Nissan Philippines has been busy this 2021.
Apart from launching the all-electric Note EV, the automaker also introduced the refreshed Navara pick-up truck. Still, we're expecting more to come later, as Nissan has yet to debut the updated Terra in the region, as well as the new Almera.
But one model we're anticipating for the Philippine market is the Kicks, a subcompact crossover that would effectively replace the Juke. Now we have a good indicator: Nissan made some changes to the lineup on their homepage.
If you check the Nissan Philippines website, you'll notice that the Juke has been dropped from the lineup. It's not really a surprise as the Juke is one of the oldest models in the lineup alongside the Sylphy and the Almera, having first debuted in 2010 (global) and was on sale until it was “discontinued” in most countries in 2019. Sales continued in the Philippines up until now.
The change is a good indicator that they're preparing for a new model, and it is highly unlikely that the model will be the second-generation Juke.
There is no other candidate apart from the Kicks. Its arrival has been unofficially confirmed by the ASEAN NCAP. For those that don't remember, the crash test agency listed the Kicks for the Philippine market, including several of the features it will have.
Still, Nissan Philippine's has been quiet about the Kick's arrival. We have yet to see any teaser or receive an announcement about an upcoming launch. But with the Juke removed from the lineup, it's a sign of things to come.
What can we expect from the Kicks? Well, it could be the first e-Power hybrid vehicle offered in the country. That powertrain produces 129 PS and 260 Nm torque. Meanwhile, other countries in the ASEAN region get a 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine good for 156 PS and 254 Nm torque, or a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four-cylinder producing 106 PS and 142 Nm torque. But one thing's for certain, the Kicks is one safe crossover.
The only problem that Nissan faces with the arrival of the new B-segment crossover is that they will enter a much more competitive segment with a new generation of models that includes (but not limited to) the Suzuki Vitara, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen T-Cross, and the Geely Coolray.
As to how the Kicks will compete, we will really have to see what the specs are, how it feels to drive, and crucially, the price.