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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the CR-V Hybrid deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The CR-V Hybrid’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Kicks’ airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
The CR-V Hybrid has 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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
The Honda CR-V Hybrid weighs 929 to 1072 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 IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CR-V Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Kicks last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.
The CR-V Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 90 more horsepower (212 vs. 122) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder.
On the EPA test cycle the CR-V Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Kicks (40 city/35 hwy vs. 31 city/36 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the CR-V Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Kicks doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the CR-V Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Kicks doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The CR-V Hybrid has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (14 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The CR-V Hybrid 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.
For better stopping power the CR-V Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:
The Honda CR-V Hybrid 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.
For better traction, the CR-V Hybrid has larger tires than the Kicks (235/60R18 vs. 205/60R16).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CR-V Hybrid LX has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The CR-V Hybrid Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.
The Honda CR-V Hybrid’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 Honda CR-V Hybrid 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 CR-V Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the CR-V Hybrid flat and controlled during cornering. The Kicks’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CR-V Hybrid’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the Kicks (104.7 inches vs. 103.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V Hybrid is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 3.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.
The CR-V Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Kicks’ (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the CR-V Hybrid more stable handling and braking.
For greater off-road capability the CR-V Hybrid has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks S (8.2 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the CR-V Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CR-V Hybrid’s minimum ground clearance is 1.2 inches higher than on the Kicks SV/SR (8.2 vs. 7 inches).
The front grille of the CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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.
The CR-V Hybrid has 12 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (105.9 vs. 93.9).
The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid’s rear seats recline. The Kicks’ rear seats don’t recline.
The CR-V Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (33.2 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The CR-V Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (68.7 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V Hybrid’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 Hybrid. 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 Hybrid EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Hybrid Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a power liftgate.
When two different drivers share the CR-V Hybrid EX/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 Hybrid 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.
The CR-V Hybrid’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Kicks has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The CR-V Hybrid EX/EX-L/Touring’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and the driver’s window also automatically closes, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Kicks’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CR-V Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Kicks’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”
On extremely cold winter days, the CR-V Hybrid EX-L/Touring’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kicks doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
The CR-V Hybrid 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 Hybrid 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 Hybrid and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V Hybrid 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 keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CR-V Hybrid has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Kicks doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the CR-V Hybrid Touring. The CR-V Hybrid’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 CR-V Hybrid Touring 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.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Kicks doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Honda CR-V outsold the Nissan Kicks by over six to one during 2019.
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