After months of spy shots from various sources, Nissan has finally pulled the covers off the 2020 Kicks.
Making its world debut in The Land of Smiles, the 2020 Kicks e-Power is Nissan's latest entry into the subcompact crossover arena and is set to go up against the Ford EcoSport, Suzuki Vitara, and Hyundai Kona.
The thing is, there's something special about the Kicks e-Power that sets it apart from the crossovers we just mentioned. More on that later.
By now, we already know what it looks like. After all, it was spotted with almost no camouflage about a month ago. Side by side with the pre-facelift Kicks sold in other parts of the world, the updated model sees several significant changes. The B-segment crossover now adapts a bolder interpretation of the V-Motion grill, while the headlights are now longer and sleeker than before. The front bumper has been rounded off with new corner air intakes to complement the changes.
The 2020 Kicks also rides on a new set of rims with a slimmer spoke design. The taillights have been given a slight tweak as well, now with slimmer reverse lights and turn signals. Also, part of the rear bumper is now body-colored which was either left unpainted or had a strip of chrome in last year's model.
Inside, there's a two-tone interior and a unique instrument cluster. The cluster shows the vehicle's battery status, range, and other energy-related matters. There are also a variety of interior colors to choose from, depending on the variant chosen. There's also a special gear selector in the Kicks e-Power, which is similar in use and design as the Leaf EV. As for the rest of the cabin, it's been mildly updated from the pre-facelift model with a few trim changes in the cabin.
The Kicks also has another piece of technology from the Leaf: the e-Pedal which allows for one-pedal driving in most situations. There's no need to step on the brake as letting go of the accelerator would slow the vehicle down. The system may also be turned off if the driver prefers to stick to the traditional two-pedal drive.
Intelligent Mobility is also available and includes features such as Intelligent Cruise Control, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and Intelligent Rear View Mirror.
So what's that thing that makes the Kicks e-Power special? The major highlight here is under the hood. The Kicks now comes with Nissan's novel hybrid system dubbed e-Power. Unlike a conventional parallel hybrid (i.e. Prius), an e-Power system has the electric motors primarily driving the wheels. The gas engine serves as a generator for the engine, while the electric drive system provides the drive. This translates to a total system output of 129 PS and 260 Nm of torque.
The question now is this: Will the Kicks e-Power land here in the Philippines? Yutaka Sanada, Nissan Regional Senior Vice President, Nissan Motor Asia & Oceania, expressed great interest in expanding the e-Power system in the region. With the Leaf on the way here, there might be a chance that the Kicks e-Power will be offered locally as well, especially since it doesn't require any charging infrastructure.
Nissan has hinted that the Kicks will be the replacement of the aging Juke in the Philippine market as the new generation model will be primarily for other markets like Europe and Australia.