There’s nothing “low-cost” about being a college student. People only give out generous college student discounts because they feel bad for these poor, indebted youth. One dollar off a coffee is the least society could do to ease a student’s financial pains. The pressure surrounding our financial state is already on before we even graduate, which makes buying a new vehicle to drive back and forth to school just an added stressor. This is why the 2022 Nissan Kicks is a great option for college commuters—those who want the reliability of a new vehicle without unrealistic monthly payments.
Not only does the Kicks offer a great MSRP under $20K, it’s also going to save you money at the fuel pump. It is impractical to drive a vehicle to college and back if it’s not fuel-efficient, especially given the skyrocketing gas prices of 2022. That said, you may not want to drive a sedan or compact car—and that’s okay! You can experience all the fun and style of a subcompact SUV and still get up to a whopping 36 MPG on the highway with something like the Nissan Kicks. Plus, it’s got enough space for friends, books, backpacks, and the likes. Let’s take a closer look at why the new Kicks is a great option for college commuters.
3. Impressive Fuel Efficiency and Helpful Performance Technologies
It doesn’t matter if you choose the base-level S trim, the mid-level SV, or the highest SR trim, you’ll get the same engine across the board. This means that you’ll clock as much as a combined 33 MPG fuel economy rating. The best part of this is that you aren’t sacrificing performance for better fuel efficiency. While you used to have to choose between performance and fuel economy, the Kicks offers a nice balance of both. It produces up to 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque—which is more than enough to get you from your home or apartment to the classroom.
While you can’t go hardcore off-roading in the new Kicks, you can certainly depend on it to get you to class on-time, even if you’re running a little behind. Although we do not recommend speeding, you can confidently drift through tight road corners with ease thanks to the Kicks’ standard Intelligent Trace Control. This technology allows for smoother, more precise steering and better handling in curves.
The Kicks is also very beverage-friendly thanks to Active Ride Control. This standard performance feature makes your compact SUV ride smooth and steady—for a comfortable, no-spill experience. Of course, it won’t prevent spills if you hit a curb or ram through a pothole, but Active Ride Control does make the ride smoother overall.
Even better, your backpack is much less likely to fly into your front windshield when you slam on the brakes—for example, if a late student runs through a pedestrian crossing—thanks to the Kicks’ Intelligent Engine Brake feature. Lastly, if you refuse to splurge on a good parking pass and instead have to rely on street parking, Hill Start Assist is standard. This means that when you street park on an incline, the Kicks will hold itself steady when you switch from brake to gas.
2. A Spacious and Comfy Interior!
The adjective “compact” doesn’t necessarily feel very positive when it comes to space. We understand the concern here; that said, this compact SUV offers a great deal of space despite its classification. You’ve got room for up to 5 people (including the driver). You’ll also get 60/40 Rear Folding Seats, which means that you get to accommodate your passenger-to-cargo ratio the way you see fit. Seat 3 people and hold extra cargo, or seat 4 passengers and fold down the 5th seat to add more cargo capacity.
At its max, the 2022 Nissan Kicks can hold up to 32.3 cu.ft. of cargo space. When the seats are up, it can still pack in up to 25.3 cu.ft. of loads behind the rear seat. The Kicks’ rear “trunk” includes what’s called a “lower trunk floor,” which optimizes space to suit taller cargo. For example, you can actually fit a bicycle in the rear hatch section—thanks to this lower trunk floor feature.
Now for passenger space. Overall, the 2022 Kicks offers 92.7 cu.ft. of available passenger volume. Front passengers will get 40.4” of head space, 43.7” of leg space, and 53” for the shoulders. The rear seats don’t fall too far behind, landing at 38.5” head, 33.5” leg, and actually a bit more shoulder space—offering 53.2”. Zero-gravity seating is standard to help optimize comfort and reduce your fatigue when you’re on the road. No more soreness from sitting in rush hour traffic.
1. Tech and Safety Features, Galore!
Just because you’re paying a small price does not at all mean that you must sacrifice technology. Nissan is renowned for implementing modern technologies at reasonable prices. In fact, the base-level Kicks includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto music streaming technologies, along with up to 3 USB charging ports, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and much more.
Most importantly, the 2022 Nissan Kicks includes a standard safety suite that offers 6 driver assistance features. Thanks to Nissan Safety Shield360, you’ll get the following technologies for free, even at base-level:
Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection: Naturally, you should pay close attention to all crosswalks when you’re behind the wheel—especially on campus. Campus crosswalks always seem to always be crowded. Sometimes, accidents can happen though, and a person may pop up suddenly—even when you’re being extra careful. This technology can detect pedestrians and automatically stop the Kicks for you.
- Rear Automatic Braking: This works similarly to Automatic Emergency Braking. Instead of stopping you when you’re in drive, this system kicks in when you’re in reverse. No more hitting the mailbox or backing into your grandma’s trashcan when you’re leaving for your morning class.
- Blind Spot Warning: This technology monitors surrounding vehicles while you drive, letting you know when it is or isn’t safe to switch lanes.
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert: When you’re backing out of a parking garage—or really, any parking space—it can be extremely difficult to see the aisle behind you. Vehicles typically don’t approach slowly, especially when other students are in a hurry. Rear Cross Traffic Alert can notify you when it isn’t safe to exit your parking space.
- High Beam Assist: Thanks to this technology, you don’t have to worry about bright-lighting the university Dean ever again. It will automatically switch you to low beam when oncoming traffic appears.
- Lane Departure Warning: No matter how stressed you are, it’s important to get enough sleep and not push yourself to make it to class on time. In those moments when you made the mistake of not getting extra rest, Lane Departure Warning is there to warn you when you start to lane-drift.
Speaking of staying alert on the road, you can add Intelligent Driver Alertness to your arsenal by simply upgrading your trim. Did you pull an all-nighter? This feature can detect when you’re not-so-alert, even if you think that you’re driving just fine. Intelligent Driver Alertness will warn you that you need to pull over and take a break. So what if you miss a class or two? The 2022 Nissan Kicks has your best interests in mind.