Nissan volts up: Sub-S$100k Kicks E-Power small SUV debuts in Singapore

Promising-looking Small SUV will bring hybrid power and efficiency to the hard-fought small SUV segment , from S$99,888 with COE 


Nissan has debuted the second model to feature its unique E-Power petrol-electric drivetrain, and it’s a little bit of a shock: The Nissan Kicks E-Power. 

What the frick is a Kicks, you think?

The Kicks is a small SUV, and thus the same size as a Mazda CX-30 or Honda HR-V, which immediately puts it in one of the most popular, and competitive segments here in Singapore. 

To get a feel of what that market is like, read our guide to the Best Small SUVs in Singapore below.

On paper, the Kicks looks impressive enough to gain entry to that hall of fame: It’s very efficient, has lots of standard equipment and robust safety specs – and costs less than S$100k with COE. 

Like the first E-Power model in Singapore, the Serena multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), the Kicks has a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine onboard. While it’s the main source of motive power, it doesn’t put any power to the wheels directly – instead it charges the car’s onboard battery pack that’s located under the rear seats. 

What drives the car is the 129hp electric motor with 260Nm of torque – which makes the car the torquiest in the segment – something its 0-100km/h time bears out: 9.7 seconds is quick for this type of car, while the top speed is 145km/h. 

In other words, it’s a hybrid that uses petrol and doesn’t need to be charged, but drives like an electric vehicle (EV).

The car’s efficiency looks good on paper: 4.6L/100km and a CO2 figure of 107g/km, which is enough to net the car an A2 VES band, worth a S$10,000 rebate. On its 41-litre fuel tank, the Kicks could theoretically do 891km.

When we tested the Nissan Serena E-Power, its quoted efficiency was 5.6L/100km and we obtained 6.0L/100km, so we expect the Kicks to perform in a similar fashion.

The Kicks is slightly smaller than a Qashqai, but stacks up well against the rest of the small SUV class

If you’re wondering about the non-Hybrid, gasoline only Kicks – Nissan says it has no plans to bring that in as yet. We say – you’re probably looking for a Qashqai, which is slightly larger in footprint.

Besides the E-Power drivetrain, the Kicks also brings quite an impressive feature set, and it’s the first Nissan we’ve seen with an active instrument panel and full-touchscreen infotainment system. The first is a 7.0-inch unit, the latter an 8.0-inch screen called the NissanConnect Infotainment system, and it also packs Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Impressively the base Premium model – at S$99,888 with COE – sports both of these features as standard. It also has LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, Nissan’s comfier ‘Zero Gravity’ seats, keyless entry and start, auto AC, a D-shaped steering wheel, and auto parking brake. 

The safety loadout is good too: seven airbags and active safety. The latter comprises of autonomous forward braking (Nissan calls it Intelligent Emergency Braking), Nissan’s Intelligent Trace Control , which gives more stability and confidence around corners. 

The Premium Plus variant adds 3D-quilted Nappa leather in black and orange, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. For the S$3k price difference, that’s well worth the dosh.  

Nissan’s offering contrast roof colour options. Left is the Premium Plus interior, right is the standard interior.

The Kicks is a rarity – along with the Leaf EV and GT-R sportscar, it’s the only car that’s also sold in the US market. There’s also an Indian version (codename P16) of the Kicks based on a Dacia platform, unlike the car Singapore’s getting, codenamed P15, which uses Nissan’s commonly seen V platform from the Juke. 

Nissan hasn’t had a hugely successful model since the Qashqai – as Michael Hutchence sang, “Sometimes you kick, sometimes you get kicked.” The Kicks looks like it’ll help Nissan do the former.

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