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While the 2018 Nissan Kicks is the automaker's sixth vehicle in its series of crossovers and SUVs, it also fits snugly as the automaker's second subcompact SUV, after the Rogue Sport. And even though the Kicks is entering a competitive market, there is quite a bit going for it that fleets will love.

The Nissan is currently available in front-wheel drive and with three variants, including S, SV, and SR. It’s powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with a continuous variable valve timing control system, and boasts 125 horsepower and 115 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is listed as 31 mpg in the city, and 36 mpg highway, with a combined 33 mpg.

My most immediate takeaway from driving the Nissan Kicks was its handling. My favorite thing about the best subcompact crossovers I’ve driven is nimble handling. With a rear-view camera and several standard safety features to boot, fleets will feel comfortable navigating through any tight spot, as I did in some of the less-than-desirable driving conditions of Los Angeles.

The cargo space was my second major takeaway. With rear seats up, the Kicks offers 25.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Plenty of room if you have an abundance of important goods to transport. Even if you’re just transporting people, this subcompact SUV doesn’t disappoint. I tested sitting in the back passenger-side seat while a 6-foot tall person sat in front of me, and I didn’t feel cramped, no matter how much they adjusted.

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The trim I test was the SR with the premium package, which offers features found on its other variants. This includes the NissanConnect 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities), an advanced driver assist display instrument cluster, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), and a forward collision warning system (FCWS).

Exclusive to the SR trim I drove were LED front headlamps with LED signature accent lighting, front fog lamps, and an eight-speaker Bose personal plus premium audio system. Other available safety features includes available blind spot warning (BSW) and rear cross traffic alert.

Even considering the S base trim, fleets with an eye for safety will love knowing their drivers are safer in the field with the standard safety systems. But if you start moving higher up, the Bose system is a noticeably great perk. This setup includes two speakers built into the front headrests. The system can be adjusted to a focused mode, which simulates the experience listening to music through a pair of high-quality headphones. Not a bad feature to include as an incentive for safe fleet drivers (and music lovers).

Pricing for the SR trim starts at $20,290. Meanwhile, the SV starts at $19,690, and the S is priced at $17,990. A $975 delivery fee will also be added.


Related: 2018 Nissan Kicks in Photos

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Andy Lundin
Andy Lundin

Andy Lundin

Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

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