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A blue 2021 Nissan Kicks is shown from the rear driving through a city.

2021 Nissan Kicks: Kick Back and Relax

Do you know those moments of pure bliss when it’s just you, your vehicle, and the open road? Since you’re looking for a commuter vehicle, you likely know this experience. There’s also a high possibility that the two highlights that you actively seek when shopping for a new vehicle are the ability to save money on fuel and a comfortable ride. After all, these two aspects are what make up some of the very best commuter vehicles in the industry, and the 2021 Nissan Kicks is one of those vehicles.

The differences between this year’s model and last year’s start with a new and improved exterior. This is also true for the interior in regards to design and media implementation. The 2021 Kicks model now sports a standard installation of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto within a 7-inch infotainment center. With these new features, your commute will be more simplified and even more entertaining.

Trim Levels

Let’s discuss trim levels before we get into the proverbial meat and potatoes here. There are three trim levels for the 2021 Kicks, and the entry-level model, S, is listed at a starting price of $19,550. At this starting price, the Kicks is slated to compete with other models that are priced at under $20,000, which is a tough market to break. The base model mostly gains its praise in the form of a host of advanced safety features that come at no extra charge to the driver, such as Automatic Emergency Braking for vehicles and pedestrians to prevent front-end accidents from occurring.

SV is the next trim level, and this adds an upgraded infotainment center and Intelligent Cruise Control, among others. Intelligent Cruise Control will shift your speed up and down depending on your distance between other drivers, and this will greatly alleviate some of the stress of commuting. The last trim for the 2021 Kicks is SR, and with this trim, you’ll have a specialized interior with exclusive stitching on the seats, and you can also expect a leather-wrapped steering wheel for that dash of luxury. Additionally, many features are optional for the SR, and you won’t find them on any other trim.

A close up shows the rear tire of an orange 2021 Nissan Kicks.

All About Efficiency

The 2021 Nissan Kicks isn’t meant to give you supercar levels of performance, but you aren’t expecting that, so tempered expectations aren’t required. If you’re interested in fantastic fuel efficiency, then look no further. During your commute, you’ll be treated to EPA-estimated ratings of 31 MPG city, 36 MPG highway, and 33 MPG combined. This is primarily achieved with ease as the powertrain that makes the Kicks move is a small-size 1.6L 4-cylinder paired to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). This engine produces 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque, which is enough for everyday travel, and we’ll gladly take the smaller carbon footprint when commuting. Regardless of which of the three trims you purchase, this is what you’ll be receiving in regards to power.

It’s Comfortable Too

A commuter vehicle isn’t much of a daily driver if it isn’t comfortable to use. With the 2021 Kicks, you can customize your ride with a host of comfort-oriented features, although most of these will be available on trim levels higher than the base model. Some of these features include a premium sport-oriented trim with cloth seats, and those who wish to do so can also spring for leather seats on the SR trim. This complements the leather-wrapped steering wheel that already comes standard with this trim, and this steering wheel can also have heating elements added to it, making it a cozy drive in the winter. Some drivers may be turned off by the manually adjustable seats, but many drivers are the type to not adjust their seats once they’ve found their ideal position.

These seats also have another neat feature that we’d like to discuss, and it directly ties into the sound system of your 2021 Kicks. For starters, the first two trim levels for the Kicks will come with a decent speaker system that comes standard; however, opting for the SR is the only way to change this. With the SR, you’ll have the choice between this standard sound system or a more premium option by Bose, often regarded as the pinnacle of audio equipment. This upgraded speaker system increases the number of speakers in your cabin to eight, but that’s not all. Opting for this Bose audio system will also fit speakers onto the headrest of your Kicks, and this gives your music a surround-sound feel during your commute that other audio systems can only dream of replicating. This feature is called Bose UltraNearfield, and it’s something that we hope more manufacturers adopt in the future.

The interior of a 2021 Nissan Kicks shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

Making Your Commute Fun

Manufacturers such as Nissan have become masters of the craft in providing customers with vehicles that now handle many of the hands-on tasks that you once would have to perform. They also provide you with ample opportunities to stay connected or enjoy listening to media while on your commute. Whether you like music, podcasts, or audiobooks, you can listen to them during your commute with the 2021 Nissan Kicks. The key to a fun commute lies in the available technology.

Every Kicks model now comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, which you can utilize depending on the smartphone that you own. With Apple CarPlay comes Siri Hands-Free. If you own an iPhone, you can simply ask questions to your virtual assistant, and you can activate numerous features such as contacting someone from your phonebook, changing the song, asking for the weather, and even utilizing directions. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto greatly enhance your commute, and this is because you’ll have free range to use any 3rd party map app so long as it’s supported with Apple CarPlay. Subscribed to a certain music subscription? This is no worry either, as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come with app stores that allow you to download a variety of apps, including popular ones such as Pandora and Spotify. Best of all, these features come included with every 2021 Kicks trim.

Not Just for Kicks

This year’s rendition of the Nissan Kicks is a welcomed change to last year’s model as it retains much of what made last year’s model so great, and that includes the advanced safety features. While last year’s model did include features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto, they were relegated to the higher trim levels, meaning you had to pay more to get them, whereas this year, they come on all trims. It’s changes like these that make the 2021 Nissan Kicks such a good choice for commuters, whether you buy the simple base model or the higher SV or SR trims.

This year’s Kicks takes a note from competing models that offer drivers with a more diverse feature set at the base level. We’re also pleased with the two higher-tier trims this time around, and if you want maximum comfort, you’ll want to go for one of these, preferably the SR. When you want a ride that brings comfort and enjoyment to your commute, you might want to take a look at the Nissan Kicks.

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