Nissan Kicks in competition in the SUV turf

Japanese automaker Nissan on Tuesday launched its new compact SUV model Kicks in India to take on rival SUVs in the world’s fifth fiercely competitive car market in India and to boost sales.

Priced between Rs 9.55 lakh and Rs 14.65 lakh, the Nissan Kicks SUV will compete with the likes of Hyundai Creta, the Renault Captur, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross and Mahindra XUV300, which are priced in the range of Rs 8.85 lakh and Rs 15.64 lakh.

The company claimed that the model would deliver a fuel efficiency of 14.23 km per litre for petrol variants and 20.45 km per litre for diesel trims.

The petrol versions are priced at Rs 9.55 lakh and Rs 10.95 lakh, while the diesel variants are priced at Rs 10.85 lakh, Rs 12.49 lakh, Rs 13.65 lakh and Rs 14.65 lakh.

Interestingly, even the base variant of Nissan Kicks gets features such as a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, LED DRLs, power windows, power-adjustable wing mirrors with integrated turn indicators, automatic climate control, rear AC vents and a Bluetooth, USB and Aux-enabled audio system with four speakers.

The top-end model gets the segment-first 360-degree camera, along with kit like an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a telematics-enabled smartwatch, steering-mounted controls, an optional contrast finish for the roof, LED headlamps, leatherette upholstery, cruise control, push-button start and automatic headlamps and wipers. Safety kit on all variants includes dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, a rear defogger, rear parking sensors while the range-topping variant adds two more airbags, hill-start assist and rear fog lamps.

The new Kicks model is powered by the 1.5-litre petrol engine that makes 106hp and 142Nm of torque and the 1.5-litre diesel motor produces 110hp and 240Nm of torque. The petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual as standard while the diesel comes paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Peyman Kargar, senior vice president of Nissan Motor and chairman of management committee for Africa, Middle East, and India, said the vehicle reflects company's commit-ment to bring the best of Nissan global products and technology to India.

“Our research and development (R&D) and design teams in India developed the SUV in collaboration with our teams in Japan, America and Brazil,” he said.

Thomas Kuehl, president at Nissan India, said with its progressive design, the Kicks will stand out in the competitive SUV segment in the country.

Globally, the Kicks is built on the Micra platform but for India, Nissan will be manufacturing the Kicks on the Renault Duster's M0 platform but with a few updates.

The new Nissan Kicks is a looker with its sharp, upright styling with edgy lines. The V-shaped grille with a thick chrome border and those sweptback headlamps give the Kicks a rather stylish appearance.

Viewed in profile, the crossover stance with the contrast roof and sleek body add a youthful and a sporty demeanor to the SUV. The 17-inch alloys along with a ground clearance of 210 mm add that SUV flair to the overall crossover-like stance.

The company said bookings for the new Nissan Kicks have already begun with down payment of Rs 25,000 at any Nissan dealership or online.

michaelgonsalves@mydigitalfc.com

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