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In India the Kicks will share its engine with the Terrano

Performance – Nissan will utilise the petrol and diesel engines that do duty on the Terrano, both the powertrains employ a 1.5-litre motor, belting out 110 HP. The petrol engine isn’t that famous in India as most opt for the fantastic diesel, which in its latest iteration offers great drivability thanks to the well contained turbo lag. NVH is good, refinement levels are not Creta level but still excellent but the DCi motor is really efficient. Both these petrol and diesel engines are paired to either a manual or an AMT gearbox (the petrol uses a CVT). Good mid-range and a high-revving engine by diesel standards means the Kicks will have good punch, the only drawback is the rather short gearing but a sixth gear compensates for it on the highway.

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The 1.5-litre DCi engine is known for its performance

The Indian version of the Kicks will get 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines

The Nissan Kicks we drove in Dubai is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine that belts out 118 HP. No doubt this petrol mill has better performance than the 1.5-litre unit that will do duty in India but due to taxation, we won’t be getting the 1.6 gasoline powerplant. Performance is good, NVH is simply excellent and the engine redlines with some enthusiasm, making quite a bit of noise past 4000 RPM. The XTRONIC CVT gearbox is well calibrated with the rubber band effect being extremely well contained too.

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The Indian Kicks is likely to feel better to drive than the Dubai version

Driving Dynamics – The Nissan Kicks is underpinned by the Micra platform and isn’t the best in terms of ride and handling balance. The car did move around a lot on Dubai’s bad roads (a.k.a. the ones near the dunes) and the light weight of the car was immediately apparent, more so with the suspension noise being present. The steering is light at low speeds but doesn’t weigh up well at high speeds and there is body roll and the vehicle doesn’t feel that enthusiastic to drive. However, Nissan will offer the Indian Kicks with different underpinnings with hardware borrowed from the Juke, expect a big improvement in the dynamics department.