Verdict – The Nissan Kicks has a lot riding on it. The Japanese automaker’s sales haven’t been close to what they were when the Sunny was selling in good numbers. The Terrano did little to turn the fortunes of Nissan and after a silence of a few years, the GT-R maker is coming back with a bang. The Kicks seems promising, it is unique and with Nissan working on the car to bring it up to date with Indian tastes, it sure will pack in a lot of appeal.
Besides the Kicks, we also drove the Pathfinder, X-Trail and Patrol in the UAE. The X-Trail was on sale in India earlier and Nissan also showcased the Hybrid version here but decided against launching it, due to the low volumes of soft-roaders as the X-Trail would be priced high due to it being a CBU. The Pathfinder is an SUV which can rival the Toyota Fortuner but is unlikely to make it here as it will need local assembly to be priced competitively. Also, the current gen is a few years old and nearing its lifecycle, it was launched in 2013.
And then there is the flagship Nissan SUV which also happens to be the oldest car here (the current generation was launched in 2011) and yet the most desirable. Nissan did bring the Patrol to India for journalists to sample it but didn’t launch it here and it makes no sense too as it’s powered by a lone V8 petrol engine that outputs 400 HP and 560 Nm. This 5.6-litre motor guzzles fuel to the tune of 2.5 km/l but the sheer presence and space offered by the Patrol makes it a common sight on Dubai roads. It’s big, feature loaded, rides well and of course has a lot of body roll, it’s not the quickest, despite the massive engine but it takes to dune bashing effortlessly, as we witnessed when we drove the SUV over sand dunes, this is an outright luxury SUV which is highly capable on every terrain.
* Well-equipped cabin will offer good space and features
* Diesel engine produces good performance and efficiency
* Manual and AT options will be available
What’s Not So Cool
* Driving dynamics may not be as good as segment best
* Nissan’s limited sales/service network in India
Alternatives: Renault Captur, Hyundai Creta, Ford EcoSport