Just like North Americans, South Americans are immersed in a love affair with crossovers. So Nissan’s newest debut for the Brazilian market, the Kicks compact crossover, doesn’t come as much of a surprise. But we might see the Kicks in our market, too, possibly as a replacement for the Nissan Juke, or as an addition to Nissan’s U.S. lineup.
The Kicks is actually a bitÂ longer and taller than the stubby Juke, which puts it almost exactly in line dimensionally with crossovers like the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. It also has more of a conventional, upright shape, which means that it should have more space inside than the cramped Juke. Could Nissan be planning to bring the Kicks over to our shores to better compete with these newer entrants in the subcompact crossover class? Or might the Kicks replace the Juke, which has been around since the 2011 model year?
Nissan won’t say at this point, but does specify that the Kicks will launch in “more than 80 global markets” after it goes on sale in Brazil in August. That the Kicks is being built in Nissan’s plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, might also hint at its U.S. prospects, as that factory already is home to the U.S.-market Nissan Versa and Sentra models. There’s no word on the Kicks crossover’s powertrain details, but front- or all-wheel drive, a four-cylinder engine, and a CVT seem most likely given the rest of Nissan’s lineup.
With crossover sales stronger than ever on our shores, slotting the Kicks between the funky Juke and the mainstream Rogue seems like a smart move, at least on paper. But Nissan hasn’t said whether the Juke will be replaced, and it could be that the Kicks will be that model’s replacement. We’ll have to await further word on the Nissan Kicks and its U.S. market potential.