2019 Honda HR-V vs. 2019 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The HR-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 HR-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 HR-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.

Both the HR-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 and available crash mitigating brakes.

Reliability

The engine in the HR-V has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Kicks has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

The HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl. produces 19 more horsepower (141 vs. 122) and 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (127 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Honda HR-V is faster than the Nissan Kicks:

 

HR-V

Kicks

Zero to 60 MPH

9.3 sec

9.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

29.1 sec

36.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

9.8 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17.4 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82 MPH

80 MPH

Top Speed

117 MPH

110 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The HR-V has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (13.2 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

HR-V

Kicks

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

8” drums

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

 

HR-V

Kicks

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the HR-V has larger tires than the Kicks (215/55R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The HR-V’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks S’ standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the HR-V has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S.

The Honda HR-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

The HR-V EX-L AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Kicks SR pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The HR-V EX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Kicks SR (27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

The HR-V Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring 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 HR-V has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (100.1 vs. 93.9).

The HR-V has 2.2 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, 6.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.

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

Cargo Capacity

The HR-V has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (58.8 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the HR-V Touring. The HR-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 standard voice command, the HR-V Touring 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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Honda HR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Honda HR-V outsold the Nissan Kicks by almost four to one during 2018.

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

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