2021 C-HR vs. Kicks Comparison

The 2021 Toyota C-HR and Nissan Kicks are ideal vehicles for drivers who want the ride height and utility of a small SUV, but the maneuverability of a small sedan. For the 2021 model, the Toyota C-HR updated its suite of active safety features, while the Nissan Kicks revamped its exterior styling.

Though both vehicles offer flashy exterior colors and provide a bigger physical presence on the road than a typical sedan, the C-HR is sure to turn heads. With its unique, futuristic design, the C-HR is both fun to look at and to drive.

Enjoy your ride even more with numerous connectivity options like Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatibility, standard in either of these crossovers. The C-HR also comes with a SiriusXM® 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription, while the Kicks doesn't offer this feature standard.

Let's dive in deeper to see which of these cars has what it takes to stand out from the competition. This side-by-side comparison of the C-HR vs. Kicks will introduce you to the top exterior and interior features as well as standard safety technology.

Published Date: 08/04/2021

Close-up of 2021 C-HR wheel


  • The C-HR Nightshade Edition adds a one-of-a-kind look to your ride with blacked-out features.
  • C-HR’s multi-link rear suspension delivers greater turning flexibility compared to the Kicks’ torsion beam rear suspension design.
  • LED headlights are standard only on the C-HR.

Design is more than just good looks. For the C-HR it's also a science to help improve your ride.

Sleek Style and Smooth Ride

The C-HR is built with a thoughtful aerodynamic design that adds a cool look and reduces drag. With a diamond-inspired design, the C-HR was created with intention from bumper to bumper. For a mysterious and seductive look, the C-HR also has the blacked-out Nightshade Edition. With standard vortex-styled black 18-in. sport alloy wheels with black lug nuts, black outside front and passenger door handles, and black badges, the Nightshade Edition offers a bold look. On the other hand, the more traditional-looking Nissan Kicks finally updated its exterior to include more color combinations and aerodynamic wraparound LED taillights. The C-HR also has color-keyed sport front and rear bumpers and aerodynamic rear fins with a rear spoiler. Only the Kicks SR has a rear roof spoiler.

Underneath the C-HR's stylish exterior is a thoughtfully engineered vehicle that provides a smooth driving experience because of its front and rear coil springs and hydraulic shock absorbers. What’s more, the C-HR has Independent MacPherson strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar and multi-link rear suspension. While the 2021 Kicks also has independent strut front suspension with front stabilizer bar, it only offers torsion beam rear suspension.

With the C-HR’s tall seating position and wide windshield, you'll also feel like you're a head above the competition. Standard 17-in. steel wheels and a ground clearance of 5.9 inches give an added boost. If you want extra lift and upgraded style, the C-HR XLE and Nightshade Edition have vortex-styled 18-in. sport alloy wheels for a look that stands out. The comparable 17-in. aluminum-alloy wheels on the Kicks are only available on the SV or SR. Otherwise, the Kicks S has smaller 16-in. steel wheels with basic plastic wheel covers.

In the C-HR, get noticed with the Multi-reflector LED headlights and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), both of which have an on/off feature that comes standard. For LED headlights with LED signature accents and LED Daytime Running Lights, you'd need the Kicks SR. The Kicks S comes standard with halogen headlights.

Driver using the 2021 C-HR touchscreen display and connectivity apps


  • While both crossovers have lots of standard connectivity options, only the C-HR comes with a SiriusXM® 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription and Amazon Alexa compatibility.
  • The C-HR also has a bigger standard touchscreen.
  • Plus, you have more room for all of your gear in the C-HR.

Turn a casual ride into your own personal concert with the abundance of connectivity options that come with the C-HR and Kicks.

Connectivity and Cargo Space

Stay connected with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatibility that’s standard in the C-HR. Plus, you’ll have SiriusXM® 3-month Platinum Plan trial subscription. Comparatively, the Kicks comes standard with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® integration. SiriusXM® Radio with a 3-month subscription is only included on the Kicks SV and SR. No Kicks models have Amazon Alexa compatibility.

See all of your apps displayed on a larger standard 8-in. touchscreen in the C-HR. To get the NissanConnect® 8-in. touch-screen display, you'd have to get the Kicks SV or SR. The Kicks S has a standard 7-in. touch-screen display.

If you need more room in your car, you’ll find the C-HR’s 37.0 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the first row handy. With the rear seats down, the Kicks has a cargo volume of 32.3 cu. ft.

2021 C-HR illuminating a dark garage with its headlights


  • You’ll get more standard active safety features with the C-HR than with the Kicks.
  • Whichever vehicle you choose, you’ll get a temporary spare.

Have confidence while you're cruising thanks to Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5), which comes standard with the 2021 C-HR.

Standard Active Safety Features

This suite of active safety features includes some of the most advanced from Toyota yet. Ride into the future with a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist (RSA) on all models.

Looking at the driver-assist features of the Nissan Kicks, drivers get Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Assist standard. For Intelligent Cruise Control, you'll have to upgrade to the Kicks SV. The Kicks specs page doesn't mention comparable features to the C-HR's Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) or Road Sign Assist (RSA).

Just in case an unexpected bump turns into a flat tire, both the C-HR and Kicks come with a temporary spare.

Isolated shot of 2021 C-HR

Conclusion: C-HR vs. Kicks

  • The C-HR is fun to drive, and it's fun to look at too with standard 17-in. steel wheels and other unique exterior features.
  • With its 18-in. sport alloy wheels and bold black accents, the C-HR Nightshade makes a more striking impression on the road.
  • Toyota’s C-HR has more active safety features than the Kicks.

The C-HR and Kicks are anything but ordinary. While they both give you more room to work with than a sedan, the C-HR has even more to offer.

With a design as unique as you, the C-HR puts you in the spotlight with standard 17-in. steel wheels, sleek style, and responsive handling. If you choose the Kicks, you get standard 16-in. steel wheels and a more standard SUV-like look.

You’ll look good in your C-HR and you’ll feel good knowing that you have the driver-assist technology features of Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (TSS 2.5) on your side. TSS 2.5 includes Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Road Sign Assist (RSA). These features aren't available on any Kicks model.

For the go-getter that knows what they want out of their drive, the 2021 Toyota C-HR is the perfect accomplice.