Around this time last year, we reported that the Nissan Kicks was making its way to developing markets. The Nissan Almera based crossover has made its Asian market debut in China, coming in at a price of RMB 99,800 (or RM 63,278.13). This is nearly a year ahead of its official global launch in Brazil last year, and there are talks of the Nissan Kicks possibly being assembled in Thailand for the ASEAN region.
For now, specifications may vary greatly. The first launch in Brazil brought about specially tuned engine variants for their market's gasohol (petrol-alcohol blend) requirements. As China has pretty strict engine capacity taxation structures, the launch variant for the Chinese market comes with the HR15DE 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine, as opposed to the HR16DE 1.6-litre naturally aspirated engine that Nissan still has in their various products. The engine puts out 124 hp and 147 Nm of torque, paired with either a 5-speed manual or an Xtronic CVT- something we haven't yet seen for our local Almera.
There are also a number of safety and driver assistance features included, which is fast becoming the trend among mass market manufacturers. The Chinese market Kicks get Intelligent Emergency Braking, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention and Cross Traffic Alert.
There are also features like Intelligent Trace Control, Intelligent Ride Control, Vehicle Dynamics Control and Intelligent Engine Brake. We're not sure what our local specs will be if Edaran Tan Chong Motors introduces the Kicks here, but it should follow that of the Almera albeit with a more updated interior.