2021 Nissan Kicks updated with fresh look, better tech

The 2021 Nissan Kicks small crossover wears a new skin and gets a refreshed interior with the latest technology, Nissan announced Tuesday.

The mostly cosmetic upgrades to Nissan's entry-level crossover SUV aim to keep the Kicks fresh in a segment bursting with competitors. Launched as a replacement to the Nissan Juke for 2018, the 2021 Nissan Kicks competes with the 2021 Kia Seltos, 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer, 2020 Mazda CX-30, and 2020 Hyundai Venue, which all launched as new models in the past 18 months. 

The smallest crossover SUV in Nissan's lineup gets a bigger, bolder grille that expands into new available LED headlight designs. The taller grille is cinched at the bottom by vertical intakes that don't take in anything. New fog lights in the fake intakes, new rear LED taillights, and a new rear bumper count as upgrades to the Kicks. The base S trim rolls on 16-inch steel wheels, while 17-inch alloy wheels standard on SV and SR trims. 

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks

Inside, dark themes take on a sleek effect, with a new armrest console shared by front passengers, silver door trim panels, and circular side vents. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard along with threeUSB ports. The touchscreen can be upgraded an inch to 8.0 inches, and keyless entry and a wi-fi hotspot can be added. 

Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts and automatic rear braking, and automatic high beams. A surround-view camera system is available, as well as adaptive cruise control. 

The Kicks gets its kicks from the same 122-horsepower 1.6-liter inline-4 and continuously variable automatic transmission moving the front wheels. Made for efficiency, the powertrain gets an EPA-rated 31 mpg city, 36 highway, 33 combined. 

Built in Mexico, the 2021 Nissan Kicks goes on sale in February. 

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