Electric feel: A drive to Albay with the Nissan Kicks e-Power

Electric feel: A drive to Albay with the Nissan Kicks e-Power

Our convoy is barrelling down a hilly national highway while nudging triple-digit speeds. After powering our way uphill, our vehicles’ engines switch themselves off once the road descends and flattens out — and yet the briskness of our pace is still maintained. We’re aiming to arrive at Albay by sundown, after all, so we’re putting, well, the e-Pedal of the Nissan Kicks to the metal.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the introductory pricing of the 2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power?

    The 2022 Nissan Kicks will come in three variants, starting with the entry-level Kicks EL at P1.209 million and mid-grade Kicks VE at P1.309 million. Both of these will be topped by the Kicks VL model at P1.509 million.
  • What are the key features of the 2022 Nissan Kicks?

    Depending on the variant, the Nissan Kicks gets Intelligent Around View Monitor, keyless entry with the Intelligent Key and push button engine start-stop systems, alongside Nissan's eight-inch advanced touchscreen display audio and compatibility for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth.
  • Speaking of aims, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) wants to electrify mobility as it brings in the Kicks packing e-Power, or the carmaker’s spin on hybrid-electric power. NPI seems to be so serious in its intent that not only has it sat us down, explained, and showed us how e-Power works on the track, the company had arranged a road trip from Laguna to Albay — some 500 kilometers consisting of every road condition possible in the country — with the Kicks e-Power.

    And while the highlight of the Kicks truly is the e-Power under its hood, this small crossover possesses more than a green footprint. The 2022 Nissan Kicks had plenty of time in those 500kms to strut its stuff. Its five key qualities? Those tell only half the story.

    Our first stop is Plaridel, Quezon, almost four hours and 170km away from our start-off point at a gas station in the Biñan, Laguna area of the SLEX. This leg of the trip may be far from picturesque, especially when you’re starting the drive in the middle of the night, but at least there’s nothing to distract you from exploring the Kicks’ nifty features.

    2022 Nissan Kicks e-PowerThe LED head- and fog lights allowed us to see better the road ahead and the Kicks cars in the convoy, which are better seen in the dark anyway with their LED tail lights. The safety features — some of which are exclusive to the Kicks VL assigned to us — such as the Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, and the Driver Attention Alert, felt reassuring to have.

    Driving along the SLEX and the national highways passing through the towns of Batangas and Lucena, Quezon also allowed us to get reacquainted with the 2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power’s e-Pedal feature. While the above articles explain in detail how e-Pedal wrests energy to the car’s battery, what it can also do is enable the driver to maintain foot application on the accelerator that’s just enough to trigger energy regen and keep the speedometer needle at highway speeds.

    This is one scenario where the 2022 Nissan Kicks can travel in electric power alone, or charge its battery as it goes along.

    But soon after the breakfast stop in Quezon, we had to hustle the Kicks as fast as traffic conditions allow, along roads passing by the towns of Calauag, Quezon and Ragay, Bicol to eventually arrive for the scheduled lunch at Naga, Camarines Sur. That consisted of 200kms of curvy roads that flow right next to Lopez Bay, and the dead-straight asphalt that cuts through expansive fields and thick trees.

    2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power

    2022 Nissan Kicks e-PowerAs the need to overtake slower moving vehicles, trucks, and tricycles was high here, the Nissan Kicks’ 1.2-liter engine worked overtime in feeding power to the battery and electric motor. But then, the e-Power never felt short of grunt. Given the torque from the electric hardware that drives the wheels is virtually available at zero rpm — like fully electric vehicles — the Kicks had enough get up and go when needed. The noise from the engine went higher the faster the speeds, though, and so did the wind noise in the cabin, but both were never intrusive.

    In between Naga, Ocampo and Tigaon towns of Cam Sur, and the Cagraray Bay, Albay — where the Misibis Bay resort is located, the destination of this road trip — there was seemingly endless series of switchbacks and twisties with bodies of water and lush nature on either side.

    Here, the 2022 Nissan Kicks’ cornering pros were able to shine. The steering, while a tad too light for our liking, had enough sharpness to make the zig-zagging roads worthwhile. Taking a corner at speed and the Kicks leans to its side, but it doesn’t give the sensation the vehicle will topple over. Ride, after all, felt compliant, with only the fastest of cornering speeds and the biggest of bumps unsettling what is predominantly a comfortable ride.

    2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power2022 Nissan Kicks e-PowerOn the topic of comfort, our bodies didn’t feel extremely fatigued upon reaching Misibis Bay. The 2022 Nissan Kicks’ supple Zero Gravity Seats seemed to have done their thing well. The car’s infotainment system – an eight-inch advanced touchscreen display audio and with compatibility for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth – was easy to use and was linked to a crisp-sounding sound system.

    But no matter how comfortable and how capable a performer the 2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power is, the beauty of Misibis Bay made us hold off driving the hybrid crossover all the way back to Manila. Those who like the water can avail of the resort’s water vehicles such as boats and jetskis, or swim in the pool or the ocean. On the other hand, we’re happy to just feel the serenity of looking at nature, and so looking at the sea in front of the resort and the towering Mayon Volcano in the background were enough.

    2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power drive Misibis Bay2022 Nissan Kicks e-Power2022 Nissan Kicks e-PowerFor those looking for a small crossover that’s decent to drive and to ride — and as a bonus, one that cares for the environment —they could hit the goal with the 2022 Nissan Kicks.

    Photos from Nissan Philippines, Inc., Misibis Bay 

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