Nissan is bringing a new premium SUV to India and it is called the Kicks. This is the first in a slew of premium vehicles that Nissan has planned for the Indian market and it begins its innings with an SUV to take on the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster, and production-spec Kia SP. However, the car we are comparing it with today is one of the smaller players in the segment- the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross. It’s the Indo-Japanese automaker’s most promising attempt at a place in the premium SUV/crossover segment and here is how it stands up to the Kicks. We’ve already driven the Kicks as well as the S-Cross and you can read about that here and here.
The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross in typical Maruti fashion plays it safe in terms of appearance. It’s a crossover and one of the first to take up this body shape in the Indian car market. Highlights include the grille, design of the alloy wheels as well as the shape of the tail lamps.
The Kicks, on the other hand, looks far more exciting thanks to a multitude of strong body lines all around. Highlights of the Kicks’ exterior design include the signature Nissan V motion grille, heavily flared wheel arches, contrast coloured roof and a rather funky looking rear end with unique tail lamps and a silver coloured bash plate element.
Just like the exterior, Maruti Suzuki has once again played it safe with the interiors. You get everything that’s standard in this part of the market like a touchscreen infotainment system, height adjustment for the driver’s seat, climate control, leather upholstery, rear AC vents and arm rest for front and rear seats. Boot space stands at 353-litres, but the rear seats can fold down for additional space.
Given that this is Nissan’s most major attempt at wanting to bring a car into a segment, it has really pulled out all stops for the Kicks. In addition to having the same features as the S-Cross, it also comes with a 360 degree camera, 4 airbags, auto headlamps and auto wipers. The Kicks’ cabin has been trimmed out in a combination of brown and black while for the S-Cross the whole cabin is black.
Engine and gearbox
The Maruti S-Cross is only offered with the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel in the 90bhp/190Nm state of tune. This engine powers the front wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. There’s expected to be a petrol version of the S-Cross and this will be powered by the new 1.5-litre unit found in the Ciaz and Ertiga MPV.
The Kicks, on the other hand, is being offered with a 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engine set up. There’s only a manual transmission on offer and in the case of the former is a five-speed unit while the latter is offered with a six-speed manual. We expect that as a part of the planned updates, Nissan will add an AT option for the Kicks.
Nissan is expected to price the Kicks in the range of Rs 9.99 lakhs to about Rs 15 lakhs for the top-of-the-line XV diesel variant. It will be launched in India in January 2019 with bookings open from 14 December.