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The Toyota C-HR 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 C-HR’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 C-HR’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 C-HR (except LE) offers optional Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen 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 C-HR 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, crash mitigating brakes, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
The Toyota C-HR weighs 628 to 661 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.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the C-HR for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Kicks.
There are over 13 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the C-HR’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.
The C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (144 vs. 122) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (139 vs. 114) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.
The C-HR has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (13.2 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the C-HR’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:
The Toyota C-HR 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 C-HR stops much shorter than the Kicks:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
For better traction, the C-HR has larger standard tires than the Kicks (215/60R17 vs. 205/60R16). The C-HR XLE/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Kicks (225/50R18 vs. 205/60R16).
The C-HR XLE/Limited’s 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.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-HR LE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The C-HR XLE/Limited’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.
The Toyota C-HR’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.
For superior ride and handling, the Toyota C-HR 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.
The C-HR XLE handles at .80 G’s, while the Kicks SR pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The C-HR XLE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Kicks SR (28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).
The C-HR has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (36.4 vs. 32.3 cubic feet).
The power windows standard on both the C-HR and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the C-HR 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 C-HR’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Kicks’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left open on the C-HR 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Kicks can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The C-HR Limited’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 C-HR detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Kicks doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The C-HR’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Kicks SV/SR.
The C-HR’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.
To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the C-HR Limited. The C-HR’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 C-HR 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.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota C-HR, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Toyota C-HR outsold the Nissan Kicks by over two to one during 2018.
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