2019 Ford EcoSport vs. 2019 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The EcoSport has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Ford EcoSport offers Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Kicks doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The EcoSport SE/Titanium/SES has standard SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Kicks doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the EcoSport and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the EcoSport’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. produces 1 more horsepower (123 vs. 122) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (125 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The EcoSport’s optional 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (166 vs. 122) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (149 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the EcoSport’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The EcoSport has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (13.6 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The EcoSport has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Kicks doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Ford EcoSport as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Nissan Kicks is only certified to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the EcoSport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:

 

EcoSport

Kicks

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

8” drums

The Ford EcoSport has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Kicks. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The EcoSport stops shorter than the Kicks:

 

EcoSport

Kicks

 

70 to 0 MPH

186 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The EcoSport’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks SV/SR’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the EcoSport 4x4 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Kicks has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The EcoSport has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The EcoSport SES 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Kicks SR (28.7 seconds @ .56 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

The EcoSport is 7.8 inches shorter than the Kicks, making the EcoSport easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The EcoSport has .7 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 3.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear hip room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

The EcoSport has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (50 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).

Towing

The EcoSport has a 1400 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the EcoSport and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the EcoSport is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Kicks prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The EcoSport’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The EcoSport Titanium/SES’ standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

On extremely cold winter days, the EcoSport’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The EcoSport has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the EcoSport (except S). The EcoSport’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Kicks doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the EcoSport offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

The EcoSport (except S) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Kicks doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

The Ford EcoSport outsold the Nissan Kicks by over two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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