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New York 2024: An AWD 2025 Nissan Kicks, and the Promise of a Tempting Price Tag

2025 Nissan Kicks | Photo: D.Rufiange
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Daniel Rufiange
Nissan promises competitive pricing for this new generation of the small SUV

New York, NY - The 2025 Nissan Kicks was officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show this week. Forget, however, the full-scale press conference, the lifting of the canvas to reveal the new-generation model, and the thunderous video montage that usually accompanies it all. 

Leading up to all that, Nissan proceeded with an online unveiling a few days before the show; then accompanying the on-site media presentation, on hand were the new Kicks’ designers, including the model’s chief designer Alfonso Albaisa. 

Unveiling of 2025 Nissan Kicks
Unveiling of 2025 Nissan Kicks | Photo: D.Rufiange

The 2025 Nissan Kicks: what's new?

We described the 2025 Kicks last week. Suffice to summarize that the model is undergoing its first major redesign, having been presented first in 2017 as a 2018 model. 

With this overhaul, the SUV changes vocation, as it climbs a little in the range to not only meet the needs of its traditional buyers but also of those who once turned to the Qashqai. 

All-wheel drive is now included. Of the three versions on offer (S, SV and SR), the first two will be front-wheel drive, the other all-wheel drive, but that configuration will be available as an option with the first two. 

The all-new 2025 Nissan Kicks, front
The all-new 2025 Nissan Kicks, front | Photo: D.Boshouwers

Mechanically, the Kicks abandons its 1.6L 4-cylinder for a larger, more powerful engine, the Sentra's 2.0L 4-cylinder. Output increases from 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque to 141 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque. Yes, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is once again responsible for the link to the wheels.

2025 Nissan Kicks, interior
2025 Nissan Kicks, interior | Photo: Nissan
Interior of 2025 Nissan Kicks
Interior of 2025 Nissan Kicks | Photo: D.Rufiange

On board, the model's squarer design translates into more ample interior space, with a cargo volume of 850 litres behind the second row, or 1,700 litres behind the first. 

That's pretty good for a subcompact SUV. 

And as Alfonso Albaisa pointed out during his presentation, the cabin’s straighter sides at the rear mean more headroom and shoulder room. Note also that Nissan's “zero gravity” seats are now present not just at the front, but also at the rear. 

Seating of 2025 Nissan Kicks
Seating of 2025 Nissan Kicks | Photo: Nissan

About those seats: Often, manufacturers want to make a splash with patented technologies and spectacular names like these. And often, you can't tell the difference. However, the zero gravity seats really are beneficial on longer road trips. In 2019, while traveling Route 66 with Nissan, I spent three full days aboard a Kicks, for a total of around 2,000 km. My back, normally more sensitive to long rides, was as fresh as a rose every time. 

Elsewhere inside, all variants feature a 12.3-inch screen on the centre console, and it’s possible to connect wirelessly to the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications. As for the screen in front of the driver, it’s 7.0 inches with the first two variants, 12.3 inches with the SR trim. 

2025 Nissan Kicks SR grey
2025 Nissan Kicks SR grey | Photo: D.Rufiange

In the flesh
At the show, we were able to sit aboard the vehicle to get a better impression than that left by statistical data or simple descriptions on paper. 

It’s clear the new Kicks takes a step forward in terms of refinement. The bar to beat the old model was low, to be honest, but it is well executed here. 

Of course, we were presented with an SR version, and that's fair enough, but the layout, surface mix and color scheme are pleasing to the eye, and the quality of the materials has improved. The screens offer clear, easy-to-read graphics, much like those seen on the Rogue. 

This is definitely a more wide-open space - you feel less trapped on board. This is to be expected, given the vehicle's greater mass. 

We'll have to wait and see to know about the vehicle’s on-road behaviour, but the first Kicks offered a very dynamic experience. Hopefully, the same formula will be applied to the chassis adjustments. Here’s hoping Nissan’s designer were more interested in recapturing the behaviour of the first Kicks than that of the excitement-challanged Qashqai. 

2025 Nissan Kicks at the New York Auto Show
2025 Nissan Kicks at the New York Auto Show | Photo: D.Boshouwers

And the price?
Obviously, a big question when a new model arrives concerns pricing. Since the 2025 Kicks won't be arriving until late summer, we weren't told anything yet. 

From where we stand, the success of the new Kicks will depend in large part on whether the price is right. We pressed the issue with Steve Milette, President of Nissan Canada. 

Here's what he had to say: “It's going to be competitive, we have no choice if we want to establish ourselves in this segment.” Asked if the base price was going to be closer to $25,000 or $30,000, he declined to wade straight in, but he did mention that it would be “similar to today. Of course, with a newer, more recent vehicle offering more technology, we can expect a small increase, but it won't be much higher.”

Considering that the base version is currently advertised at $22,198 (including transport and preparation costs), we can probably expect something closer to $25,000 than $30,000. Our prediction? A tick under the $25,000 mark, or at worst, $27,000. We'll have to see, of course, what's announced this summer. 

In all-wheel drive configuration, however, we'd expect a starting price in the neighborhood of $33,000 or $35,000. 

2025 Nissan Kicks SR, rear, hatch
2025 Nissan Kicks SR, rear, hatch | Photo: D.Boshouwers

A new role
About the 2025 Kicks’s new vocation, Steve Millette was clear: “The new Kicks has the potential to become the flagship model in terms of sales volume, ahead of the Rogue. The fact that it's bigger, that it now offers all-wheel drive (which could account for 60 percent of sales), and that the range of models and prices is wider, it's going to meet the needs of a wider customer base."

Could the new Kicks then outsell the old Kicks and Qashqai combined? Said Milette, “It replaces both. It's going to take a little time, as our production ramps up to maximum capacity, but that's the goal with this model.”

So that's what to expect from this new Kicks, which will make its debut in late summer or early autumn. 

Exterior design of 2025 Nissan Kicks SR
Exterior design of 2025 Nissan Kicks SR | Photo: D.Boshouwers
Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists