As Sales Begin, the Nissan Kicks Will Be an Interesting Vehicle to Watch

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
as sales begin the nissan kicks will be an interesting vehicle to watch

Some of you might have read our first-drive review of the subcompact Nissan Kicks out of simple curiosity, knowing that the vehicle would never find its way into your driveway. And that’s fine.

For myself and others, the Kicks holds more interest simply because of what it is — a lightweight, unpretentious, fuel efficient addition to the crossover space with a very low starting price. Low enough to serve as an effective alternative to thrifty compact or subcompact car buyers. North of the border, that entry price ($17,998, eight bucks more than U.S. MSRP) is four grand less than a base, front-drive, three-cylinder Ford EcoSport. In the States, it’s two grand less.

With the front-drive-only Kicks now available in both countries, its sales performance will be interesting to watch. Actually, it already is.

The first U.S. Kicks sales showed up on Nissan’s ledger in June — 563 of them. Just how high the model’s volume will reach in the coming months remains to be seen; keep in mind that Nissan sold over 37,000 Rogues and nearly 27,000 Altimas last month.

In Canada however, the Kicks seems to have gotten an earlier start. Nissan Canada recorded six Kicks sales in May, perhaps on the last selling day of the month, but it’s June’s performance that gave your author pause. When it debuted, I surmised that this model would, in many cases, swing low-end Nissan buyers from a car to a crossover. We’re more heavily taxed up here, and fuel prices are nearly double that of the United States. But we love light trucks just as much as the Americans, if not more.

In June, the first full month of Kicks sales, Nissan Canada unloaded 609 of the little crossovers. For comparison, the automaker also sold 612 Altimas, 159 Maximas, 688 Versa Notes, 618 Pathfinders, 377 Frontiers, and 684 Titans last month. While one month isn’t much to go on, it’s amusing to see the Kicks approach the EcoSport’s volume so quickly (the EcoSport went on sale at the beginning of the year, selling 641 units in Canada in May. June figures remain unavailable).

How many C-HRs did Toyota Canada sell in June? 679. Other Japanese subcompact rivals had a better month, as both the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 posted numbers well in excess of 1,000 units. Again, it remains to be seen if the Kicks’ bargain proposition earns it a spot in the upper echelon of the segment, especially in a market where available all-wheel drive is the norm, and with good reason. For would-be Versa and Sentra buyers, however, that missing rear differential might not matter in the least.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Carroll Prescott Carroll Prescott on Jul 10, 2018

    Is there a boobie prize for winning the ugliest vehicle in the world? Japanese automakers have doubled down to win that very prize.

  • Izackl Izackl on Jul 11, 2018

    whoa, its 2018 and you can still buy a car with drum brakes on the rear.

  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I owned an 87 Thunderbird aka the second generation aero bird. It was a fine driving comfortable and very reliable car. Quite underrated compared to the GM G-body mid sized coupes since unlike them they had rack and pinion steering and struts on all four wheels plus fuel injection which GM was a bit late to the game on their mid and full sized cars. When I sold it I considered a Mark VII LSC which like many had its trouble prone air suspension deleted and replaced with coils and struts. Instead I went for a MN-12 Thunderbird.
  • SCE to AUX Somebody got the bill of material mixed up and never caught it.Maybe the stud was for a different version (like the 4xe) which might use a different fuel tank.