Targets 500 units sales
By Theodore Opara
STALLION NMN, the Nissan Sales Company has premiered the Kicks, Nissan’s next generation B-segment crossover SUV, promising to assemble at least 500 units annually to ensure the vehicle is accessible and affordably priced. The kick is a 1.6 litre compact SUV with maximum power of 88kw and 149Nm of torque. It is very fuel efficient. Nissan claims that the Kicks can travel 16.4 kilometres with one litre of fuel within the city and 17.8 kilometres per litre of petrol on highway.
The Stallion NMN Managing Director, Parvir Singh, who recently dropped this hint in Lagos, at the media preview of the car said: “We are looking at assembling the Nissan Kicks very soon to further bring down the cost.”
The Kicks is undoubtedly everything Nissan has learned as the crossover pioneer and it has spared nothing in making the vehicle one of the most attractive crossover yet – incorporating Nissan’s design cues and tagline –”Innovation that Excites.”
An astonishing sport utility vehicle, SUV, Nissan Kicks comes equipped with the new Nissan V-motion platform recently integrated in the entire Nissan range of passenger vehicles. Also coming to Africa as one of the most reputable new vehicles in the world, the Kicks is undoubtedly big on attitude and self-expression, and will replace the Juke at the small end of Nissan’s SUV line-up, the dealership assured.
Among the Kicks most recent tributes in the global market scene are: ‘Best Value’ and ‘Best Compact CUV of Texas’ at a debut appearance in the Texas Truck Rodeo Awards 2018, “Best Crossover in South America; Car and Driver Brazil ‘Best Vehicle’ and ‘Best SUV of the Year’ and the coveted ‘SUV of the Year Award’ from Federation of Automotive Journalists in North and Latin America.
The jurors at these particular awards also applauded Nissan Kicks’ exemplary handling, striking design, surprising ample interior space and luxury interior ambience. These attributes were similarly accentuated by the Federation of Automotive journalists who had commended the ingenuity of the automaker to embed in a successful crossover C-segment features as a commanding driving position, higher ground clearance and hatchback semblance.
Designed to standout, the Kicks styling showcases the best of Nissan’s design elements including a large V-motion grille, clear wrap-around headlights and integrated boomerang LED daytime running lights on appropriate models.
A completely new crossover, the Kicks incorporates distinctive styling and nimble performance, combining Nissan Intelligent Mobility that guarantees seamless connectivity and advanced driver assistance features.
The striking front-end is complemented by blacked-out side pillars for a modern floating roof look, large wheels and a steeply sloping windscreen to give it a striking on-road presence. At the rear, the Kicks is fitted with an integrated spoiler.
First unveiled as a concept in 2014, and showcased across Brazil during summer 2016 to promote the Summer Olympics, of which Nissan was a lead sponsor, the Kicks boasts of being a design collaboration between Nissan’s design studios in California, USA, Rio de Janeiro-Brazil and Atsugi Japan.
Stallion NMN Head Sales and Marketing Amit Sharma who said this much at the media preview of the car in Lagos said: “While the striking front end has won it many compliments, it is Kicks’ profile view that has wowed judges at its many awards.
He said: “The designers took their time to black-out all three pillars to create the impression of a floating roof, which slopes towards the rear and meets a rising shoulder line at the C-pillar.”
Viewed from the angle he added, “The Kicks proudly display a high-ride height – 17” alloy wheels (16″ steel wheels on the Base model), with muscular matte black wheel arches and a steeply sloping rear windscreen that meets the roof towards the middle of the luggage compartment.”
At the back, the sculpted rear lights remind owners that the Kicks shares its DNA with the Juke, Qashqai and X-Trail, even though the tailgate emphasizes an integrated spoiler that widens below the rear lights to allow a very large opening for easy loading and unloading of luggage and gear, Mr. Sharma explained.
He said: Africa-based Kicks including Nigeria will have as standard six airbags Bluetooth Connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration with 17’ Alloy Wheels, integrated roof rails and a follow-me-home headlight module.
Despite its compact dimensions, the Kicks offers astonishing amounts of interior space – thanks in part to the brand-new Nissan architecture, which includes a longer-than-usual 2,620mm wheelbase.
What’s more, Nissan’s designers have utilised every inch of this space to offer a C-segment vehicle with best-in-class rear passenger and luggage space.
The Kicks luggage space measures 383 litres with the seats upright, which is almost as large as cars in a larger vehicle class just as the cabin has a range of storage spaces, including a lidded glove-box, deep door pockets, drink holders and cubby holes in the centre console.
The Kicks rides on Nissan’s new V-Platform, a lightweight but sturdy platform that reassures perfect balance between ride and handling. This feature allows for a fully independent front suspension that is capable of being fitted with either the larger 16″ or 17″ wheels.
The vehicle rigid sub-frame also increases structural rigidity by 300% for improved ride and handling characteristics yet affirming lower body roll.
That’s not all. Mr. Sharma said Nissan has added extra insulation materials in the dashboard with thicker carpets, improved seals around all the doors to reduce the vehicle’s noise and harshness levels.
The Kicks has also been equipped with sturdier suspension assemblies, which do not transfer as much vibration into the cabin thus making the car as comfortable and fuss-free as possible, the sales and marketing helmsman affirmed.
A great deal of attention to detail has gone into the three-spoke-flat-bottom steering wheel with a matt chrome finish for a quality appearance, which has a new ergonomically designed grip section allowing the driver’s grasp to be naturally tight. The central spokes house controls for the audio and phone systems and driver information displays.
Behind the shaped steering wheel, the driver has quick access to driving information – thanks to the integrated drive computer between the speedometer and tachometer.
Nissan Kicks comes with an optional 7-inch touchscreen, which includes audio streaming and phone connectivity via Bluetooth and reverse camera.
All versions of the Kicks feature power steering, with a fully adjustable steering wheel and electric windows on all doors; manual air conditioning and integrated audio system with USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity.
The Kicks probable rivals could include Hyundai Creta, Ford EcoSport and newcomer Toyota NG Rush.