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2021 Honda HR-V vs Nissan Kicks

2021 Honda HR-V vs Nissan Kicks

2021 HR-V vs Kicks - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Small SUVs have surged in popularity amongst commuters and families, who appreciate the extra space they provide while still taking up relatively little room on crowded streets. But some automakers stand out above the rest by providing great value for every dollar spent - making their small SUVs an absolute steal.

The 2021 Honda HR-V has a lot going for it, including versatility. This subcompact SUV has been around since 2016 and has not made many changes since its introduction. For 2021, the Sport trim gains tinted rear glass. No other significant improvements are happening. Despite the lack of changes, the HR-V has most of the important features that buyers are after, at least on its higher trim levels.

Nissan actually makes several changes to the Kicks in 2021. This SUV stands out from others with its unusual styling. New models show off a larger grille along with a new design for their 17-inch aluminum wheels. Availability of the contrasting black roof has been expanded to more paint colors as well. The 2021 Nissan Kicks also comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, something that has been noticeably missing in years past.

The subcompact SUV class is growing rapidly, and two of the leading models are Honda's HR-V and Nissan's Kicks. Each offers unique advantages for buyers to consider; however, distinct distinctions between them will require careful assessment by drivers in order to determine which vehicle best suits their needs. Fortunately, a thorough breakdown can help make that decision simpler than ever before!

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The Powertrain

With its 2021 model, Honda unleashes the power of a 1.8L four-cylinder engine capable of 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft torque to navigate life's winding roads with ease. Drivers have their choice between front or all wheel drive options when opting for any trim level – giving you control over whatever path your adventure takes!

The 2021 Nissan Kicks offers a dependable 1.6L four-cylinder engine, delivering 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque with a Continuous Variable Transmission to enhance your drive - no matter the terrain or weather conditions ahead! However, unlike its competitor HRV, all wheel drive is not an available upgrade for the Kicks model.

The Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks offer a comfortable, smooth ride for local city driving. However, cranking up the speed on highways may lead to some strain in terms of horsepower - as well as an increase in engine noise levels.

Towing would not be considered a strength for either the HR-V or the Kicks. When properly equipped, the HR-V tops out at just 1,500 pounds. Nissan recommends that drivers do not use the Kicks to tow, period. Although towing is not something that subcompact SUVs are known for, there are several competitors that can handle at least 2,000 pounds.

The Honda HR-V offers excellent fuel economy. When it has front-wheel drive, buyers can expect 28mpg in the city and 34mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive HR-V models can get up to 27mpg city and 31mpg highway. The 2021 Kicks does even better. It gives drivers 31mpg city and 36mpg highway, putting it near the top of its class.

JD Power evaluates vehicles based on their predicted reliability. The 2021 HR-V received a score of 78 out of 100, which is considered respectable. There is currently no score available for the 2021 Kicks, but the similar 2020 model was given 76 out of 100.

Buyers will find that the HR-V and Kicks have identical warranty coverages. The powertrain is covered for five years or 60,000 miles. As for the limited bumper-to-bumper warranty, it lasts three years or 36,000 miles. Ultimately, neither reliability nor warranty coverage is helpful when choosing between the HR-V and the Kicks.


The HR-V and Kicks boast a comfortable ride, yet don't provide the same level of protection that larger SUV models offer on bumpy roads. When it comes to tight turns or small parking spaces, both vehicles are easy to manage due to their compact size; however, when it comes purely down handling performance - especially through steering feedback – the HR-V has an undeniable edge.

The HR-V and Kicks both provide a respectable amount of room for passengers in their back rows. However, the sloping roofline on the HR-V slightly reduces headroom while sitting in its rear seat; an issue that doesn't exist with Nissan's SUV. Additionally, thanks to its higher ride height off ground level compared to Honda’s model, visibility is improved even further when driving around town - perfect for navigating tight corners or winding roads!

The Nissan Kicks offers generous cargo space, with a total of 93.9 cubic feet for passengers and 53.1 when the rear row is folded down - an impressive number compared to its peers in the class! Although it's worth noting that folding flat isn't an option due to wheel wells cutting into available space. Additionally, there's nearly one inch more legroom at the back seats of HR-V vehicles than found on the Kicks'.

The Honda HR-V provides a practical solution for those looking to transport their gear, with up to 58.8 cubic feet of storage capacity available when the second row is not utilized - although all wheel drive models sacrifice some room in exchange for better traction on various surfaces. Alongside this functionality comes an enviable interior featuring premium materials and leather trimming, elevating it above that offered by even the highest model Nissan Kicks variant.

Despite being a fairly reliable and budget-friendly crossover, the HR-V falls behind its competitors when it comes to standard tech. While entry level models come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch display screen ,and single USB port; those looking for more features will find some upgrades in their favor on higher trims such as Android Auto & Apple CarPlay compatibility alongside HD radio, second USB ports and satellite navigation systems!

With the 2021 Nissan Kicks, you can enjoy modern tech with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as three USB ports for easy charging. Additionally, rest assured knowing that this option comes standard with a minimum of six speakers on its stereo system - far more than competitors like Honda's 2021 HR-V offer! Plus there are plenty of options to upgrade including an 8" touchscreen display, Wi-Fi hotspot capability & Bose audio technology so you'll never miss out on quality sound while cruising in your new ride.

Buying Tip:

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The 2021 Honda HR-V has been showcased in all its glory, having earned the highest rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Achieving top marks for side impact and rollover tests as well as four stars for frontal collisions, this latest model is sure to make a lasting impression on drivers with an eye towards safety. In comparison, the similarly scored Nissan Kicks fell short by one star overall - illustrating that even small differences can have big effects!

Another resource for buyers when it comes to evaluating safety is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. They evaluate new vehicles in six main categories, including roof strength and head restraints. Both the Kicks and HR-V got "Good" across the board.

Despite having a better score from the NHTSA, the HR-V has far fewer standard driver aids. In fact, the base model comes with only a rearview camera. The EX and EX-L models add the Honda Sensing bundle, which includes things like a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a collision mitigation braking system. Select models also have front and rear parking sensors, along with automatic high beams.

On the other hand, the 2021 Kicks comes with several driver assistance technologies. All models have blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Both forward and reverse automatic emergency braking are included as well. Select models add adaptive cruise control, a rear door alert, driver attention monitoring, and a surround-view camera system.

Which Has the Best Value?

Looking to buy a subcompact SUV? The 2021 Honda HR-V offers entry level options beginning at $21,020. For those looking for the top trim experience, opt in for the EX-L variant which starts out at an average price of $25,800 within its class. But if you're searching on a budget - consider the 2021 Nissan Kicks! It's one of today’s most wallet friendly SUVs available starting from just under twenty thousand with perfect specs and capabilities all around – including its highest premium SR model that begins at only $21,940.

The initial cost is only part of the story when it comes to value. Which of these two SUVs will be more expensive as time goes on? Kelley Blue Book provides estimates of the five-year cost-to-own to help buyers decide and budget.

For those considering a 2021 subcompact SUV, the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks offer great value. A closer look reveals that while fuel costs for both models are similar at around $7,000 over five years of ownership, maintenance on the HR-V runs slightly higher than its competitor with an estimated cost just above $3K. However, when analyzed together - including out of pocket expenses plus depreciation - it's clear to see why buyers may choose either option as each model will be approximately equivalent in total expense over their lifespans; current estimates put the 5 year window at nearly $31k for the Honda versus almost exactly $29k for its counterpart from Nissan.

When making an investment in a vehicle, drivers should consider cost-per-mile. The 2021 Kicks is estimated to be $0.39 per mile - far more affordable than its competitor the Honda HR-V at $0.41 per mile despite similar depreciation owners experience over time both vehicles lose value at approximately the same rate Despite having a lower initial purchase price, however, the Nissan Kicks offers significantly increased bang for your buck with advanced technology and infotainment features included as part of each model's package – giving you much more car (and convenience) while saving on long-term costs.

Which is Better?

For those in the market for an affordable compact SUV, there is a clear choice between two top offerings: The 2021 Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks. While both models offer excellent value propositions, drivers who desire more passenger space, technology features and engaging driving dynamics will find that the Kicks stands out as best option - with one exception. If all-wheel drive is essential to your vehicle needs then you should opt for the HR-V since it's currently their only acceptable offering of its kind amongst these competitors.

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