2020 Nissan Kicks E-Power Review: Ass Kicks-er

Nissan’s surprise Kicks E-Power jolts the hybrid/small SUV segment open with an affordable, feature-packed debut

UPDATE: August 17,2020: We made a mistake computing 2021’s hybrid road tax rules, and reflected an expected reduction in Road Tax for the Kicks in 2021 – read the Pricing section for details.

The Nissan Kicks E-Power is a surprising SUV in many ways, most of them good.

As early as the Singapore Motorshow 2018, we knew Nissan was going to push its E-Power serial hybrid technology with at least two models here. The first model was the Nissan Serena multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), read that story below to get the full skinny on how E-Power works and why it’s different from established parallel hybrid tech.

We assumed the second model to be the Nissan Note E-Power, primarily because we knew it existed and sold very well in Japan. However we also knew it wouldn’t fly here, since compact hatches are a dying breed and only the strongest sell well here, while a hybrid version would flounder because of extra cost.

But the Kicks was a kick in the head, an immediately tantalising proposition on paper: A hybrid small SUV with a good feature list AND priced below S$110k with COE. That immediately gives the Kicks great popularity potential – but can it be a class leader?  Read on to find out.

Design and Appearance

It’s de rigueur for an SUV to have an exciting, unconventional name and the looks to match, and the Kicks scores right away here.

Small SUVs now come in all shapes and sizes, they now even ape larger, chunkier SUVs as the newly-introduced Kia Seltos shows.

Even though it uses many established SUV eye-tricks (compare the Kicks and Suzuki Vitara, for instance) then the Kicks manages to stand out. Visually, it looks like the Serena MPV shrunken and crossed into SUV form, and notice how large the windows are on this car.

Bolstering that impression is the Nissan ‘V-Motion’ front end with the LED lights blending into a tall grille, though the Kicks’ grille has more of a diamond shape than the Serena’s. The rear quarter sees a sporty kink in the C-pillar and curved headlights reminiscent of the Nissan Juke – no surprise since they share a platform.

The car shown here has the contrast roof option – Sunrise Orange with Super Black – which is also available in red, gray or white at no extra cost. Regular colours include black, blue, yellow, and silver.

Continue to Page 2: Interior & Features
Page 3: Driving Experience
Page 4: Space and Practicality / Competition and Pricing
Page 5: Conclusion
/ Video Review

about the author

Derryn Wong
CarBuyer's chief editor has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. He's particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong