Opinion: Nissan’s New SUVs Kicks & Terra Look Perfect For India
The Kicks can be a rival to the Hyundai Creta while the Terra can compete with the Fortuner and Endeavour
Nissan is not doing very well in India. Apart from the fact that the carmaker doesn’t have a really wide network, it lacks attractive products too, that too in the right segments (read SUVs). While there’s the Terrano that competes against the Duster and the Creta, it is ageing faster than Nissan would have wanted. The Sunny and the Micra aren’t contributing much to sales charts of the carmaker either.
And until now, Nissan really didn’t have an SUV that fit the needs of the Indian market, where traditional boxy designs with a rather butch road presence and feature-rich insides have worked well. But Nissan’s latest SUV duo - Kicks and Terra - has qualities in them to make inroads in the Indian market, and even flourish if they come with the right mix of features and at competitive prices.
The Nissan Kicks is a compact SUV of the Hyundai Creta’s size. It was recently launched in the US at a starting price of $17,990 (~ Rs 12.12 lakh). The Kicks is also on sale in China and will eventually replace the ageing Juke in almost all markets.
The Kicks that is sold in the US and China is based on Nissan’s V platform, which also underpins cars such as the Micra (fourth-gen model, currently on sale in India) and the Sunny. At 2,620mm, the Kicks’ wheelbase, for instance, is nearly identical to the Sunny’s (2,600mm). However, as far as its overall length is concerned, it is roughly the same size (4,295mm) as the Hyundai Creta (4,270mm).
Rumours surrounding the Kicks’ India launch have been doing the rounds since some time but we think if Nissan has to bring it to India, it might be underpinned by the B0 platform, which also underpins the Captur, Duster and Terrano. While the V platform, on which the US-spec Kicks is developed, has also been localised in India, it’s the B0 platform that might give it the right size to compete with the compact SUVs here.
If the Kicks is underpinned by the B0 platform in India, it will be larger than its version that is underpinned by the V-platform. Wheelbase, for instance, would be similar to the Captur or Duster at 2673mm, which is roughly more than 50mm compared to the model on the V platform. The overall length can then also be over 4300mm. It will be more like what Renault just did with the Captur, which is based on the B0 platform here instead of the Renault Clio’s B platform.
The India-spec version of the Kicks could be powered by the Captur’s 1.5-litre petrol (106PS/142Nm; a derivative of the Sunny’s HR15 engine) and 1.5-litre diesel engines (110PS/245Nm). Transmission options could include a CVT with the petrol and EDC (Renault’s Efficient Dual Clutch) with the diesel, both of which are also expected with the Captur in the future.
Compared to the Nissan Terrano and the Renault Duster, the Kicks comes with a more extensive feature list, much like the Captur. It offers smoked LED projector headlamps with Nissan’s signature LED daytime running lights, machined wheels and dual-tone paint scheme. It is only the Captur that offers full-LED headlamps, including dynamic LED turn signals, in the compact SUV segment in India at present. The upcoming Hyundai Creta facelift is likely to carry forward the existing halogen projector setup.
On the inside, the Kicks gets a mounted 7-inch infotainment system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something that people miss on the Renault Captur. Compared to the Captur, the Kicks also offer a newer, low-set dashboard with a clean minimalist layout. That’s because the cabin and styling bits of the Captur that is sold here is borrowed from the European version that has been around since 2013. The Kicks shares its dashboard with the new fifth-gen Nissan Micra.
The Nissan Terra is a full-size SUV based on the ladder-frame underpinnings of the Nissan Navara pickup truck. Nissan recently revealed it for the Chinese market but it is expected to launch the SUV in Thailand and Philippines too. Likewise, we hope Nissan selects it for the Indian market too since it appears to be a competitive product to go against the likes of the Fortuner and Endeavour, which are easily doing over 2500 units a month together.
The Terra is expected to borrow a diesel engine from the Navara, which could be one of the two engines offered on the pickup. The Navara gets a 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine and a 2.5-litre unit. Incidentally, both the engines develop the same 190PS of maximum power. The Navara also has a petrol engine in its lineup: a 2.5-litre unit that makes a maximum power of 183PS. Outside, it is available with both manual and automatic transmission options. In India, Nissan can offer both the Terra with both petrol and diesel engine options, like the Fortuner.
The Terra is feature-rich too, though the list isn’t as extensive as it is on the Ford Endeavour. You can read in detail about the Terra here.
Let us know what you think about these SUVs in the comments section below.