The headline of the press release sent by Nissan says, "New Nissan Kicks 2020 goes on sale in India," which is the most downplayed headline I have seen in years. And I say that in a good way. I mean, while on the one hand we're used to seeing headlines such as "XX manufacturer drives in their all-new xx car" when the car in question is an old one that just got new pinstriping, on the other hand, we have one that doesn't even give you a hint about the two most important things the Nissan Kicks has received: a new engine, and the option of an automatic transmission.
It's a loud world out there, Nissan, and though I love the art of subtlety (and your Y60 Patrols), many don't; therefore, unless you shout that the Kicks with its latest 1.3-litre turbo petrol motor can really kick Creta's rear (bumper), no one will really listen. We, the auto journalists, will of course reserve our verdict until we review both vehicles. Until then, potential buyers will have to make do with the information below.
The much-talked-about 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol motor (156 PS / 254 Nm) is, and so is the addition of an automatic transmission for the first time in the Kicks range.
Also, the previous 1.5-litre NA (Naturally Aspirated) petrol engine has been upgraded to BS6. Therefore, now there are three Kicks: 1.3 L Turbo Manual, 1.3 L CVT, and 1.5 L NA Manual. All of them are petrol, and Nissan (along with Renault) has discontinued the 1.5-litre diesel engine entirely from its portfolio.
The prices (all ex-showroom) are as under:
1.5 (Manual) XL Rs 9,49,990
1.5 (Manual) XV Rs 9,99,999
1.3 (Manual) Turbo XV Rs 11,84,990
1.3 (Manual) Turbo XV Premium Rs 12,64,990
1.3 (Manual) Turbo XV Premium (O) Rs 13,69,990
1.3 (Manual) Turbo XV Premium (O) Dual tone Rs 13,89,990
1.3 (Automatic) Turbo XV Rs 13,44,990
1.3 (Automatic) Turbo XV Premium Rs 14,14,990
Just so you know, the Hyundai Creta petrol automatics start from Rs 14,94,000 and go up to Rs 16,15,000. Also, Hyundai does not yet offer its turbo-petrol Creta with a manual gearbox. Nissan does, and I have put the cheapest variant of that model in bold above so that you don't miss it.
What's also not to be missed is Nissan's claim that its turbo-petrol engine borrows cylinder coating technology from its supercar—the Nissan GTR—for enhanced performance & fuel efficiency. The company also claims that its X-Tronic CVT is 40 per cent more efficient than existing CVTs.
The new Kicks will come with the standard 2 years / 50,000 kms warranty, and you may extend it up to 5 years / 100,000 km at an "attractive" price. The press release does not mention how attractive. However, it does say that Nissan will also offer prepaid maintenance service packages—the "attractive" prices for which start at Rs 2,099 per year.
There are six monotone colour options: Blade Silver, Night Shade, Bronze Grey, Fire Red, Pearl White, and Deep Blue Pearl, which I think stand for silver, black, grey, red, white, and blue, respectively. Then there are three dual-tone options as well: Bronze Grey with Amber Orange, Fire Red with Onyx Black, and Pearl White with Onyx Black.
Bookings have commenced. Though you may not want to know, I'll still tell you that I'm really looking forward to driving the aforementioned 1.3-litre turbo petrol manual.