2019 C-HR vs 2019 Nissan Kicks

Unique Styling.


Toyota-Branded Dependability.


High Resale Value.


Advanced Safety Tech.


Additional Features.


The age of the crossover is upon us. Traditional body-on-frame SUVs are giving way to SUVs built on the same platforms as sedans. And these crossovers are selling. Recently, Toyota’s RAV4 not only beat out the Camry to be Toyota’s best seller, but the RAV4 became the highest selling non-truck in the US for 2018.

Along with this trend, newcomers have arrived. For the 2018 model year, Nissan introduced the Kicks, a subcompact SUV that is priced at the bottom of their SUV lineup. Also for the 2018 model year, Toyota introduced their own subcompact SUV, the C-HR. These subcompacts are designed for those on a budget who still want the style and effectiveness of an SUV. But which is better? Allow us to make a case for the C-HR.

With the release of the first generation C-HR, Toyota decided to get creative. Instead of giving into tired design philosophies, Toyota created a vehicle with sleek lines and a sense of personality. As Autotrader puts it, “The 2019 Toyota C-HR is funky, distinctive and really like no other crossover.” The design does not stop with the exterior, though. Edmunds declares in its review, “The interior is well-designed and uses quality materials that exceed expectations for the class.”

While the 2019 Nissan Kicks also has its own styling, it does not hold up as well. For one thing, there is one less color option on the Kicks than on the 2019 C-HR. Both vehicles have two-toned options where the roof is a different color from the rest of the vehicle. Only the C-HR, though, offers a light blue body option, titled Blue Flame, that is absolutely stunning. And yes, the Blue Flame color can be had with a traditional or black roof.

Both vehicles are admittedly fun to look at, but only one of them has proven dependability on its side. In a 2019 study by J.D. Power, they found that Toyota is the second most dependable brand, only behind Lexus, Toyota’s luxury department. At only 108 problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota sits at 28 less problems than the average. Nissan was found to have 137 problems per 100 vehicles, one more than the average.

Now, this study was done on 2016 model year vehicles to see how they held up after three years. Neither the Kicks nor the C-HR existed at that time, so they were not a part of this study. Despite this, Toyota had two SUVs that were among the top three in their class for dependability. These were the RAV4 and the Highlander. Nissan had zero SUVs mentioned in the study. Although the C-HR wasn’t included in this study, we are confident the C-HR will continue the Toyota trend of dependability.

In light of this, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the 2019 C-HR maintains its value extremely well. Kelley Blue Book ranks vehicles on their resale value, and they have rated the 2019 Toyota C-HR as second among subcompact SUVs. After three years, the C-HR maintains 50.3% resale value, and after five years, it maintains 38% of its resale value. The 2019 Nissan Kicks is not listed because it did not make the top three.

Resale value is important, but what about the cost of the vehicle while you own it? MotorTrend and IntelliChoice rate vehicles on a scale from Poor to Excellent for five year cost. The 2019 Nissan Kicks is rated Above Average and has a base five year cost of $29,345. Given that the Kicks starts at $18,640 MSRP, this isn’t too bad. But the 2019 Toyota C-HR delivers even better results. The base trim of the C-HR starts at $21,145 MSRP, but it is rated as Excellent by IntelliChoice. Despite being more expensive to start, the five year cost of the C-HR is $28,779, more than $500 less than the Kicks.

This is important because the Kicks’ number one selling point is its value. The 2019 Kicks has the lowest MSRP of any of the major players in the subcompact SUV game. Despite this, the C-HR still manages to cost less after five years and holds its resale value better.

If that isn’t enough, then take a look at the 2019 C-HR’s safety equipment. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommends that all vehicles come with four safety technologies. These are Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking, and Dynamic Brake Support. Of these, the 2019 Kicks comes with Forward Collision Warning standard, but it does not offer any of the others. The 2019 C-HR, on the other hand, has all four technologies standard.

Even with its Forward Collision Warning, the Kicks falls behind the C-HR. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) tests vehicles’ front crash prevention systems. They see how well a vehicle avoids a crash at 15 mph and 25 mph. Both the Kicks and the C-HR have Superior ratings in the test, but the Kicks was not able to fully avoid a crash in the 25 mph test. It reduced speed by 13 mph, but the C-HR avoided a crash altogether.

So, the C-HR has a lot going for it, huh? What else could it have? How about some more features. Continuing the safety trend, the 2019 C-HR has standard dimming high beams that lower their intensity when they sense you are approaching another vehicle. This is not available on the 2019 Kicks. Also on the 2019 C-HR is optional Safety Connect that can locate your vehicle if it is stolen or involved in a crash. While this is not available on the C-HR’s base trim, it is not offered at all on the 2019 Kicks.

On the comfort side, the 2019 C-HR comes with standard dual zone air conditioning. This allows the driver and the front passenger to keep their zones at different temperatures for greater comfort. The Kicks does not offer this. In addition, new to the 2019 model of the C-HR is available navigation on the Limited trim. The 2019 Kicks does not have navigation at all.

Because of its styling, dependability, value, safety, and available features, we believe the 2019 Toyota C-HR is the right choice. The 2019 Nissan Kicks’ greatest selling point is its value, but as IntelliChoice informs us, the C-HR ends up being cheaper after five years. If you would like to purchase a C-HR, you can visit us at 515 W Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808. You can also call us at (260) 482-3730. We hope to see you soon.

Websites/Articles Mentioned (in order mentioned):

Autotrader 2019 C-HR Review: https://www.autotrader.com/car-reviews/2019-toyota-c-hr-new-car-review-281474979911518

Edmunds 2019 C-HR Review: https://www.edmunds.com/toyota/c-hr/

J.D. Power 2019 Dependability Study: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2019-us-vehicle-dependability-studyvds

MotorTrend 2019 C-HR Buyer’s Guide: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/toyota/c-hr/2019/

NHTSA 2019 C-HR Safety Ratings: https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2019/TOYOTA/C-HR/5%252520HB/FWD

IIHS 2019 C-HR Safety Ratings: https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/toyota/c-hr-4-door-suv/2019