2019 Nissan Kicks Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

When the 2019 Nissan Kicks was released, customers flocked to drive the SUV. The automaker made a lot of promises, including “helping you drive with confidence” on the newer models. Yet, customers found out very quickly that the powertrain, engine and electrical system are defective, causing massive problems.

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Problems with the Transmission

When looking at a powertrain, the transmission becomes the most valuable aspect of the system. When the transmission in a vehicle is unreliable, it causes many problems that cannot be resolved. That’s what is seen with the 2019 Nissan Kicks.

Here is one Edmunds review talking about the trouble. “Unfortunately, the car has virtually no power. Do not attempt to pull out in front of anyone. The body is tin metal cheap with the gas cap cover showing signs of stress wear within the year – ridiculous. The CVT transmission will drive you nuts with hard shifts and frequent sticking in a particular gear – took it back and was told this is normal? Nissan may make a few good cars, but this is not one of them.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that the automaker is aware of issues. Service Bulletin #NTB19-040c describes engine hesitation and reduced power, which might also cause the Check Engine Light to come on. These issues shouldn’t occur with a new vehicle as the powertrain should be built to handle everyday driving. Yet, there is no indication that the company is looking to do anything to change the situation. Sadly, customers can’t “get their kicks” in the Kicks.

Problems with the Electrical System

Moving onto the electrical system, there are just as many complaints, if not more.

Here is one that was filed with the NHTSA. “The contact owns a 2019 Nissan Kicks. The contact stated that on several occasions the automatic electronic brakes failed to operate as intended. The contact was concerned that the software was ineffective to have the vehicle operate as intended. The vehicle was taken to [dealer] to be diagnosed. The contact was informed that the vehicle operated as intended and that all the sensors and software were calibrated as intended. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted and informed of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 3,700.”

It appears that the company continues to tell customers that the vehicle is “running as intended,” yet customers are continuing to experience malfunctions. What is seen with this vehicle is a massive electronic system failure with the back-up camera, as illustrated by NHTSA Campaign Number 19V65400. It appears that the back-up image is not being shown correctly on over more than one million vehicles. Is that also what was intended? The automaker would like owners to believe that.

Problems with the Engine

The engine in any vehicle needs to be not only powerful, but it also must be reliable. Yet, the Kicks isn’t impressing drivers at all.

Here is what another NHTSA complaint says. “Car stalls when pulling into city traffic from an intersection. Appears as if engine won’t take fuel when I have accelerator depressed. Happened several times and dealers says nothing shows up on cars computer as a problem.”

Aside from the fuel not reaching the engine in a timely fashion, another issue is illustrated in Service Bulletin #NTB17-082b. It states that there could be a leak at the vent control valve O-ring, which leads to further complaints. Again, these can’t be classified as “normal operation,” no matter what Nissan claims. It’s not normal for vehicles to hesitate when pulling out, lose electrical connection to vital systems and have a leak. It seems the automaker is nothing better than a Hot Wheels manufacturer since they don’t know the first thing about putting together a working vehicle.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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  • Bryan

    I just rented one with 14,000 miles on it. Got it on the freeway and was appalled at the wind and road noise. Then I noticed the engines revs to 3000 quite often. When I started to drive around town, I started to notice the complete lack of power. Pulling into traffic, I almost got hit because there is acceleration like a bicycle. I looked, it up and it says 122 hp. More like half that I think.

  • Aurora V

    I bought a 2019 Nissan Kicks last Oct. 20, 2019 at Nissan Morningside in Toronto, Canada.
    Everything went smooth until I noticed that the left tail light assembly is cracked (on both areas where it was screwed). I went to the dealership and they looked at it and right there and there they said “its a wear and tear”. How can it be “wear and tear” if the parts cracking is not even moving. One of the technician even told me that might be a caused of someone trying to steal the housing from outside.
    Why would people steal a less than a $200 worth of parts and sell it? Sell a broken housing? Unbelievable. The right of the tail light assembly assembly is started to crack as well. Showed it the service manager and took a photos of both side of the tail lights assembly and submitted to the warranty department and it was denied. It’s so frustrating that every time I have to drive the car, I got so nervous that the housing might fall especially that I have to take the highway everyday going to work. And nobody from the dealership wants to help me. Never again buy a Nissan car, any model .

  • Angelica

    I got this 2019 Nissan Kicks but from the get-go, on the test drive, car went over a speed bump and it (engine?) made a horrible sound! I asked dealer about it and he told me it was normal and it had happened only because of the speed I was going (normal, slow speed to get over a speed bump).
    It’s happened many times in 2 years and in last 6 months, I’ve been having all types of issues like loss of power, all types of lights turning on (my panel looks like a Christmas tree at times!) and when talking to someone about it, twice they’ve tried to just sell me another car and they’ve told me they’ll buy car from me EVEN with all those “engine repair needed” warnings but at a loss to me! (higher APR and car payment than I already have)
    Now, in past 30 days, I can’t even get my car to back up into my driveway! I can have it on drive, give it gas and just have it not move and seem like I’m pressing gas AND brakes at same time!

  • Mya C

    I have problems with my 2019 kicks since I bought it… electric problems, it has a bad sound in the engine, no engine power… etc..every time I take it to the dealership they say that it’s ok..NOT PROBLEM WITH THE CAR…🤬

  • Anna A

    I purchased the Nissan Kick in 2019, I’ve had more problems with it. my hatchback will not open, something is wrong with the axel, but the dealer said there was nothing wrong but if I turn the air on the car starts to smoke, I wasn’t in an accident, so I don’t know why all these thing are happening, I was told I need a brand new battery, because the car would just shut off while I was driving, I was told the maintenance was kept up poorly, which was not true and I was told something was wrong with the oil, so basically the car was fine to them

  • Mona

    No power ! It’s a bike not a motor bike even

  • Antonia N

    Brought a 2019 Nissian Altima had it barely 2 years and my AEB lights and all other light keeps showing up on my dashboard as well as a electrical problem. Took it to the dealership to get it looked at they said they had to reprogram computer got my car back all light’s were off. The next following day driving to work the lights are on again with two more light’s I didn’t see the first time I feel I was sold a lemon car so pissed.

  • joseph

    iI have purchased this car as pre-owned. I have changed the throttle so far and the radar went out twice. I have noticed that the power is limited but no other problems have been detected so far. It the transmission could be defective?
    Under this provision the car is refundable

  • Cary

    Had to replace my radio it kept shutting off and doing its own thing, flash forward to having enough and smashing it . I replaced it with a direct upgrade , now my steering wheel cannot program to it . What a crock of shit. Can’t wait to trade this MF in. Won’t buy Nissan ever again.

  • Langston

    My 2019 Kicks, accelerates when gas pedal is not being push down, when attempting to slow down and come to a complete stop, the car hesitates as if it’s still trying to accelerate, leads me to smashing down on brakes etc. dealership has told me twice there is nothing wrong with the vehicle that they can find.

  • Wilson

    No power and takes forever to shift into geat

  • Marlyn C

    No power.. 3 months after i purchase my kicks.. oil lost.. they had To change to motor..
    Kicks stop everywhere in the middle if the road… i almost got kill…
    3 times in a garage in a years…

  • Peter G

    My 2019 kicks had EBS braking sensor replaced and air conditioning condenser also had to be replaced ….from first day I bought it ..they kept saying everything was fine. I asked for change if car two week after purchase,they told me would would gladly but back my car at an appraisal price ..very dissatisfied wish I could get.wish I could get my money back and give them their car..can anybody help

  • Sherryl R

    My 2019 Nissan kicks has no piwer, transmission hard shift, takes ling time to shidt. It has been needing to be jumped to start, it says malfunction, does not detect key. When I try to start it it just clicks but will not start without a jump. It’s in the shop now, they claim they can’t find anything wrong with battery.

  • Kimberly

    I purchased a 2019 Nissan Kicks. There have been consistent manufacturing issues; to include a malfunction with the alternator. Please Advise.

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