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Auto review: The 2019 Nissan Kicks adds another new choice in the small crossover market

Scott Sturgis, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Automotive News

2019 Nissan Kicks SV: A long test in a new Kia Soul-fighter.

Price: $21,425 as tested, including $545 for two-tone paint. Standard items include blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and Sirius XM.

Conventional wisdom: Motor Trend likes the "strong value, clever interior, kickin' stereo," but not "no AWD, seat comfort, noisy at speed."

Marketer's pitch: "Own your moment."

Reality: It takes more than a moment to grow on you, but it's still a little Soul-less.

What's new: The whole Kicks, front to back. The little crossover replaced the Juke for the 2018 model year (which is the model year I tested).

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First impressions: I'm not a shoot-from-the-hip reviewer. I like to mull cars over for a couple days before I start making notes.

Good thing for the Kicks that I traveled close to 1,000 miles in this baby. Sometimes I'm just being cranky, but after a couple days, I soften up.

Up to speed: The Kicks features Nissan's 1.6-liter four-cylinder and makes just 122 horsepower. I thought for sure this would be a dog on the highways. But once I got used to it, the Kicks kicked pretty well. Still, it gets to 60 mph in lethargic 9.9 seconds, according to Motor Trend.

Shiftless: Though I missed having any shift control with the CVT, the Kicks didn't do badly overall. Only on one long, uphill entrance ramp to the Pennsylvania Turnpike did I feel seriously outmatched by other vehicles.

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