2023 Nissan Kicks SR: Surprising and Affordable
Nissan has been steadily giving their entire lineup a refresh, starting with the Kicks and the larger Armada SUV for the 2021 model year. This 2023 SR model is the top trim and comes with many niceties at an affordable price point.
The story that did not get told on camera with our time in this vehicle is all of the weather and life situations it got us through. By the time we filmed both reviews, we had seen rain. LOTS of rain. This Kicks was able to navigate torrential downpours on Houston highways just fine. Being a front-wheel drive with a continuously variable transmission, we would have liked to see a little more power or an actual geared transmission, but it held its own given the driving conditions. Nissan has been slowly replacing the CVT in models with a 9-speed automatic in their other vehicles, but have kept the CVT in the Kicks.
After the videos were filmed and edited, we had a winter storm, Texas-style. We do not really get blizzards, we get ice. Freezing rain covered everything and refroze causing road closures. Trees were covered in ice causing branches to snap and fall causing power outages. We loaded this Kicks up with the whole family and all our perishable items from the fridge and headed to stay with family who still had power. The Kicks was able to handle all our luggage and food without a problem, though we did have to play a game of Tetris to fit it all in just right.
Our model had optional roof crossbars for loading luggage up top if you need more space than the 25.3 cubic feet of space behind the back seats or 53.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded, you could load stuff up top. It did however cut into our observed fuel economy. The EPA estimates on the window sticker show 31 mpg city, 36 mpg on the highway. We observed 31 in our mostly highway miles going to and from Houston. I will say, Texas speed limits are 75 mph on that route, that too could cut into the fuel economy numbers as well.
The interior was comfortable for the over 600 miles we put on this vehicle over the two weeks that we had it. The 2-stage heated Prima-Tex® seats kept us warm and were very comfortable along the long trek. The two-tone with contrasting stitching added an additional flare we enjoyed. Infotainment comes with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an 8-inch color touchscreen that was easy to use and snappy in its response.
The rear seat room was about what you would expect in this size class, though it was not uncomfortable. We did have to negotiate the front seat a little to accommodate Tucker riding in his car seat in the back. At 5’10” however, I was able to comfortably sit behind my driving position. All seats are manually adjustable, which is a little disappointing for me and my 5” wife, but we made it work just fine switching between drivers.
Loading up our luggage into the back really surprised me as I was able to get our largest suitcase in longitudinally with room to spare. Many larger vehicles have far too short a rear cargo area to accommodate, which makes loading all our luggage a game of Tetris. This was really simple, and at 25.3 cubic feet as mentioned earlier, there is nearly as much space behind the back seat of this Kicks as there is behind the third row of a Chevy Tahoe!
We ended up having this crossover for just under two full weeks and were pleased all the way around. No, it is not the most luxurious, powerful, or flashy vehicle, but at $27,915 as this one was optioned, it did not break the bank either and still had almost all the options we wanted.
2023 Nissan Kicks SR Specs:
1.6L 4-cylinder Engine
114 lb.-ft. of Torque
Nissan’s Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission
Independent Strut Front Suspension with Coil Springs
Twist Beam Rear Suspension
17-inch 205/55R17 All-season Tires
17-inch Black Alloy Wheels
Heated Manually-adjustable Front Seats
Two-tone Prima-Tex® Seats with Contrasting Orange Stitching
Heated Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel
Adaptive Cruise Control
8-inch Color Touchscreen Infotainment
Bose Audio with 8 Speakers including Driver’s Headrest
7-inch Advanced Drive Assist Display Screen for Driver
Single-zone Automatic Climate Control
Optional Roof Crossrails
Proximity Key with Push Button Start
EPA Fuel Economy 31/36/33 (city/hwy/cmb)
Starting Price: $20,290
Price as tested: $27,915