Nissan Kicks: Connected, secure and fitted with cameras that give a 360-degree view around you

  • Nissan Kicks may not be a truly intelligent car, but it certainly qualifies as one of the most connected vehicles you can buy in India today
  • You get a host of features for the price, and the Kicks signifies beyond any doubt that connected cars are here in India

New Delhi: If you’ve been following the ICC Cricket World Cup, you might have seen this car being advertised. Nissan is promoting the new Kicks as an intelligent SUV, and it takes on cars such as the Hyundai Creta that are already popular on Indian roads. For a car that starts just under 10 lakh, the Kicks does introduce a fair bit of technology for users.

It all begins with “Around View" cameras, which is a 360° camera system fitted on the car. The car has cameras placed on the side-view mirrors, above the rear number plate and on the front grill. With these, it allows the driver to see all sides of the vehicle on the dashboard screen, while also using the data to create a helicopter view of the car. It’s quite useful when you’re parking the car in tight spaces, or driving on crowded streets.

While the Around View camera is a segment first, the car also gets rain-sensing wipers (available in select models), cruise control and hill-start assist. Hill-start assist is a nifty feature that keeps your car from rolling downward when you’re starting from an incline, while rain-sensing wipers turn the wipers on automatically whenever your windshield is wet. Some models of this car also have automatic headlamps.

Next, there’s an 8-inch touch screen fitted on the dashboard, which facilitates interaction with most of the car’s technology. The Around View cameras will show you the surroundings on this screen, while it also lets you access the car’s infotainment system.

The Nissan Kicks supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, meaning it has all kinds of phones covered. It also means you can put Google Maps on this screen, for navigating to places more easily than it would have been with custom mapping apps that many other manufacturers offer.

But it doesn’t end there. The Kicks also gives the user access to NissanConnect, the company’s own telematics-based system.

With this, you can monitor your car remotely. It gives you information on fuel levels, engine temperatures and more. But perhaps most importantly, it allows geofencing, a feature that many will find useful.

You can use geofencing to set a physical radius for the car. So, if you have set a radius of say 0.5km, the NissanConnect app will alert you if your car goes out of this radius. It’s a feature that could be really useful for people who have chauffeur-driven vehicles, or leave the car unattended in the hands of third parties.

NissanConnect also allows you to find your car’s last parked position and get alerts if it’s being towed away. It’s worth noting that NissanConnect is not exclusive to the Kicks and Nissan offers this in most of its other cars as well.

Perhaps the only somewhat underwhelming aspect of this car’s technology stack is the speaker system. It’s decently loud, but quite rudimentary as far as the quality of audio is concerned. The car does automatically adjust audio volume based on speed though, which is another nifty little feature for mainstream buyers.

In conclusion, the Nissan Kicks may not be a fully autonomous or a truly intelligent car, but it certainly qualifies as one of the most connected vehicles you can buy in India today. As far as the technology is concerned, you get a host of features for the price, and the Kicks signifies beyond any doubt that connected cars are here in India. Autonomous vehicles are a few years away.

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