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Substantial Update for the 2021 Nissan Kicks

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Nissan unveils its substantially updated 2021 Kicks.

We knew things would be hopping at Nissan in 2021, but they’re looking to be even more hectic than expected. In addition to the new models coming down the pipeline, (the Frontier and Ariya, for example) and those being renewed for the new year (the Rogue, most notably), there are also mid-cycle updates that are more than window dressing, specifically for the Kicks and Armada models at opposite ends of the brand’s SUV lineup. Here we look at the Kicks.

See also: The 2021 Nissan Armada Introduced, Sporting a Beauty Makeover

See also: 2021 Nissan Rogue First Drive: Aggressively Conservative

Outside
The current, first-generation Kicks gets some notable changes as it arrives in the middle of its cycle. Most obvious are the changes made on the outside, starting with the transformation at the front. That end now features a larger bumper, double V-motion grille and slimmed-down headlights that echo some of the styling introduced with the new Rogue.

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2021 Nissan Kicks, three-quarters rear
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks, three-quarters rear

In the rear, the bumper is also new, and there's an LED light strip connecting the lights, helping to give the Kicks an appearance of width. The model is still available in distinct colour schemes, but three are new, and this two-tone approach (three new combinations too) continues to suit it well. New 17-inch wheels are also in the mix.

Worth noting, each trim comes with heated mirrors with integrated turn signals.

2021 Nissan Kicks, steering wheel, dashboard
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks, steering wheel, dashboard

Inside
The interior features a few new materials to enhance the presentation, for example a shiny black background serving as a backdrop for the climate system controls, and silver trim adorning the doors. The air vents have been redesigned and a new centre console with armrest makes its debut.

The goal here was simple; to deliver a more stylish impression to those who slip inside the Kicks.

Finally, the other big focus for Nissan in bringing updates was in the area of connectivity. Tech fiends will be happy to know that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications are now standard across the range. A new 8-inch screen is also available and there are now four USB sockets.

The other newly standard feature is the Nissan Safety Shield 360 Safety Suite, which offers six features including blind spot warning, automatic front and rear emergency braking and lane departure warning. For those who want to take advantage of adaptive cruise control while behind the wheel, it's now included on select models.

2021 Nissan Kicks, front
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks, front

The versions
The lineup consists of the S, SV and SR offerings. The latter trim is the one getting the greatest number of additions to its standard equipment, notably rear disc brakes, a centre console with armrests, intelligent cruise control, 8-inch screen and even a USB-C socket. Note that at the top of the hierarchy, a Premium Package is available with this SR variant. It adds 17-inch alloy wheels, leatherette seats and an intelligent peripheral camera.

Where do things not change with the 2021 Kicks? Under the hood, as we welcome back the 1.6L4-cylinder engine from before; it’s good for 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque.

In short, there are still several new features to be discovered with this 2021 Kicks, which we can expect to start appearing at dealerships in February.

2021 Nissan Kicks, profile
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks, profile
2021 Nissan Kicks, rear
Photo: Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks, rear
Photos:Nissan
2021 Nissan Kicks pictures