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The Rav4 Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Kicks doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Rav4 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 Toyota Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid has standard 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 Rav4 Hybrid and the Kicks have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid weighs 990 to 1109 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 Rav4 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.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Hybrid 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 15 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Rav4 Hybrid’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 second in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Nissan is ranked 11th.
The Rav4 Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 97 more horsepower (219 vs. 122) than the Kicks’ 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder.
As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid is faster than the Nissan Kicks:
Zero to 30 MPH
Zero to 60 MPH
45 to 65 MPH Passing
Speed in 1/4 Mile
On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Kicks (41 city/38 hwy vs. 31 city/36 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Rav4 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 Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Kicks (14.5 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Rav4 Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Kicks:
The Toyota Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid has larger tires than the Kicks (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 Hybrid LE/XLE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Kicks S. The Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the Kicks SV/SR.
The Toyota Rav4 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 Toyota Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Kicks (105.9 inches vs. 103.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Hybrid is 3.2 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Kicks.
The Rav4 Hybrid XSE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Kicks SR (28.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .55 average G’s).
For greater off-road capability the Rav4 Hybrid has a 1.2 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Kicks S (8.1 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Rav4 Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 Hybrid’s minimum ground clearance is 1.1 inches higher than on the Kicks SV/SR (8.1 vs. 7 inches).
The front grille of the Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kicks (98.9 vs. 93.9).
The Rav4 Hybrid has 3.4 inches more front hip room, 4.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 4.6 inches more rear legroom and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kicks.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rav4 Hybrid’s rear seats recline. The Kicks’ rear seats don’t recline.
The Rav4 Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Kicks with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 25.3 cubic feet). The Rav4 Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kicks with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 53.1 cubic feet).
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 Hybrid (except LE) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Hybrid Limited, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Kicks doesn’t offer a power liftgate.
The Rav4 Hybrid has a 1750 lbs. towing capacity. The Kicks has no towing capacity.
When two different drivers share the Rav4 Hybrid Limited, 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 Rav4 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 power windows standard on both the Rav4 Hybrid and the Kicks have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Rav4 Hybrid 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 Rav4 Hybrid’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’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Rav4 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. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Kicks can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Rav4 Hybrid XLE/XSE/Limited’s optional 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 Rav4 Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Kicks’ headlights are rated “Acceptable” to “Poor.”
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Rav4 Hybrid Limited offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Kicks doesn’t offer cornering lights.
Both the Rav4 Hybrid and the Kicks offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Hybrid Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Kicks.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Hybrid Limited 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.
On extremely cold winter days, the Rav4 Hybrid XLE/XSE/Limited’s optional 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 Rav4 Hybrid has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Kicks doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The Rav4 Hybrid’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 Rav4 Hybrid and the Kicks offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rav4 Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Rav4 Hybrid has a standard Dynamic Radar 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 available on the Rav4 Hybrid (except LE/XLE). The Rav4 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 Rav4 Hybrid 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.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid XSE/Limited offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Kicks doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Nissan Kicks isn't recommended.
The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Nissan Kicks by almost 8 to one during 2019.
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