounted inside the driver's seat head restraint. Despite the small number of speakers, the system is said to provide "360 degrees of immersive sound." This feature is available on a Premium package for the top SR trim.
It promises more cargo space than an HR-V and C-HR
The Nissan Kicks boasts 25 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row. That's more than the Mazda CX-3 at 12.4 cubic feet, Toyota C-HR at 19 cubic feet, and the Honda HR-V, which maxes out at 24.3 cubic feet. Of course, we won't really know how spacious it feels until we test one out for ourselves.
It will be very affordable
Nissan estimates the Kicks will start at "well under $19,000." If that's still true once it arrives in dealerships in spring 2018, that price will make it quite competitive in its segment. The CX-3, CH-R, and HR-V all start above $19,000, with the Toyota coming in at $23,495.