An orange 2023 Nissan Kicks is shown leaving the city.

Budget-Friendly and Fully-Loaded: The Dichotomy Behind the 2023 Nissan Kicks

Who doesn’t appreciate the opportunity to save money, especially when it means cutting costs behind the wheel? Unfortunately, saving money on a vehicle often means lowering your expectations and settling for less. For some, this looks like shopping off the used lot when they really wanted a new model with the latest features. For others, it means forgoing leather seats and the complete tech package to stay within their budget. But what if you didn’t have to settle?

As prices continue to rise at the pump and beyond, automakers like Nissan are finding ways to help customers save more without lowering their expectations. That’s the inspiration for the 2023 Nissan Kicks, a stylish subcompact crossover that makes it easy to save money and still get everything you want in an SUV. How does Nissan accomplish such an incredible feat? By doing what it does best–thinking outside the box to innovate, elevate, and inspire with a model like the Kicks.

The black interior of a 2023 Nissan Kicks shows the steering wheel and infotainment screen.

Initial Savings: Purchase Price

The 2023 Nissan Kicks is one of the most affordable subcompact SUVs available today. Its starting price of $20,090 is exceptional and gives the Kicks a significant advantage over rivals like the Kia Seltos ($22,840), Subaru Crosstrek ($23,645), Chevrolet Trailblazer ($21,800), Honda HR-V ($23,650), and Volkswagen Taos ($24,155). What do you get for under $21,000? Does Nissan force drivers to make a few sacrifices? Not hardly.

The 2023 Kicks offers remarkable value because of its many standard features. The entry-level S, which starts at $20,090, is powered by Nissan’s proven 1.6L four-cylinder engine that delivers 122 hp for effortless acceleration at any speed. The Kicks’ powerful engine pairs exceptionally well with its smaller platform, making it agile and easy to maneuver in and around town. But Nissan doesn’t stop there.

The Kicks’ integrated key offers remote keyless entry for added convenience, while its interior is laden with innovative technology. This technology stretches from the renowned Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite to standard smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Nissan also gives you plenty of opportunities to expand the Kicks’ technology without significantly increasing the total price.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite outfits the Kicks with advanced driver-assist features that add to the SUV’s overall value. The suite includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking. In addition, class-exclusive features like the available Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Intelligent Driver Alert take the Kicks to the next level of cutting-edge tech.

Practically speaking, you’re spending less than $21,000 on a two-row, tech-savvy SUV that offers plenty of versatility and functionality. For example, the Kicks’ compact design makes it incredibly agile, but it doesn’t sacrifice spaciousness in the cabin. Instead, Nissan proves the Kicks offers more than what meets the eye, with plenty of room for passengers and up to 53.1 cu.ft. of cargo room in the rear.

Savings at the Pump: Fuel Economy

Once you invest in an SUV like the 2023 Kicks, there’s the financial burden of keeping its tank full of fuel. Fortunately, Nissan makes saving money at the pump easy by ensuring the Kicks balances efficiency with capability. This balance is apparent in its best-in-class fuel economy rating of 31 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway. But what does this mean for you?

Think about the length of your commute and how many miles you put on your vehicle annually. The average commute in the United States is approximately 27 minutes, with most Americans logging 14,000 miles on the odometer annually. Now, let’s say that this 27-minute commute spans 15 miles and that the average gas price in your area is $4.40 per gallon. The amount of money you spend on fuel is directly impacted by your vehicle, driving style, and commute. How so?

The 2023 Kicks is the most efficient SUV in the subcompact segment. Your 15-mile daily commute will cost you around $2.13 one-way, with the Kicks using 0.5 gallons of gas at a rate of 31 MPG. Now, if you spend most of your commute traveling at highway speeds, this cost decrease to $1.10, with the Kicks consuming around 0.3 gallons of gas. In contrast, in-town driving with frequent stop-and-go traffic will force the Kicks to guzzle more fuel, using anywhere from one to three gallons of gas and costing you up to $13.20.

So, how does the Kicks compare to rivals like the Volkswagen Taos and Honda HR-V? The 2023 Taos averages 25 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway, while the 2023 HR-V averages 26 MPG and 32 MPG, respectively. Using the same example, your commute in the Taos would use 0.6 gallons of gas and cost you $2.64. The HR-V uses slightly less fuel but will still cost you more than the Kicks at $2.54 for a one-way trip to work.

A red 2023 Nissan Kicks is shown parked on a beach.

Cost to Own: Maintenance and Repair

As a vehicle owner, one of your biggest responsibilities is overseeing its routine maintenance and repair. Unfortunately, many people forget to calculate these expenses into their budget, an oversight that can be financially detrimental for those who haven’t planned accordingly. Why is this the case? Because not all cars are built the same, some are more reliable and easier to maintain than others.

The 2023 Kicks is among the few vehicles that are easy to maintain and affordable to own. Edmunds looks at five-year ownership costs for current models and projects that the 2023 Kicks will cost around $33,000 to own over five years. This cost breakdown includes insurance, maintenance, repairs, taxes, fees, financing, depreciation, and fuel. So what does this look like in terms of numbers?

New cars are easy to maintain, typically requiring only routine oil changes and tire rotations in their first few years on the road. As a result, Edmunds projects that maintenance for the 2023 Kicks averages around $450 to $700 annually for the first three years. This figure includes regular oil changes, tire rotations, balancing, alignments, fluid checks, and other routine services to keep the Kicks running its best. Unless you have a major collision or accident, repairs should be nominal during this time, giving you more room in your budget to cover insurance and fuel.

More Bang for Your Money

The 2023 Kicks packs a hearty punch for budget-savvy shoppers looking to get behind the wheel of a new SUV. The Kicks proves drivers no longer have to settle for less with its best-in-class fuel economy and expansive suite of standard features. Technology like the Nissan Safety Shield 360 adds to the Kicks’ appeal. At the same time, available upgrades like the class-exclusive Bose Personal Plus audio system and class-exclusive intelligent safety features offer exceptional value without sending the sticker price mile-high.

These characteristics make the 2023 Nissan Kicks the entire package. It’s an SUV that dares to be different, offering drivers everything they imagined (and more) in a vehicle. It’s proof of Nissan’s exceptional success at thinking outside the box and delivering sophisticated vehicles that keep more of your hard-earned money right where it should be–in your wallet.