2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

The Honda CR-V has 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 CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Kicks doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Kicks doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 CR-V and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 crash mitigating brakes, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Honda CR-V weighs 635 to 873 pounds more than the Nissan Kicks. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CR-V the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kicks has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Kicks isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 62 more horsepower (184 vs. 122) and 66 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (190 vs. 122) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (179 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the CR-V 1.5T is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

 

CR-V

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

7.6 sec

9.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.5 sec

36.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.1 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

124 MPH

110 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The CR-V has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (14 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The CR-V 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

CR-V

Kicks

Front Rotors

11.1 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

10.2 inches

8” drums

The Honda CR-V 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 CR-V stops much shorter than the Kicks:

 

CR-V

Kicks

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the Kicks (235/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CR-V LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.

The Honda CR-V’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Kicks only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Honda CR-V 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 rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CR-V’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Kicks (104.7 inches vs. 103.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Kicks.

The CR-V’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Kicks’ (60.8% to 39.2%). This gives the CR-V more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks (8.2 vs. 7 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Kicks doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Kicks doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (105.9 vs. 93.9).

The CR-V has 4.2 inches more front hip room, 4.9 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 7.2 inches more rear legroom, .4 inches more rear hip room and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The Kicks’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the CR-V. The Kicks doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CR-V EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The CR-V has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CR-V EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Kicks doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Kicks doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Kicks can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Kicks’ manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The CR-V 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.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Kicks doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the CR-V and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Kicks SV/SR doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the CR-V Touring. The CR-V’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 available voice command, the CR-V offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Kicks doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

Kicks

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Kicks isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The Kicks has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The Kicks has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Nissan Kicks by over 36 to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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