The 2018 Nissan Kicks is here, and boy what a snoozer. Even though we weren't huge fans of the polarizing Nissan Juke, at least it was a unique offering from Nissan that stood out from the typical small crossover crowd. It got even better with the slicker Nismo version, but the Juke is no more after this year. It's been replaced by the far less polarizing and more mainstream Kicks. The problem is that the Kicks is a boring as a slice of untoasted white bread. How this made it into production baffles us.
1. The Kicks Has Even Less Power
The sad Kicks is a bit of a kick in the head since it has one limp engine choice, a measly 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that manages to squeeze out a mere 125 horses and 115 lb-ft of torque. The Juke had 188 and 177, respectively, thanks to its turbocharging. The Kicks has one of the lowest horsepower motors in the segment, an embarrassing goal. And there is no upgrade. You have to settle for this weak engine that's sadly mated to a CVT. No manual transmission is even available to maximize the RPMs. At least you could get one in the Juke.
2. The Kicks Looks Even More Awkward
So the Juke wasn't winning any beauty contests, but at least it was radical with its wolf spider fascia and big haunches. The Kicks is clearly more mainstream but suffers as a result. It gets the odd floating roof that's getting overused by Nissan, the U-shaped Nissan grille in perhaps its most generic form, and an overall shape that's not particularly attractive. Even the interior is boring. At least its competitors, the Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and the upcoming Hyundai Kona are far more interesting.
3. The Kicks Doesn't Even Have Optional All-Wheel Drive
If you wanted to take the Kicks out for some mild off-roading, think again. It doesn't even have available all-wheel drive. The dog of an engine only routes power to the front wheels. At least the Juke had it as an option. We know that crossovers are hot, but the fact that the