2019 Nissan Kicks vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Kicks and the Rav4 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, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Kicks the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Rav4 has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Kicks gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4 FWD (31 city/36 hwy vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

Transmission

The Kicks has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Kicks stops shorter than the Rav4:

 

Kicks

Rav4

 

60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Kicks S’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires.

The Kicks has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Rav4 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Kicks has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Kicks SR handles at .77 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Kicks’ turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (34.1 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The Kicks’ turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (34.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Nissan Kicks may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 950 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4.

The Kicks is 11.8 inches shorter than the Rav4, making the Kicks easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Kicks has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front legroom and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

The Kicks’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

Ergonomics

The Kicks’ variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Kicks has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Rav4 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited.

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

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