Some of you might have read our first-drive review of the subcompact Nissan Kicks out of simple curiosity, knowing that the vehicle would never find its way into your driveway. And that’s fine.
For myself and others, the Kicks holds more interest simply because of what it is â€” a lightweight, unpretentious, fuel efficient addition to the crossover space with a very low starting price. Low enough to serve as an effective alternative to thrifty compact or subcompact car buyers. North of the border, that entry price ($17,998, eight bucks more than U.S. MSRP) is four grand less than a base, front-drive, three-cylinder Ford EcoSport. In the States, it’s two grand less.
With the front-drive-only Kicks now available in both countries, its sales performance will be interesting to watch. Actually, it already is.
The first U.S. Kicks sales showed up on Nissan’s ledger in JuneÂ â€” 563 of them. Just how high the model’s volume will reach in the coming months remains to be seen; keep in mind that Nissan sold over 37,000 Rogues and nearly 27,000 Altimas last month.
In Canada however, the Kicks seems to have gotten an earlier start. Nissan Canada recorded six Kicks sales in May, perhaps on the last selling day of the month, but it’s June’s performance that gave your author pause. When it debuted, I surmised that this model would, in many cases, swing low-end Nissan buyers from a car to a crossover. We’re more heavily taxed up here, and fuel prices are nearly double that of the United States. But we love light trucks just as much as the Americans, if not more.
In June, the first full month of Kicks sales, Nissan Canada unloaded 609 of the little crossovers. For comparison, the automaker also sold 612 Altimas, 159 Maximas, 688 Versa Notes, 618 Pathfinders, 377 Frontiers, and 684 Titans last month. While one month isn’t much to go on, it’s amusing to see the Kicks approach the EcoSport’s volume so quickly (the EcoSport went on sale at the beginning of the year, selling 641 units in Canada in May. June figures remain unavailable).
How many C-HRs did Toyota Canada sell in June? 679. Other Japanese subcompact rivals had a better month, as both the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3 posted numbers well in excess of 1,000 units. Again, it remains to be seen if the Kicks’ bargain proposition earns it a spot in the upper echelon of the segment, especially in a market where available all-wheel drive is the norm, and with good reason. For would-be Versa and Sentra buyers, however, that missing rear differential might not matter in the least.