Last year, we mentioned the possibility of the Nissan Kicks making its way to our shores. That was on the basis of its five-star crash safety assessment by the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN NCAP), which mentioned the Philippines as one of the key markets for the subcompact crossover.
Well, any hope of that happening anytime soon has been officially dashed. ASEAN NCAP updated its report on the Kicks last November 18, 2020, and has listed the model as Not Sold (NS) for the Philippine market. While this finally puts to rest any circulating rumors about the Kicks’ upcoming Philippine release, it’s certainly no less of a disappointment.
On the flip side, we’re not the only country that harbored false hopes of having the Kicks as part of the local lineup. The previous ASEAN NCAP report also marked the model as available in Brunei and Vietnam. As it stands, the Nissan Kicks will be sold exclusively in Indonesia and Singapore, apart from Thailand, as far as Southeast Asia is concerned.
The amended report now lists Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia as the only markets for the Kicks in ASEAN
Interestingly, while the Kicks is assembled in Thailand for ASEAN, its home market doesn’t get the complete range of passive safety features as tested. That distinction belongs to Singapore, which lists all airbags along with driver and passenger seatbelts as standard across the range.
All three countries get anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control on their base Kicks trims as available options, as well as blind -spot technology and inter-urban autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Singapore misses out on the intelligent rear-view mirror, while Nissan skips out on rear seatbelt reminders, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and AEB for vulnerable road users (VRU) altogether for the ASEAN market.
We might have to wait a little longer for Nissan's e-Power technology to arrive here
With the Philippines passed over as a potential market for the Kicks, the only choices left for Nissan are the second-generation Juke and the Magnite. If the carmaker hopes to get the upper hand in the local subcompact crossover slugfest, it needs to bring in either of the two, and fast.
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Joseph Paolo Estabillo