6 Best & Worst Nissan Kicks Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Nissan Kicks is a relatively new subcompact SUV that was introduced in 2018. 

This model is highly affordable, practical, and offers the latest and most popular tech features despite its entry-level pricing.

In this article, we’ll be running through all of the best and worst model years of the Kicks.

2023 Nissan Kicks

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Nissan Kicks Are:

The best Nissan Kicks model years are 2023, 2022, and 2021. The worst model years of the Kicks are 2019, 2018, and 2020. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Nissan Kicks?

2023 Nissan Kicks

The 2023 Kicks is stylish, practical, and surprisingly fun to drive.

It offers some of the latest and greatest features and provides great value for money under the extra small SUV category.

Fuel efficiency, ease of parking, and responsive steering and handling make it one of the better options in the market today.

Prospective buyers can choose from 3 trim levels: S, SV, and SR.

All trims come with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine (122 horsepower), a CVT, and front-wheel-drive configuration. 

The most popular model is the midrange SV, priced at around $23,635.

As for the general price range, expect to shell out anywhere from approximately $22,000 to $25,000. 

Our favorite safety features are Forward Collision Warning, AUtomatic Emergency Braking, and Rear Door Alert.

Based on crash tests conducted by NHTSA, this model has earned a 4 (out of 5) star rating, making it quite capable in the event of accidents or collisions on the road. 

This is a good pick for those who want the freshest and most up-to-date model year available.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2023 Kicks, Edmunds review:

“Love my “new Kicks” very very quiet cabin, love all the safety tech, it’s not that slow and if I wanted to go fast I would drive my Acura. This is a great second car to drive around town in and save on gas. The seats are actually very very comfortable (not sure why Edmunds seems to think they are not). I would take this car on a long drive and not think twice about it.”

2022 Nissan Kicks

The 2022 Kicks is an affordable, practical and reliable option in the subcompact SUV segment.

It has lots of driver assistance features (both standard and optional), extremely affordable pricing, and great fuel economy.

According to EPA, you can safely expect this model to hit 33 MPG for combined driving, 31 MPG for city driving, and 36 MPG for highway driving.

Despite its size, storage space is acceptable. It offers approximately 25 cubic feet of space behind the rear car seats.

This is good enough to fit a handful of suitcases, duffle bags, golf sets, tennis rackets, and even camping gear. 

Based on owner feedback, the following aspects are the highlights of this model: interior design, exterior styling, spaciousness, fuel economy, comfort, and overall driving experience. 

Auto critics, on the other hand, identified fuel economy and value for money as the two key selling points of the vehicle.

Warranty coverage is standard for the segment: 3 years or 36,000 miles for basic warranty and 5 years or 60,000 miles for the powertrain.

Depending on your selected trim, you can go home with this model painted in up to 12 exterior body colors and up to 2 interior color schemes.

Optional packages include: Exterior Ground Lighting, SR Premium, Exterior Package, Interior Electronics Package, and Technology Package.

These add-ons can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,200, depending on dealership rates and availability.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 85 / 100

2022 Kicks, Edmunds review:

“My new Kicks is a real gas saver. Average 39mpg. It handles better than my Kona did at freeway speeds. A decent car for the money. It’s not a fast car but acceptable. I am satisfied so far.”

2022 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

The 2021 Kicks is a great entry-point into the world of SUVs and is a great choice for first-time car owners.

It is affordably priced, has stellar fuel economy figures, has easy-to-use controls, and comes with several standard safety and driver assistance features.

New to this particular model are a restyled exterior, upgrades to cabin materials and build quality, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

In the fuel efficiency department, EPA says to expect 33 MPG for combined driving, 31 MPG for city driving, and 36 MPG for highway driving.

In the safety and driver assistance tech department, interesting standard features include Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Pre-Collision Safety System, and Blind Spot and Lane Departure Warnings Accident Avoidance Systems.

It performed relatively well in NHTSA crash tests as well, scoring 4 stars out of a possible 5. 

Warranty is pretty standard – 3 years or 36,000 miles for basic, rust, and roadside assistance coverages and 5 years or 60,000 miles for drivetrain coverage. 

If you want to add a bit of personality to the car’s exterior, most dealerships offer a rear roof spoiler and a set of splash guards as add-ons. 

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: NA

2021 Kicks, Edmunds review:

“This vehicle has more power than you might think at first glance. I have to travel over a mountain every day to get to work, so I was curious to see how the 2021 Kicks would perform. I have not been disappointed at all! What a smooth ride and more than enough power to get me over the mountain and through the woods.”

2021 Nissan Kicks

Consumer Scores For Best Nissan Kicks Years

Model YearEdmundsConsumer RatingKelley Blue BookConsumer RatingJD PowerConsumer Rating
2023 Nissan Kicks4.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.085 / 100
2022 Nissan Kicks4.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.085 / 100
2021 Nissan Kicks4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.0NA

Related: Nissan Kicks Beeping? (12 Causes & Solutions)

What Are The Worst Years For The Nissan Kicks?

2019 Nissan Kicks

Based on available online figures, the 2019 model year is the most problematic model ever produced.

Most of the complaints revolve around the electrical system.

The main problems reported are vehicle stalling, excessive battery drain, warning lights coming on, sporadic loss of power/lack of acceleration, and AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) malfunction.

Take a look at a few reports below to get a better idea of what the negative experiences have been like for several owners:

“The contact owns a 2019 Nissan Kicks. The contact stated that while starting the vehicle, there were three unknown warning lights illuminated. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired by an independent mechanic or dealer. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.”

“Front crash sensor comes on occasionally, the drive train is now knocking, and the radio now has a mind of its own won’t display will just randomly increase volume.”

“Problem is with the car’s computer. It is sending out codes and has caused my car to stall while driving it. Also has sent out false sensor warnings because of that.”

The 2019 Kicks had a total of 111 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 4 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Throttle body needs replacement
  • Air conditioning problems
  • Repeated windshield failure
2019 Nissan Kicks

2018 Nissan Kicks

The 2018 Kicks is the second most complained about vehicle, only a few reports short of being in the top spot. It was also the debut model year so its not a huge surprise it was one of the more problematic models.

A lot of complaints revolved around equipment problems.

Issues that were frequently mentioned include sensor issues, non-responsive brake pedal, sudden vehicle stalling, and various warning lights coming on (seemingly at random).

Here is one report that explains the owner’s experience with his vehicle:

“While running errands yesterday, the car shut off several times while stopped at a traffic light. Several lights appeared on the dashboard, including engine oil, battery, automatic emergency braking and slip indicator lights. While stopped, I had to put the car in park, turn the car off and then turn the car on again. My battery is in good condition. Was able to drive home, let the car sit and then approx 30 mins later, cranked the car back up and the lights went away and the car was running like normal.”

The 2018 Kicks had a total of 94 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 3 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Unavailable front radar obstruction message
  • Air conditioning problems
  • Passenger window electrical switch broke
2018 Nissan Kicks

2020 Nissan Kicks

The 2020 Kicks does not stray too far away from the 2018 and 2019 model years in terms of problems collected.

Like its two predecessors, this model year suffered from a variety of electrical system and equipment issues.

The most prominent concerns are intermittent warning lights coming on and AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) issues. 

Faulty warning lights may be bothersome at first, especially when so many come on at random, but if not properly assessed by an authorized technician, this may lead to further complications down the road.

AEB issues, on the other hand, are supposed to be treated as dangers right from the beginning. 

A faulty AEB would mean that the computer detection system (or sensor) would be unable to automatically apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid potential impact with a stationary object, moving object, or even a human being. 

If you are an owner and have experienced either (or both) of these issues, it would be best to have your vehicle sent in for assessment and repair immediately. 

The 2020 Kicks had a total of 64 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 2 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Warning lights

Related: 8 Subcompact SUVs with the Best Visibility (With Pics)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2023 Nissan Kicks050
2022 Nissan Kicks0140
2021 Nissan Kicks0521
2020 Nissan Kicks2640
2019 Nissan Kicks41111
2018 Nissan Kicks3941

What Problems Do Nissan Kicks Have?

  • Throttle body needs replacement
  • Air conditioning problems
  • Repeated windshield failure
  • Unavailable front radar obstruction message
  • Passenger window electrical switch broke
  • Transmission failure
  • Warning lights

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Nissan Kicks?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Mazda CX-308.6$22,950 – $35,400City: 22 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 33
Kia Soul8.5$19,790 – $24,090City: 28 – 29 /Highway: 33 – 35
Hyundai Kona8.4$21,990 – $34,700City: 20 – 30 /Highway: 27 – 35
Kia Seltos8.3$23,140 – $28,640City: 25 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 35
Volkswagen Taos8.1$24,155 – $34,535City: 25 – 28 /Highway: 32 – 36
Buick Encore GX8.0$25,900 – $32,100City: 26 – 29 /Highway: 29 – 32
Honda HR-V7.9$24,100 – $29,700City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 32
Subaru Crosstrek7.9$24,995 – $31,995City: 26 – 27 /Highway: 33 – 34
Chevrolet Trailblazer7.8$22,100 – $27,700City: 26 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 33
Nissan Kicks7.8$20,290 – $22,850City: 31 /Highway: 36
Toyota Corolla Cross7.7$23,060 – $28,465City: 29 – 31 /Highway: 32 – 33
Hyundai Venue7.6$19,500 – $22,750City: 29 /Highway: 33

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 10 Subcompact SUVs With the Most Ground Clearance











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...