2023 Nissan Kicks: Value Forward

The 2023 Nissan kicks is a subcompact SUV made for navigating city streets. We look at cargo space, interior options, and more. Find out what we think here.

What’s New for the 2023 Nissan Kicks?

Unchanged versus the 2022 model that we review here, the 2023 Nissan Kicks continues its value-first mission by entering the new model year with a base price increase of just $370 and no other changes. Slotting below the Rogue Sport, which we compare with the Kicks here.

The Kicks is the smallest of Nissan’s SUV offerings stands out from a crowded field by offering a high level of standard safety features and infotainment goodies for not a lot of money. Its lack of AWD, diminutive size, and engine point to the fact that the Kicks is best used as an urban runabout, and in that role, it avails itself just fine.

2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com

2023 Nissan Kicks – nissanusa.com |  Shop 2023 Nissan Kicks on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $21,585





Fuel Economy

31 City / 36 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats


Seats 5

The Breakdown

Very affordable

Smart cabin on SR

Deep roster of driver aids

Tepid engine

Lukewarm warranty

Mini gas tank

Strong value proposition

2023 Kicks Specs

Trims & Pricing

S - $21,585
SV - $23,445
SR - $24,145

2023 Nissan Kicks Powertrain 

2023 Nissan Kicks 1.6L I4 - Gold Pony on youtube.com
2023 Nissan Kicks 1.6L I4 - Gold Pony on youtube.com

Every 2023 Nissan Kicks comes with the same naturally aspirated 1.6L inline-4 making 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission handles “shifting” duty on this FWD-only subcompact SUV. Fortunately, the Kicks only weighs about 2,700 pounds, but it still takes nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop. Couple that with the independent front suspension and twist-beam rear setup, and you have a vehicle that won’t be setting any backroad twisties on fire.

All that being said, the 2023 Kicks is clearly aimed at around-town driving where big power and tight suspensions are not necessary. In fact, base S models even feature old-school drum brakes out back, something you don’t see too much of anymore. It’s part of an overall approach to keep the base model very inexpensive.

If you are looking for a bit more engagement, pony up for the mid-pack SV model that comes with the Integrated Dynamics-Control Module. It adds smart features like Active Ride Control which can smooth the ride via brake application and torque adjustment, and Intelligent Trace Control, which can brake individual wheels to help the driver steer a cleaner line through a corner.

2023 Nissan Kicks Fuel Economy & MPG

2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com

A big upside to that small powertrain is excellent fuel efficiency. Ratings of 31 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway put it ahead of competition like the Honda HR-V, which we compare here, and its 28/34 mpg ratings for city/highway driving. Be aware that if you are planning a road trip, the Kicks has a miniature 10.8-gallon gas tank that will naturally limit the range between fill-ups.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

With seating for five, the two-row Kicks can technically get you and your friends around, but the 33-inches of rear legroom is on the tight side. A Hyundai Kona squeezes in an extra two inches for this metric. Cloth upholstery is the only choice unless you opt for the Premium package on a top-spec SR model, which adds Prima-Tex faux leather. Going that route dresses up the cabin with silver-colored seats trimmed with black inserts and red stitching.

Cargo space behind the back seat is rated for 25 cubic feet and though that bench does split-fold in a 60-40 configuration, it does not fold flat. So you can put objects up to 57-inches longer back there, but the lack of a flat load floor makes packing this space tricky. Given its value approach, don’t be surprised that standard amenities are limited to power accessories and push-button start. To access modern conveniences like automatic climate control, and heated front seats requires the Kicks SR.

Entertainment & Technology

2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are standard fare on the 2023 Nissan Kicks, as is a 7-inch touchscreen interface and multi-function steering wheel with haptic controls. As you move through the trim hierarchy, a larger 8-inch screen can be had along with a digital screen within the gauge cluster and four USB ports. However, all the best stuff like an 8-speaker Bose audio system with speakers integrated into the driver’s headrest and NissanConnect Services with a Wi-Fi hotspot, remote vehicle access, and Over-The-Air updates are only available atop that hierarchy.

Safety Features

The 2023 Kicks has a strong safety game with 10 standard airbags and seven advanced driver aids included under the Safety Shield 360 umbrella. They include forward collision warning with automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert.

SV trim levels and above come with adaptive cruise control and intelligent driver alertness, with the top SR trim featuring an Around View Monitor that stitches together a 360-degree overhead image to make for safer maneuvering.

2023 Nissan Kicks Trims & Pricing

2023 Nissan Kicks S - carsforsale.com
2023 Nissan Kicks S - carsforsale.com

S – $21,585

When you consider the bargain pricing and solid roster of standard equipment, it’s fair to say this base model Kicks has earned a spot on our list of Best Subcompact SUVs. Features include power-adjustable side mirrors and keyless entry, cruise control, black cloth upholstery, and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display. Apple and Android device mirroring are included as are six speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, and Siri Eyes-Free tech.

2023 Nissan Kicks SV - carsforsale.com
2023 Nissan Kicks SV - carsforsale.com

SV – $23,445

SV models are dressed up with 17-inch alloy wheels and additional paint color options including a two-tone affair that looks quite snazzy in Monarch Orange with a gloss black roof. The central touchscreen is bumped to eight inches, an additional USB port is added for a total of four, and the driver aids are bolstered by ACC, Rear Door Alert, and a driver attention monitor.

2023 Nissan Kicks SR - nissanusa.com
2023 Nissan Kicks SR - nissanusa.com

SR – $24,145

The top-dog SR sports full exterior LED lighting and remote engine start with an intelligent climate control feature that tempers the cabin before you get in. That cabin comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, and an Around View Monitor. For $1,200, the Premium package adds an 8-speaker Bose stereo system, Prima-Tex upholstery, heat for the front seats and steering wheel, and NissanConnect services.


When it comes to Nissan’s warranty, there is really nothing noteworthy. Basic vehicle coverage is good for three years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain is covered for five years or 60,000 miles. Hyundai embarrasses Nissan with its 10-year powertrain warranty and three years of complimentary maintenance, the latter of which is not included to any degree with Nissan.

What we think

2023 Nissan Kicks - nissanusa.com

2023 Nissan Kicks – nissanusa.com |  Shop 2023 Nissan Kicks on Carsforsale.com

To appreciate the 2023 Nissan Kicks, you need to put it in the context of a simple vehicle focused on value. Basics like power accessories and air-conditioning are included, as is a respectable level of infotainment tech and advanced safety features. Could it use a bigger engine? Yes, but that drives cost up, fuel efficiency down, and moves the Kicks away from its core purpose as a local runabout.

While you can enjoy premium features on the top model with the Premium package, I would go bargain basement and stick to the basic Kicks S. For a litter more than $21,000, you get capable transportation in a cute crossover envelope that sips fuel and doesn’t break the bank. If you can save money via the latest incentives, even better.

Related Review Articles

New vs Used Chevrolet Malibu

2023 Ford Escape Review

2023 Ford Maverick: New Tremor Flavor

Niel Stender

Niel Stender grew up doing replacement work on his 1990 Cherokee and 1989 Starion, so it’s not surprising that he would put his mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Hampshire to use in the car world as a vehicle dynamics engineer. Now engineering sentence structures, his writing infuses his auto experience with his time in marketing and his sales experience. Writing about cars for close to a decade now, he focuses on some of the more technical mechanical systems that are found under the hood and throughout a vehicle.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *