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The Nissan Kicks is a subcompact crossover SUV produced since 2016. It initially appeared as a concept car and has since evolved into two similar models with different dimensions. The Kicks is powered by an HR16DE 1.6 L four-cylinder petrol engine, identical to the one in the Versa, delivering 125 hp and 155 Nm torque. An e-Power variant was introduced in 2020 with an updated front fascia and tail lights, featuring an HR12DE 1.2 L three-cylinder petrol engine coupled with a 1.57 kWh battery. This powertrain combination generates a total output of 127 hp and 260 Nm torque. The e-Power motor drives the front wheels and has expanded into global markets. The Kicks' fuel economy is impressive, with an EPA rating of 31 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, with some users recording averages above 30 mpg. The Kicks can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 10.7 seconds and boasts responsive brakes and suspension, ensuring a smooth ride even on twisty roads. The model's interior offers user-friendly controls and a straightforward infotainment interface. The car's visibility is excellent thanks to large windows and a low hood line. Available in S, SV, and SR trims, the Kicks comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and front-wheel drive, making it an affordable and efficient choice in the extra-small SUV market.
The Nissan Kicks, while lauded for various features and performance attributes, has been flagged for several recurrent issues that have left many owners concerned. Firstly, particularly in models like the petrol XL from April 2019, there have been consistent complaints about the air conditioning (A/C) system's efficiency in warmer climates. The gamut of issues ranges from incorrect refrigerant charge levels (either low or excessive), malfunctioning compressors, clogged or dirty cabin air filters that also result in augmented fuel consumption, contaminants on the condenser or evaporator coils, subpar blower motors, to issues with the A/C's fuses or relays. A significant anomaly, observed by one owner, was the discharge of air over 44 degrees Celsius from the vents in ambient temperatures of around 23/24 degrees Celsius. Causes of low refrigerant levels commonly point to leaks, particularly in components like O-ring seals, condensers, evaporator cores, or hoses. Yet, it's also essential to recognize that A/C systems can naturally lose some refrigerant over their lifespan. UV-reactive dyes can spotlight such leaks, and when recharging, it's pivotal to use the apt refrigerant type and adhere to ambient temperature-dependent pressure guidelines. An overly filled system can negatively impact cooling, damage compressors, or cause significant leaks, so maintaining the right pressure is paramount. The cabin air filter, instrumental for indoor air quality, should be regularly checked and typically replaced between 10,000 to 20,000 miles, though pollutant-rich environments might necessitate earlier changes. Second, the Kicks, notably the models spanning 2021 to 2023, has faced concerns over windshield and roof glass quality. Owners have reported cracks or defects soon after purchasing, and the windshield issues, notably in the Kicks, have led to speculations about softer glass composition or a susceptibility to damage. While some states offer no-deductible claims for glass repairs, the consistent nature of these defects hints at potential manufacturing concerns. The 2021 to 2023 models, although celebrated for their features, engine performance, safety aspects, fuel efficiency, tech integrations, and design, have this lingering windshield problem demanding a more in-depth probe and rectification. Lastly, another challenge is the Kicks' predisposition towards slow acceleration, stemming from various sources. Blocked air filters, erroneous readings from the mass air flow sensor (MAF), clogged fuel filters, obstructed catalytic converters accumulating toxins, and malfunctioning oxygen sensors all contribute. These challenges can erode engine performance and heighten fuel consumption. Furthermore, the throttle position sensor (TPS), vital for smooth engine operations in the Kicks and other modern vehicles, can present symptoms like erratic idling, the lighting up of the check engine warning, and inefficient engine performance when malfunctioning. Addressing a failing TPS in a timely manner, often via replacement, is indispensable to prevent cumulative engine damage and resolve the multiple performance issues linked to its malfunction.
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