Report: Nissan Considering Brazilian-Market Kicks Crossover for U.S.
Model to be Less Powerful, More Practical than Juke
The compact crossover segment is one of the fastest-growing in the industry, and one of the originators of it ironically finds itself on the outside looking in. Nissan’s introduction of the quirky-looking Juke small crossover in 2010 was arguably the forerunner in the segment, which is now packed with competitors such as the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and Chevrolet Trax. Nissan recently introduced a more conventional B-class crossover in Brazil in the form of the Kicks concept. However, information discovered by WardsAuto shows the Kicks is possibly well beyond the “concept” stage for the North American market. The “Kicks” name has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and a B-class SUV of some sort is scheduled to start production in Mexico this year.
Whether the Kicks will supplement or replace the Juke in Nissan’s U.S. lineup is unknown. The Juke sold a total of 27,121 units in the U.S. for 2015, a decline of 29 percent from 2014’s total of 38,184. Conversely, the Rogue C-segment crossover sold a massive 287,190 units in the U.S. for 2015, an increase of 44.2 percent over the 199,199 units sold in 2014, indicating a preference for more practically packaged models. Although the Juke is one of the most powerful entries in the segment with a 188hp 1.6L turbocharged I-4, it’s one of the least practical, with a small, oddly shaped cargo area.