SPEC SHOWDOWN: 2023 Nissan Kicks e-POWER VL vs. 2024 Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid
Joey Deriquito · Aug 30, 2023 01:37 PM
Is electrification the future of the Philippine car market?
The answer is yes, as more automakers are bringing their hybrid and battery-electric vehicles into the local scene.
One of the newest electrified crossovers on the block is the Toyota Yaris Cross, the brand’s entry into the subcompact crossover segment that promises to bring technology and fuel efficiency into your garage.
For this comparison, we will compare the Yaris Cross Hybrid to another pioneer in the segment, the Nissan Kicks e-POWER VL, which brings a twist to how hybrid cars work.
Will the new kid on the block beat out the veteran or will the more established Kicks kick butt and remain on top? Find out in our Spec Showdown of both crossovers.
Exterior: Mini RAV4 vs. Mini X-trail
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so styling is subjective.
The Nissan Kicks brings a more traditional look with its sleek LED headlights, massive V-Motion grille and smoother lines for its bumpers and side profile.
The VL variant also has a blacked-out roof for that “floating” roof design. It looks like a scaled-down version of the older Nissan X-Trail, which isn’t bad as its design exudes familiarity.
The Kicks also rides on the factory's 17-inch alloy wheels, giving it a good balance of sporty looks and ride comfort. In addition, it has a chrome accent located on the lower rocker panel of the car for some additional flair.
At the back, the Nissan Kicks has unique wraparound LED taillights, recessed tailgate and a color-matched rear diffuser integrated into its rear bumper.
Meanwhile, the Toyota Yaris Cross looks more like a miniaturized Toyota RAV4, with its angular front matched with its equally angular LED headlights. Strong and brutish is what Toyota is aiming for with the Yaris Cross, as its overall design screams SUV.
At the sides, the Toyota hybrid crossover comes with body cladding that extends from the lower portion of the front bumper to the fenders and the back of the vehicle. It also rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, filling its wheel wells nicely while maintaining decent ride comfort.
Moving to the rear, it's another mini-RAV4-like design with its flat surfaces and unique LED taillights that also wrap around the rear quarter panel of the crossover. For that sporty touch, Toyota also gave it a tailgate-mounted spoiler where the third brake light is located.
Overall, the exterior equipment of both hybrid crossovers is evenly matched, with just the designs being the ultimate decider between the two.
If you want something more original, then the Nissan Kicks fits the bill with its body shape and lines that don’t look like anything else the brand offers locally.
However, if you want something that looks familiar yet unique simultaneously, you can go wrong with the Toyota Yaris Cross.
Interior: Familiar interiors from different cars
Regarding the interiors of both hybrid crossovers, they raided the corporate parts bin with minor tweaks.
In the case of the Nissan Kicks, its interior looks similar to the one found in the Nissan Almera, down to the strategic use of its durable plastics and leather accents on the dashboard and door cards.
However, we must note that the cowl on the gauge cluster differs as the Kicks has a partially digital display.
As for its seats, the Kicks inherits the brand’s zero gravity seats, which are supportive and comfortable while giving you the feeling of floating.
On the other hand, the Toyota Yaris Cross takes the interior of the Toyota Raize and gives it a more premium touch.
While the layouts are similar, the Yaris Cross adds more leather and blue stitching accents on the dashboard to indicate that it is a hybrid. It also gets a different digital display from the Raize, better suited for its electrified positioning.
As for the seats, the Toyota Yaris Cross comes with leather seats that are stiffer compared to what you can find on its Nissan rival, but are equally as supportive in their design and shape.
With the Yaris Cross being the newer vehicle, we will have to give the win for this category to the car. It also helps that the Toyota crossover comes with a sunroof, allowing more natural light into the cabin.
Winner: Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid
Regarding technology, the Toyota Yaris Cross has a 10.1-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
It also has single-zone automatic climate control and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
The Nissan Kicks, on the other hand, has a smaller 8-inch infotainment system that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available. However, the Nissan crossover does not come with power adjustable seats, which gives the Yaris Cross an advantage.
For this category, the Toyota Yaris Cross wins as it gives you more screen real estate and gives you power seats.
Winner: Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid
The Nissan Kicks e-POWER is technically not a battery-electric vehicle, but functions much like one.
Unlike the Toyota Yaris Cross, the Kicks only uses its electric motor for locomotion. But as a series hybrid, its 1.2-liter inline-3 gasoline engine has no connection to the vehicle's wheels.
Instead, the gasoline motor is a generator to supply the 2.13-kWh battery pack with electricity when needed. Total output is 136 PS and 280 Nm of torque, which are sent to the front wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission.
However, we must note that the Kicks also comes with its e-Pedal feature, which lets you drive the crossover with just the accelerator pedal. This mode uses regenerative braking to stop the car, giving you the lost energy back to charge the battery, further extending your electric-only range.
The Toyota Yaris Cross has a conventional parallel-hybrid setup, in which the engine and electric motors can power the vehicle. Under the hood, the Toyota crossover gets a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine and a hybrid system with a total system output of 110 PS.
However, the automaker has yet to release its total torque output, but the gasoline engine does produce 121 Nm of torque, which is decent for its class.
Regarding power, the Nissan Kicks has the advantage of producing more horsepower and torque. For this category, the win goes to the Nissan crossover.
Winner: Nissan Kicks e-POWER
Verdict: A ₱59,000 difference
The price point is a significant determinant of whether or not you will buy a car.
The Nissan Kicks e-POWER VL costs ₱1,539,000, which gives you access to all the bells and whistles, including the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite that comes with an intelligent around-view monitor, forward collision warning and emergency braking.
Meanwhile, the Toyota Yaris Cross is priced at ₱1,598,000 and gives you access to the Toyota Safety Sense feature list.
It means the crossover gets adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision system, lane tracing assist and lane keeping assist. These features make the vehicle easier to drive and safer, but come at the added cost of ₱59,000 versus its Nissan rival.
Is paying an extra ₱59,000 more for the Yaris Cross worth it? If you want a feature like adaptive cruise control, spending the extra money is worth it.
However, the Kicks is the way to go if you want the extra power. Just know that the gasoline engine hums at higher speeds, which can be annoying.
Did you like our comparison? Make sure to give it a 5-star rating if you do.
A car enthusiast at heart, nothing excites Joey more than an open road and a full tank of gas. Ready with the latest information about cars, he constantly studies and researches the latest happenings in the motoring world while caring for a car that's an extension of himself.