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2018 Nissan Kicks Could Give the Juke the Boot

                                                      2018 Nissan Kicks Could Give the Juke the Boot
2018 Nissan Kicks; photos by Christian Lantry

The 2018 Nissan Kicks subcompact SUV made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show as the seventh SUV in the automaker's lineup, but I can't help feeling that its introduction means the end of one of Nissan 's other vehicles.

Related: More 2017 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

Nissan didn't announce exact pricing for the Kicks, but it did say the small SUV will start "well below" $19,000. That price is also "well below" the starting price of Nissan 's other small SUV, the Juke. The 2017 Juke starts at $21,225. While the Juke comes with a more powerful Used Engine and funkier styling, the Kicks is the bigger (about 7 inches longer) and more utilitarian of the two, offering good cargo and passenger room.

2018 Nissan Kicks

It's not just the Juke that the Kicks compares favorably to. The Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Toyota CH-R have backseat legroom and headroom at a premium. But in the Kicks, I hopped in the back and there were still a few inches of space between my knees and the driver's seat when it was positioned where I would drive comfortably. And there's even more headroom than in the other small SUVs, even in the middle seat with its slightly raised hump.

2018 Nissan Kicks

The cargo area comes with a hard cover for privacy. If you need to remove it, just pop out the cover and store it somewhere to fit larger cargo. Behind the backseat is 25.3 cubic feet of cargo room, which blows away the Juke's 10.5 cubic feet and the CH-R's 19.0 cubic feet. Fun fact: The CH-R is longer than the Kicks.

There are a few areas where the Kicks shows its budget-friendly nature. The front passenger doesn't get a center console armrest and the top of the doors is hard plastic, which is disappointing because I like to drive with an arm resting there. It also lacks covered storage between the front seats; there's just an open bin and a pair of cupholders. Anything valuable will need to go in the glove box.

2018 Nissan Kicks

But, I did like the interior styling — the simple dash is dominated by the display screen and buttons for the multimedia system, which is available with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. On Kicks SR models with the Premium Package, the dash is even covered in a premium simulated leather material. The package also adds a Bose Personal Plus sound system with speakers in the driver's seat head restraint.

The Kicks is designed with city living in mind, which is why it's only offered in front-wheel drive. The Juke is one of my favorite subcompact SUVs to drive with its turbocharged powertrain and all-wheel drive. But the Kicks' function outweighs the Juke's form, and factoring in a significant price difference I think the Juke will not be long for this world.

's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with 's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of 's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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