2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2018 Nissan Kicks

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Kicks doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX 250h has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Kicks doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Lexus UX Series 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The Lexus UX Series weighs 635 to 966 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.

Warranty

The UX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Kicks’ 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the UX Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Kicks. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Kicks ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The UX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Kicks’ (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 44 more horsepower (169 vs. 125) and 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 115) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 50 more horsepower (175 vs. 125) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX 250h gets better fuel mileage than the Kicks (41 city/38 hwy vs. 31 city/36 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the UX Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Kicks doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The UX Series’ standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (12.4 vs. 10.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:

 

UX Series

Kicks

Front Rotors

12 inches

10.16 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

8” drums

The Lexus UX Series 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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Kicks (225/50R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The UX Series’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Kicks S’ standard 60 series tires. The UX Series’ tires are lower profile than the Kicks SV/SR’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Kicks’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Lexus UX Series’ 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.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Kicks doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Lexus UX Series 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 better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the UX Series is 1.2 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 2.9 inches more front hip room, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room and 3.2 inches more rear hip room than the Kicks.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ available liftgate can be opened just by a gesture, leaving your hands completely free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 47% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel 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.

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Kicks doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Kicks doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the UX Series. The UX Series’ 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.

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

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