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2021 Nissan Kicks vs. 2021 Hyundai Venue: Which Is Better?

The Nissan Kicks is one of the newest offerings from the brand. The Hyundai Venue includes versatility and an excellent warranty. To which Autotrader asks, which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Nissan Kicks: Small engine plus huge cargo area equals around-town fun.
  • Hyundai Venue: Offers a single engine choice with a class-leading powertrain warranty.

2021 Nissan Kicks

2021 Nissan Kicks Front Left Side in BlueBase price: $20,650 (ED: $19,500 + 1150 destination) / Read our 2021 Nissan Kicks Review

What we like: Offers a huge cargo area; lots of equipment for a low price; high seating position; good visibility; excellent fuel economy.

What we would change: We’d speed up the steering with a quicker ratio for a more responsive feel; add more horsepower – there’s always room for more; offer AWD option.

Overview: A replacement for the Nissan Juke, the Nissan Kicks has been upgraded for the 2021 model year. A fun commuter/urban exploration vehicle, the Kicks offers a pleasant ride with best-in-segment fuel mileage of 33 mpg. Interior space dwarfs that of the Juke as well as almost everything else in the subcompact crossover segment. Excellent rear-seat legroom and big doors allow easy entrance and exit.

What’s new for 2021: A significant styling update for 2021 includes new more aggressive and upscale sheet metal with deeper “V” grille and new LED headlamps on some models. New Electric Blue paint joins the Kick’s color palette along with new 17-inch wheels.

Features and Technology: The new 2021 Nissan Kicks is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine that puts out 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. While that’s not a number to be trifled with, it might hinder certain trips, especially those involving on-ramp acceleration and high-speed cruising on the interstate. Front-wheel-drive is the only drive offered.

Standard features on the Kicks S include standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED tail lamps and a seven-inch touchscreen display. Nissan’s SafetyShield 360 suite of onboard safety systems is here too, offering automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warning, radar-based blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and more.

The Kicks SV trim level add intelligent cruise control, NissanConnect Services, an 8-inch touchscreen display, rear disc brakes and 17-inch alloy wheels help to round out that trim level’s offerings.

The Kicks SR model adds more including LED headlamps, a spoiler, Nissan’s around-view monitor, a Wi-Fi hotspot and 8-speaker Bose audio system.

What does the future hold: Following its recent restyling, we expect minor changes for the next few years, with a successor due in 2023.  Find a 2021 Nissan Kicks for sale 

2021 Hyundai Venue

2021 Hyundai Venue Front Passenger Side in GrayBase price: $19,935 / Read our 2021 Hyundai Venue review

What we like: An impressive number of standard safety features; reasonably-sized interior; standard Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; Good fuel economy and a great price.

What we would change: Add more power; bring back a manual transmission, add all-wheel-drive

Overview: It’s not a jackrabbit when it comes to power, so plan your acceleration or passing accordingly. It’s peppy from a dead start, but be patient, especially at highway speeds. The Venue’s standard CVT automatic transmission is programmed to behave like a traditional automatic transmission. Truly, though, the Venue is a city car with a tight turning circle and a parking lot-friendly size. Away from those confines and cruising on the highway may make the Venue feel a bit nervous.

What’s new for 2021: For 2021, the Hyundai Venue models use Hyundai’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). The base model now features nice aluminum alloys wheels instead of the previous steel offerings. The SEL model now includes features like a power sunroof and blind-spot monitoring, that previously cost extra.

Features and technology: The 2021 Hyundai Venue nearly matches the Nissan Kicks’ power with its 1.6-liter inline-4 engine making 121 hp and 113 lb-ft of torque. The 6-speed manual transmission is no longer offered, due to poor sales, in favor of the more refined CVT transmission found in the higher trim levels.

The Venue is available in three trim levels: SE, mid-level SEL and Denim. An eight-inch touchscreen display includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a rearview camera, and a 4-speaker audio system. The SE includes safety features like forward-collision-avoidance with emergency braking, lane-keep-assist and a driver attention monitor. New 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and cruise control make for a comprehensive entry-level vehicle.

The Venue SEL includes more standard items like blind-spot monitoring and a sunroof. Automatic climate control, 17-in wheels, a chrome grille and a six-speaker audio system add even more value. The optional Premium package with LED headlights, navigation, heated front seats, keyless access with push-button start, and the Blue Link Connected Car System help carry it even further.

The Venue Denim includes all features from the SEL plus the features of the SEL’s Premium package. It features a denim color with white roof and denim color interior treatment.

What does the future hold: We expect the Hyundai Venue to receive gradual additions to the current trim packages for the 2022 model year. Find a 2021 Hyundai Venue for sale near you 

Kicks vs. Venue: Strengths Comparison

Nissan Kicks: Large interior space and a small footprint make it a desirable around town vehicle.

Hyundai Venue: Engaging looks with an excellent feature set and powertrain warranty.

Nissan Kicks vs Hyundai Venue:  Which is better?

The Nissan Kicks offers a substantially larger interior while the Hyundai Venue offers a good feature set with excellent powertrain warranty. Both come up short in power but the Nissan offers larger size. For that reason we say the Nissan Kicks is better.

Find a Nissan Kicks or Find a Hyundai Venue near you.

2021 Nissan Kicks 2021 Hyundai Venue
Popular Powertrains
Engine 1.6-liter inline-4 1.6-liter inline-4
Horsepower 122 hp @ 6,300 rpm 121 hp @ 6,300 rpm
Torque 114 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 113 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission CVT automatic CVT automatic
Fuel Economy 33 mpg (31 city/36 hwy) 31 mpg (30 city/33 hwy)
Also Available No AWD or other engine choices No AWD, or other engine choices
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating 4-star 4-star
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 103.1 inches 99.2 inches
Overall Length 169.1 inches 159.1 inches
Width 69.3 inches 69.7 inches
Height 62.4 inches 61.6 inches
Turning Diameter 34.1 feet 33.4 feet
Headroom, Front 40.7 inches 39.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 38.5 inches 38.6 inches
Legroom, Front 43.7 inches 41.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 33.2 inches 34.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 53 inches 53.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 53.2 inches 53.7 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 93.9 cu. ft. 91.9 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume 25.3/32.3 cu. ft. 18.7/31.9 cu. ft.



Mark Elias
Mark Elias is a writer and photographer specializing in automotive topics ranging from new and used cars to classics and motorsports. His first car was a Matchbox Jaguar D-Type. From there, things have only become larger. During his professional career, he has been a staff photographer for the Associated Press, a contract photographer for Bloomberg News, and a contributor to automotive outlets... Read More about Mark Elias

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