Nissan Philippines is a company that has been very aggressive with its electrification efforts, having formally brought its Leaf into our market last year. But the main problem is that said EV isn’t particularly affordable, especially with a price tag of P2.798 million. While our EV Industry Development Act and infrastructure are still in their infancy, the next best thing that consumers can look to is hybrids.
These usually cost more than their equivalent gasoline counterparts, but they often make up for it with incredible efficiency, excellent comfort, and low emissions—all without the range anxiety of a battery-electric vehicle.
We know that a couple of Japanese manufacturers offer self-charging (or plug-in) hybrids. Now, it’s Nissan’s turn to step up to the plate with its e-Power drivetrain, starring the Kicks e-Power.
But we’ll get the biggest thing out of the way first: the price. With Toyota’s most affordable hybrid offerings starting at around P1.6 million, Nissan was in a prime position to undercut the competition. And it did, but we genuinely did not expect the brand to go that low:
- EL – P1,209,000
- VE – P1,309,000
- VL – P1,509,000
While it’s not under the magic P1-million mark, these introductory prices are incredibly tempting, especially for first-time car owners who want a taste of the electrified life. So, what do you get?
The vehicle is a subcompact crossover with measurements of 4,300mm long, 1,960mm wide, and 1,615mm tall. It has a youthful-looking design complete with Nissan’s new logo and “double” V-motion grille, full LED lighting (including the turn signals and the reverse lights), silver roof rails, and 17-inch alloy wheels across all variants.
The only way you’d find out if you’re looking at the top-of-the-line VL on the outside is via the LED fog lights.
The feature parity continues on the inside, which has a cabin similar in design and features to the Nissan Almera.
All variants have a puck-style gear selector, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, and a seven-inch display paired with an analog speedometer.
Both the VE and the VL receive the eight-inch NissanConnect infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, and have USB-A and Type C ports, while the EL makes do with a standard 2DIN head unit with USB-A connectivity. Plus, if you’re picky with audio, consider the VL, as it has six speakers compared to the four speakers on the VE and the EL.
The Zero Gravity seats are present but manual-adjust, with a dashboard and a center armrest clad in black synthetic leather across the range. The rear seats also fold in a 60:40 split to expand the 470L cargo capacity, but there’s no pull-out rear armrest for rear passengers.
The VL gets leather upholstery for its seats, chrome interior door handles, and gloss-black aircon vents, while the VE and the EL have fabric seats, matte-black door handles, and aircon vents. Also, you get a leather steering wheel on the VE and the VL (urethane on the EL) with manual tilt-and-telescopic adjustments.
As for safety and convenience, all variants come with disc brakes, keyless entry, cruise control, traction control, and hill-start assist. Plus, the Kicks comes with the e-Pedal Step system that will allow you to drive the vehicle with just one pedal.
The top two trims have more safety features: six airbags (instead of two), rear parking sensors, and a couple of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features like forward collision warning, automated emergency braking, and driver attention alert. Step up to the VL and get automatic headlights and a 360° camera with Moving Object Detection.
But in a nutshell, the electric motor (which is paired with a 2.13kWh battery) always drives the wheels, so the three-cylinder engine (HR12DE) is only used as a generator. Power output and torque are a healthy 134hp and 280Nm, and the vehicle requires 91-octane fuel at the minimum.
Do note that the vehicle’s official launch is still on August 12, but Nissan is “kicking” off its preselling activities at its dealerships. With introductory prices like these, it’s hard to say no to the kind of electrification that the automaker is offering.