The Kicks, which went on sale in the U.S. in 2018, is a key model for Nissan as the automaker's entry-price crossover.
The subcompact segment was the third-fastest-growing crossover group in the first half of the year, up 13 percent from a year ago.
While the Kicks isn't a volume leader — Nissan sold 54,879 in the U.S. last year — it is a vital model for the brand and its retailers. Sales in the second quarter of 2023 rose 28 percent over the prior year as the Kicks' production and availability strengthened.
In recent years, Nissan has consolidated its entry crossover lineup around the Kicks, ditching the similarly marketed Juke and Rogue Sport crossovers.
Ivan Drury, insights director at Edmunds, said the Kicks provides one of the last affordable entry points into the new-car market with an average transaction price of $25,000.
The Kicks is a dealer favorite because it is less likely to sit around on the lot. Drury said the baby crossover's turnover rate of 23 days is nearly half that of the Nissan brand's average.
The Kicks is also more likely to be financed, making it a profit engine for dealers.
Drury said just 5 percent of Kicks customers lease vs. 20 percent for the average Nissan model.
"Dealers can make more on F&I and aftermarket sales because Kicks buyers will likely hang onto their vehicle longer," he said.