Best & Worst Nissan Kicks Years

We've ranked each Nissan Kicks model for every generation so you can avoid picking the worst Nissan Kicks years and pick the best year!

In this guide, I’ll break down all Nissan Kicks models, unveiling the best Nissan Kicks years to buy and the worst years to avoid.

We aim to provide a clear and factual overview of the vehicle’s performance, reliability, and safety based on data and insights from trusted sources such as NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power.

Highlighting key findings from our research, including Nissan Kicks’s reliability, tech, common owner-reported problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Nissan Kicks Generations

The Nissan Kicks, first introduced in 2018, quickly made a name for itself as a compact crossover SUV that blends style, efficiency, and practicality.

Designed to appeal to urban drivers, the Kicks came equipped with a fuel-efficient engine, a spacious interior, and a host of standard safety features, making it an attractive option for those seeking versatility in a compact package.

Below is a table listing the generation of the Nissan Kicks from its launch to the present day.

1st Generation (P15)2018-Present

Significant changes, especially in design, technology, and performance, might be the deciding factor for potential buyers looking to understand the progression of the Nissan Kicks.

Nissan Kicks Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

When evaluating the best and worst years for the Nissan Kicks, our rankings and categorizations consider a comprehensive set of factors, including:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

An upcoming graph will display the combined ratings from these authoritative sources, clearly representing how each model year stands in reliability and satisfaction.

Nissan Kicks Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, we present a categorization of all model years of the Nissan Kicks into best, neutral, and worst years, offering insight for potential buyers and enthusiasts.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
1st Generation (P15)2022

“Neutral Years” offer a balanced experience, with fewer reports of severe issues or recalls, yet they may lack the updates or improvements that characterize the best years.

Factors such as NHTSA recalls can significantly detract from a vehicle’s reliability rating. A higher number of complaints and recalls generally indicates lower reliability for those model years.

Let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years.

Best & Worst Years for Nissan Kicks 1st Generation (2018-Present)

Nissan Kicks 1st generation 2018 model
The 2018 Nissan Kicks

The Nissan Kicks, introduced in 2018 as a compact crossover, quickly became known for its stylish design, fuel efficiency, and affordability. It offers a blend of practicality and technology, appealing to a younger demographic seeking a dynamic urban driving experience.

The best years for the first-generation Nissan Kicks span between 2022 and 2024, while the worst year to avoid is 2021.

The Best Years: 2022, 2023, 2024

The best years for the first-generation Nissan Kicks are 2022, 2023, and 2024.

These models feature the reliable 1.6L I4 engine that delivers 122 hp and continuously variable transmission (CVT) to ensure a smooth and efficient drive, achieving an impressive EPA estimate of up to 31 city/36 highway MPG.

Safety and technology took a front seat in these years with the introduction of the Nissan Safety Shield® 360 across all trims, offering features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning.

The infotainment system saw significant upgrades, including a larger touchscreen display, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an available Wi-Fi hotspot.

These enhancements, combined with a refreshed exterior design and new color options, make these years particularly appealing.

The Neutral Years: 2018, 2019, 2020

The initial years of the Nissan Kicks, 2018 to 2020, are considered neutral.

While they introduced the model with key features like automatic emergency braking and a front collision sensor, these years experienced issues with the automatic emergency brake system and front collision sensor malfunctions, leading to necessary recalls.

The 2019 Nissan Kicks specifically faced complaints regarding transmission performance, including slipping.

Despite these issues, these years offered solid value with commendable fuel efficiency, a spacious interior for its class, and a base level of technology and safety features that were competitive at the time.

The Worst Years: 2021

The 2021 model year is the worst year for Nissan Kicks to avoid due to a recall related to the loss of power steering, a critical issue that could significantly affect the vehicle’s handling and safety.

See NHTSA 2021 Nissan Kicks recalls and complaints.

Nissan Kicks Resale Values

See the graph below to learn more about the Nissan Kicks’s average resale values across various model years.

Nissan Kicks Average List Price


What are the best Nissan Kicks years to buy?

After thoroughly reviewing the Nissan Kicks, it is clear that the 2022, 2023, and 2024 models are the best years due to their enhanced safety features, technological advancements, and improved design.

At the same time, the 2021 model is the worst Nissan Kicks year to avoid for potential buyers.

What are your top priorities when choosing a compact crossover like the Nissan Kicks?

Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.