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Would the new Nissan Kicks be a better fit for Australia than the 2020 Juke?

Nissan’s new Kicks e-Power SUV outputs 95kW/260Nm thanks to a 1.2-litre petrol engine that recharges its electric motor.

Nissan has launched the facelifted version of its Kicks small SUV in Thailand, but the new model will not come Down Under despite right-hand-drive production and a high-tech petrol-electric hybrid powertrain.

CarsGuide understands that the Kicks won’t arrive in local showrooms to bolster the Japanese brand’s line-up due to Nissan Australia’s high safety standards.

Instead, the light SUV segment will be filled by the second-generation Juke, due to be launched next month.

The Juke scored a full five-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested earlier this month, and comes equipped with five airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), automatic headlights, blind-spot monitor, driver fatigue monitor, forward collision warning, land departure warning, lane-keep assist, reversion camera, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic alert as standard.

Nissan's new Juke will hit local showrooms next month. Nissan's new Juke will hit local showrooms next month.

Adaptive cruise control and a tyre pressure monitor are also available as options, or on higher grades of the Juke.

Comparatively, the Kicks scores Safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, AEB, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a surround-view monitor, though it doesn’t wear a comparable crash-test rating.

The Kicks however, features Nissan’s e-Power range-extender drivetrain, which uses a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine to power a 95kW/260Nm electric motor that drives the front wheels.

One-pedal operation is also available in the Kicks, similar to the Leaf’s e-pedal option, allowing acceleration, deceleration and full-stop functionality with just the throttle.

The Nissan Kicks sports a funky two-tone interior. The Nissan Kicks sports a funky two-tone interior.

On the outside, the new Kicks wears Nissan’s new V-Motion front grille, sleek LED headlights and blacked-out C-pillars, while inside, a new 7.0-inch instrument panel, 8.0-inch multimedia screen and two-tone interior feature.

By comparison, the new Nissan Juke will hit Australian showrooms next month, equipped with an 86kW/200Nm 1.0-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine, paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Full specification details, as well as pricing, is expected closer to the Juke’s local launch, but for reference, the outgoing version kicks off at $23,490 before on-road costs and tops out at $41,490.