2023 Nissan Kicks e-POWER: Driving Just For Kicks | Motourismo
Words and Photos by James Tagle
|Nissan Kicks E-Power|
The Nissan Kicks E-Power is the perfect car to transition from petrol to electric, and it certainly helps that it offers so many features at an affordable price point, and is fun-to-drive as well.
If you've arrived at this page, you're probably a Nissan Kicks E-Power buyer seeking for expert advice. If that's the case, you can skip this article—here's all you need to know about what we think: Buy this automobile. Right now. Yes, go ahead! We enjoy this car so highly that we believe purchasing it is a no-brainer.
|Profile of the Nissan Kicks E-Power|
My first interaction with the Nissan Kicks was with this Sunrise Orange-coloured hue, and the colour really stood out.
The design is also appealing. The front end is dominated by Nissan's large V-shaped grille, which appears to extend into the headlights.
Swollen fenders on all sides give this tiny crossover a rough appearance. The back end is loaded with sharp creases and bulges, and the taillights are the most unusually shaped I've seen in a long time.
All of these features make the Nissan Kicks stand out on the road without making it appear obnoxious. If the goal is to attract younger drivers, I believe the designers are on the right track.
With a simple dash layout, the 8” touchscreen, which fronts the NissanConnect infotainment system, takes centre stage. We like that the interface has physical menu buttons, making it easy to operate and joy of joys, Android Auto and AppleCar Play is standard, YES!
Behind the wheel, you will be greeted with a half-and-half digital and analogue instrument panel, similar to the on the Leaf EV, which displays the flow of energy back and forth from the wheels to the battery, and from the battery to the motor, while you drive.
The Kicks accommodates four-and-a-half adults with ease, and the seats are comfortable. While rear passengers do not get their own air vents, the air-conditioning is powerful given it’s a Nissan. They do however have access to two rear-facing USB ports, sited at the rear of the centre console.
Drive and Performance:
Given its dynamic styling, you’d expect the Nissan Kicks to deliver a sporty drive. It does – just don’t expect the traditional kind of sportiness.
The “e-Power” in the Nissan Kicks’ name refers to its electrified drivetrain. The Kicks isn’t powered by its 1.2-litre 3-cylinder motor. That engine only acts as a generator to charge the lithium-ion batteries.
Driving the Kicks’ front wheels is a 127hp (95kW) electric motor that also delivers 280Nm of instant torque. Most eco-conscious drivers here will find that this drivetrain makes more sense than a full-electric one. Instead of having to find a charging point, you only need to pump petrol to keep the Kicks going.
You get to enjoy electric power and lower emissions, minus the stress of range anxiety.
When you press the accelerator to the floor, the Nissan Kicks accelerates quickly. This is shortly followed by the petrol engine, which is eager to keep the batteries charged. It takes 9.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. And, like a good pair of running shoes, the Kicks is willing to let the driver get his or her kicks by pushing hard.
The Nissan Kicks may not be designed for handling, but they don't mind being thrown into corners. Its small size gives it the sensation of a hatchback and makes it simple to drive.
The Nissan Kicks e-POWER also comes with several driving modes. Aside from the default Normal mode, Sport (S) and Eco modes are also on hand. Both latter settings allow for one-pedal driving – releasing the accelerator pedal results in strong regenerative braking that brings the crossover to a halt.
The one-pedal function is particularly useful in stop-and-go traffic, as it saves you from having to move your foot between pedals. But you should switch to Normal when parking, as this when the one-pedal function becomes a hindrance.
The Kicks’ efficiency is relatively good, too. I managed a combined consumption figure of 17.4km/L and with more expressway jaunts, this crept up to 18.2km/L – not far from Nissan’s claimed 21.7km/L.
Are this crossover’s looks and abilities enough to convince buyers?
Well, it’s certainly priced competitively. Starting at ₱ 1.239M to ₱1.539M, the Nissan Kicks e-POWER Premium Plus currently costs less than any other HEV’s in it’s category available in the market today.
With a whole suite of active safety features that complement the Kicks E-Power's seven airbags, this subcompact crossover really delivers beyond its price point. The Kicks is an efficient exercise in cost-cutting—you get leather seats, full LED lights, and tonnes of features, and in exchange some niceties are taken away: there isn't a rear centre armrest, or soft-touch/padded plastics on certain parts of the interior, and the meter cluster is only partially, rather than fully digital.
There’s only one thing I find annoying about the Kicks e-Power. When the generator is on, the car emits a very odd ringing noise, and you can hear it from the outside when the car approaching you.
All in all, I truly believe that this car is perfect for Manila streets. What you get with the Kicks E-Power is friendly car that has amazing fuel efficiency, features beyond its price range, and electric fun with non of the full-electric car drawbacks.
Go and take the car for a spin. Then see if you get your kicks from driving it, or if it gives you a kick in the pants. That goes double for the Nissan Kicks.