UPDATE: You can now read our first review of the 2018 Nissan Kicks

Nissan’s newest crossover SUV, the 2018 Kicks, is priced less than $18,000, coming in below some segment competitors as it hits showrooms late this spring. The subcompact 2018 Kicks, the Japanese automaker’s first new nameplate in eight years, will be available in three trim levels: S, SV and SR. The base S model includes standard automatic emergency braking, backup camera, three USB ports and Bluetooth connectivity and starts at $17,990 before a $975 delivery fee.

Nissan is marketing the Kicks as an affordable crossover with ample cargo space that suits singles or couples. Kicks joins the stable of Nissan SUVs that also includes the compact Rogue and Rogue Sport.

The 2018 Kicks SV adds a slew of features such as blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and begins at $19,690, plus delivery. The sporty Kicks SR model adds features such as LED low-beam headlights, fog lights, black heated outside mirrors, leather shift knob and wrapped steering wheel and a rear spoiler. It starts at $20,290 before delivery.

Front-drive only

All 2018 Kicks models come in front-drive only and feature a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque. The SUV’s engine is mated to Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Fuel economy also beats some class competitors and has been estimated at 33 mpg combined city/highway by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Kicks’ unique combination of expressive design, excellent fuel economy, intelligent technology and advanced safety features adds up to one thing–exceptional value,” Michael Bunce, vice president of product planning at Nissan North America, said. “And, with its good ground clearance, high eye point, electric power steering and small turning radius, Kicks is a great vehicle for both everyday and weekend adventures.”

Nissan first showed the entry crossover at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show. It’s another player in the growing small utility space that includes new entrants such as the Ford EcoSport and Toyota C-HR.

More: Class of 2018 New Cars and Trucks

Kicks buyers can pick from seven exterior colors and five 2-tone combinations. Three of the five 2-tone patterns use a black roof and either a white, orange or red body. Other options include an orange roof/gray body or a white roof/blue body. The crossover’s exterior highlights familiar Nissan characteristics including the V-motion grille, boomerang shaped headlights and taillights but also adds a dark lower body trim.

Inside, drivers will find a 7-inch color infotainment system display mounted in the middle of the dash as the focal point of the clean interior.

A Kicks SR Premium Package features s a segment exclusive Bose Personal Plus sound system that includes a pair of 2.5-inch Bose speakers in the headrest of the driver’s seat. Other options available include Nissan’s Intelligent Around View Monitor, which displays a 360-degree view outside the vehicle. 

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