The Thai-spec Kicks gets Nissan’s e-Power hybrid powertrain that combines a tiny petrol engine with an electric motor

  • Nissan Kicks launched in Thailand previews global facelift.
  • The 2020 Kicks gets a revised front fascia and new powertrain.
  • Nissan e-Power consists of an electric motor, a petrol engine and a battery.
  • India-spec Nissan Kicks could borrow cosmetic updates seen on the Thai-spec SUV.

Nissan has launched the Kicks in Thailand for the first time and it happens to be a special one. The Thai-spec Kicks packs Nissan’s e-Power technology, making it an hybrid SUV that doesn’t require external charging at all. The Thai-spec model gets a revised design and could very well be a preview of the global facelift.

Nissan’s e-Power system consists of an electric motor, a small displacement petrol engine, an inverter and a tiny battery. The electric motor drives the wheels while the engine acts as a generator to charge the battery while on the move which eliminates the need for an external charger. It allows the Kicks to drive like an EV without the range anxiety and be relatively cleaner too.

The Kicks’s e-Power setup uses a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol unit as the generator and the electric motor offers 126PS and 260Nm of performance. Battery pack capacity stands at 1.57kWh. The Nexon Electric, for reference, has a 30.2kWh battery back. As it needs to be refueled instead of charging, the fuel efficiency of the engine is said to be around 23kmpl.

In terms of the cosmetic updates, the new Kicks SUV comes with a revised front fascia. It looks sportier than before with sleeker LED headlamps, bigger V-motion grille with black surround and new bumper design. The rear end seems mostly unchanged with new LED elements for the taillamps and the Thai-spec model has the rear skid plate integrated into the body-coloured bumper.

The cabin of the Thai-spec Nissan Kicks is similar to the one sold in South and North American markets  and is slightly different from the India-spec model. The central AC vents are positioned above the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is embedded into the dashboard and doesn’t seem as awkward as the free standing unit in the current India-spec Kicks SUV. There’s a semi-digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch TFT display, a flat-bottom steering wheel and updated centre console for the e-Power drivetrain. Other features on the Nissan Kicks facelift include six airbags, active safety systems like front collision warning and rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, auto headlamps, 360-degree camera and engine start-stop button.

While the Kicks e-Power and its hybrid powertrain are unlikely to come to India, Nissan could refresh the model sold here by borrowing design cues from the latter. We expect it to go on sale in 2021. Nissan had previously stated it will study the feasibility of the e-Power tech in India, but so far no announcement has been made regarding its introduction. Thailand happens to be the second market to locally produce the e-Power tech after Japan. Just to give a price reference, the Thai-spec Nissan Kicks e-Power starts from Rs 21 lakh (converted 889,000 baht).

The India-spec Kicks SUV was recently updated with BS6 engines including a new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine, making it the most powerful model in the segment at 156PS. The BS6 Kicks has been recently launched with prices ranging between Rs 9.5 lakh and Rs 14.15 lakh (ex-showroom, India). It will continue to rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Renault Duster.


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