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Common Failures Of The Nissan Kicks: Problems, Disadvantages And Opinions

Introduced in 2016 to the subcompact crossover space, the Nissan Kicks has made a splash. But not everything is rosy since the Nissan Kicks, like every car, has presented some problems. Stay until the end and find out here everything about the common faults of the Nissan Kicks .

The Kicks is one of the best priced cars in its segment and is roomy enough for you and four other passengers. Here we will take a look at some of the most common problems that owners of these fine cars face.

Common failures of the Nissan Kicks

The Kicks’ body styling is inspired by the Juke and its bigger brothers. It is sporty and appears smaller on the outside than on the inside.

The most prominent feature of the Nissan Kicks is its fuel efficiency. When combined with a low starting cost, it makes for a solid winner in the subcompact CUV class.

The most common problems with Nissan Kicks are the following:

1. Clicking sounds in the instrument panel

Owners have complained of clicking noises from the instrument panel in a 2019 Kicks with less than 1000 miles (1609 kilometers) on the odometer. After having the car for a week some users detected a warning light showed a message saying: “ Cannot detect frontal shock sensor ”.

After the message, the front warning alarm sounded, and there was no one in front of the car. Consequently, the dealership replaced the ” front shock sensor “. However, the dealer never identified the source of the instrument panel clicking noises.

Although there is only one incident of clicks in the instrument cluster, complaints about the infotainment system and the forward collision alarm are numerous. However, Nissan has not issued a recall on the collision alarms or the instrument panels, indicating that the problems are few.

2. Front collision sensor failure

Various reports say that when the frontal collision sensor fails, the car stops on its own. This complaint was reported to the NHSTA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in the US.

There have been numerous complaints about this problem, and the solution is to replace the sensor. One car owner claimed that it only happened when he was facing the sun. Another problem seems to be that some dealerships were not installing the correct part, so the problem was not fixed.

Some owners have taken their Kicks to another dealership, whose mechanics have been able to fix the problem.

Whatever the reason for the frontal collision sensor failing, it needs to be repaired as soon as it is known to have a problem. Sudden stops in freeway traffic are dangerous enough. However, the danger increases when your car decides to do it without being told to do so from any direction.

3. Vehicle shuts down while driving

A car stalling on its own is dangerous , so is a car stalling while driving, and there have been several incidents of the car stalling while driving. This without a doubt is one of the worst common failures of the Nissan Kicks.

One of the owners who reported this incident that the car would not restart immediately. Instead, the driver had to wait 15-30 minutes before it would reboot. The driver has had his Kicks serviced twice since it died while driving, but the mystery remains unsolved.

There have been several other incidents of engines stalling randomly. The affected cars are mostly 2018 and 2019 models. Some engine idle issues appeared in 2020 models. However, in 2021 only one complaint was registered.

A Nissan service bulletin indicates that the stalling on the Kicks is due to a fuel system problem . However, there is a workaround for it, and if you have a 2018 and newer Kicks, you’re covered in the service bulletin, just like many other Nissans.

4. The car does not accelerate.

Some of the 2020 Kicks had this issue, with some drivers mentioning the car would stall for a second and then have trouble accelerating. This failure could be a result of the above. If the engine isn’t getting fuel when it should, it won’t accelerate as it should.

However, there are many reasons why a car may not accelerate properly, and there may be any of the following:

  • Clogged air filter
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Clogged Mass Air Sensor (MAF)
  • Dirty throttle body
  • Clogged catalytic converter
  • Fuel pump malfunction

As you can see, there are many reasons why your kicks may not accelerate as it should. A Nissan mechanic should be able to diagnose your car and fix the problem.

5. The idling engine and squealing transmission

The next problem with the Nissan Kicks is also an engine issue. Some owners have reported rough idle as well as transmission grinding sounds.

Some of the complaints made about the Kicks are directed at the CVT (continuously variable transmission). The consensus is that it slips, and then the engine stalls.

Rough engine idling can be related to fuel system problems and some of the faults that prevent the car from accelerating as it should.

As for the transmission, Nissan put out a recall for Kicks made in 2019. There is no information on other years. However, there are reports of 2021 models having:

  • Gear shift delays
  • car shakes
  • grinding when accelerating
  • Smell of burning under the hood

An owner heard hissing noises coming from the engine. However, since this engine is not turbocharged, hissing is not a typical sound.

6. Problems with automatic emergency braking

Some models of the Kicks have had braking problems since the first model was introduced. This is the most critical issue with any Kicks issue other than stalling at speed.

Owners say that emergency braking kicks in at highway speeds and slows the car down. Other problems include a system that won’t activate.

Either scenario could be a disaster if you are traveling at highway speeds . Nissan has worked on this issue and again no recall for emergency brake failure.

Your local Nissan dealer will often take care of these issues, so a recall is unnecessary.

7. Infotainment System/Backup Camera Faults

Some models had issues with their infotainment systems that caused unpredictable operation. Owner complaints claimed that the infotainment system was behaving erratically. There are times when the radio stops working completely.

Other owners complain that Bluetooth connectivity is often unpredictable in its behavior. There are no complaints about the navigation system. However, yes about the security camera.

The unpredictability of the infotainment system can affect everything that syncs with it. This includes:

  • Radio functions
  • navigation system
  • security camera

However, Nissan has worked to correct each problem with each new model year.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Nissan Kicks

While the Nissan Kicks has some issues, it also has a lot going for it and is worth checking out if you’re interested in buying a subcompact crossover.


  • It is one of the lowest priced crossovers on the market.
  • The Kicks has a lot of space in what seems like little space
  • The base price is very reasonable.
  • Excellent gas mileage (31 city/36 hwy and 33 combined miles per gallon)
  • Carries five passengers, comfortably
  • It has an elegant and sporty body
  • It is easy to drive and park.


  • It could use a more powerful engine.
  • It does not have all-wheel drive.
  • The interior materials are of lower quality than those of the competition.
  • The manual transmission feels heavy and makes city driving uncomfortable.
  • It is necessary to check the infotainment features if you are trying to buy used Kicks.

Comments and opinions on the Nissan Kicks

The most outstanding criticisms and opinions about the Nissan Kicks are the following:

  • The Kicks is a great city car, but we wish its engine was smoother and more powerful.

car and driver

  • Among its many rivals, for extra-small SUVs, the Kicks is most similar to the Hyundai Venue and Kia Soul.

  • If you’re considering the Nissan Kicks, you should know that it’s an affordable and practical small SUV.

To finish

Although the Nissan Kicks has some common faults, it’s a solid little car. It has more than eight inches of ground clearance, giving it a commanding view of the road.

Stylish, with cutting-edge technology, and phenomenal gas mileage for a crossover, the Kicks has caught on very quickly. Only a couple of crossovers in this segment are competitors to the Nissan Kicks. Among them are the Kia Soul, the Toyota C-HR, the Kia Seltos, the Hyundai Venue and the Chevrolet Trailblazer. However, the Kicks can outperform all of them on price, and its taller version attracts a lot of buyers.

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