For some time one of the big knocks on the Nissan Kicks is its lack of AWD. That changes for the Japanese market because the subcompact SUV finally gets four-season traction. This comes courtesy of the second-generation e-Power hybrid powertrain. It takes a 1.2-liter four-cylinder and couples it with one or two electric motors and a small lithium-ion battery. However, the gas engine only acts as a generator, meaning the electric motors are the only ones motivating the vehicle.
Nissan didn’t disclose the output of the electric motors on the Kicks. Nevertheless, we know the front unit is the same EM47 unit from the Note. That makes between 114 to 134 hp and 210 to 220 lb-ft of torque. With AWD, it adds a second mill on the rear axle called the MM48. This one recently found its way into the Japanese-spec X-Trail e-Power e4ORCE. In every application, it makes 67 hp and 74 lb-ft. Theoretically, the AWD model makes 211 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque combined but Nissan didn’t disclose the combined outputs for both variants. The only information it revealed was that the new hybrid system makes 5 percent more power and 7 percent more torque.
The Kicks also gains the e-Pedal system. In the all-electric Leaf, this allows for full one-pedal driving. On hybrid models, it slows the vehicle down but doesn’t bring it to a complete stop. Thankfully, it still gives you additional energy recuperation, enabling you to drive the vehicle more efficiently.
Other updates include a new shifter and the addition of an Autech model. This variant veers more on the luxury side, featuring unique wheels, silver exterior trim, and two-tone blue and black interior with diamond quilting and contrast stitching. There’s also a new Style Edition that offers additional cabin colors including orange, beige, and dark brown.