Anyone else have "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People stuck in their heads? Well, you do now. I couldn't be the only one. Anyway, the 2018 Nissan Kicks is a thing. It replaces the Nissan Juke, which Mr. Stocksdale thought was a bad idea and Mr. Myself thought was a smart idea. Nevertheless, neither of us were especially pumped up by the Kicks.
However, the majority of car buyers are all about SUVs, and this littlest segment of them has been multiplying like Tribbles in the past few years. The Juke was one of the first of these subcompact crossovers, but it was probably too oddball for a mainstream audience (not to mention inefficient) and never really caught on. Newer competitors certainly didn't help.
Well, to see how the Kicks compares to those very competitors, lets fire up the Autoblog Comparo Generator 3000 (TM). Specifically, we'll be looking at those subcompact crossovers with similarly small dimensions, especially low prices and/or a disinclination to offering all-wheel drive. We're talking about the Nissan Kicks vs the Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade. Now, if you're interested in literally the exact opposite SUV segment, check out our recent Mercedes G-Class comparo.
Otherwise, on to the spreadsheet:
Dimensions and passenger spaceIn terms of exterior dimensions, the new Kicks is right smack in the middle of the segment. It's virtually the same as the Honda HR-V, and although its cargo volume is equally similar with the backseat raised, without the Honda's "Magic" backseat (and the relocated gas tank that makes it possible), the Kicks will have less total cargo capacity. But we're just guessing — Nissan didn't provide a maximum cargo capacity number.
Nissan also didn't provide a ground clearance number, but judging by pictures, we'd be shocked if it's better than the C-HR's low-riding 5.9 inches. Given that neither the Kicks nor C-HR offer all-wheel drive, how are these not hatchbacks? We never considered the Soul a crossover or SUV until these competitors arrived. Anyhoo.
Backseat legroom seems to be a Kicks downside, as all but the C-HR surpass it. (Seriously, it's almost impressive how large the C-HR is on the outside but cramped inside.) Headroom in the Kicks is pretty good, though, so people with short legs and exceedingly long torsos are set. Really, if you're looking for the most generous passenger space in this segment, the Soul and HR-V are your best bets.
What do their interiors look like?Why waste keystrokes when you can take a look for yourselves?