The Nissan Kicks arrived on US shores in 2018, replacing the quirky-styled Juke as the subcompact crossover in the automaker's lineup. It's garnered praise from the Motor1.com crew for its space, features, value, and tossable nature despite being saddled with a CVT turning just the front wheels. A facelift is coming for 2021, and Nissan is teasing the new model that will debut on December 8. There's just one thing – we've already seen it.
The 2021 Kicks debuted in May 2020 for Thailand, where it launched as a hybrid with a small gasoline engine used exclusively to charge batteries for the electric motor driving the wheels. Whether or not that powertrain option comes to the US is unknown, and for now, Nissan isn't offering up any details. But the styling refresh adopts Nissan's larger V-Motion grille, which is easily the most notable difference compared to the outgoing model.
Gallery: 2021 Nissan Kicks e-Power
A big grille requires a new front fascia, and the update adds thinner headlights that connect to prominent sculpting on either side of the grille. The result is a decidedly bolder look at the front, but that's where nearly all the changes take place. Updated taillights and minor tweaks to rear fascia are also in store, while inside, the Kicks sees minor changes to the existing greenhouse. The center console is updated with a smaller shift stalk, and the in-dash infotainment screen is a bit larger.
That is, these should be the changes revealed on December 8. There's no guarantee that the Kicks for Thailand will look the same as the one for the US, but such a thing seems highly unlikely. Furthermore, looking closely at Nissan's teaser photo atop this article, we see the outline of the same face we saw back in May. So at this point, all that remains is learning the details about updated features, equipment, what's under the hood, and whether the Kicks will remain a pricing champion in the subcompact crossover segment.
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Catch the 2021 Nissan Kicks debut on December 8 here at Motor1.com.