Beach Behavior: Nissan Launches U.S. Version Of Kicks In Sunny San Diego

I traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympics where Nissan launched a new subcompact car, the Nissan Kicks.

(READ: Road To Rio: Nissan Drives Us Into The Olympic Games)

Jawn Murray with the Nissan Kicks at the Nissan Design Center in San Diego

I was one of the first people from the United States to test drive the vehicle, which at the time reminded me of the Mini Cooper and despite needing some tweaking, had a lot of potential. For about a year and a half, I’d been asking various executives at Nissan if they’d plan to launch the Nissan Kicks here in America, but everyone appeared — or maybe pretended — to be uncertain about the Japanese automaker making the car a U.S. citizen.

Then, sometime late last year, I was finally told that the Nissan Kicks would be making its U.S. debut. The American launch of the Kicks would mean the demise of the Nissan Juke, something I know Nissan exec William Mattiace may have to undergo grief counseling for.

Nissan officially rolled out its Kicks with some fun in the sun, inviting guests to beautiful San Diego to enjoy some beach behavior and other activities for an initial introduction to most (a reintroduction for me) of this cool, stylish whip. San Diego was chosen as the launch place for the Nissan Kicks because the company’s design studios in San Diego and Sao Paulo, Brazil collaborated on the Kicks.

Of course I was on hand to experience all the festivals for the cars rollout. You can check that out in the launch video below!

But in the meantime, here are some things you should definitely know about the Nissan Kicks.

While Nissan believes this car will have appeal with teens, millennials, college students and first-time car buyers; I think they’re underestimating the sales impact this car could have on single city-sleekers of all ages; those who want an affordable, stylish small-sized car with good fuel economy; and anyone living in a congested area.

Jawn Murray with the Nissan Kicks at Cardiff State Beach

With a starting price of $17,999 and offering model packages with a top-of-the-line at $21,265; the Nissan Kicks offers a lot of technology and amenities for a low sticker price.

This car offers automated emergency braking and forward-collision warning along with a 7.0-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard even in the base models; but you get other things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, LED headlights, a 360-degree camera system and an in-seat Bose sound system in upgraded models.

The two-tone vehicle is spacious for its size, has a stronger drive than you’d anticipate and just has a lot of personality.

Jawn Murray on the Nissan Kicks on top of a canyon in San Diego

Custom Art Nissan Kicks


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