Having been stuck with the same naturally-aspirated petrol engines since its reveal, the Nissan Kicks is finally receiving some new powertrain options this year. First, the B-segment SUV was given the e-Power range extender electric variant in Thailand, and India is now a recipient of a turbocharged petrol engine.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find the HR13DDT, a 1.33 litre direct-injected turbo four-cylinder that makes 156 PS and 254 Nm of torque – outputs that Nissan says is best in class. If that engine sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the same one you’ll find in the W177 Mercedes-Benz A 200, albeit with slightly lower numbers.

The engine is sourced from Renault as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, with Daimler obtaining it through a partnership with the Franco-Japanese entity. It’s not the first time Nissan and Mercedes have shared engines, of course, as the Infiniti Q50 and the W176 A-Class-based Q30 and QX30 have both used powertrains from Stuttgart.

Unlike the Merc, which has a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as company, the Kicks gets the option of either a six-speed manual or an Xtronic CVT with an eight-speed virtual ratio mode. The 106 PS/142 Nm HR15DE 1.5 litre naturally-aspirated four-pot continues to be offered on the base models (the diesel variant has been discontinued due to tightening emissions standards).

Despite looking almost identical, the Indian version shares very little with the global Kicks model, which is based on Nissan’s V platform. The car you see here instead rides on the budget B0 platform, which also underpins the Dacia Duster and the Indian/Russian-market Renault Captur/Kaptur (our first-gen Captur gets the more expensive B platform).

This means the Indian Kicks also misses out on the Thai market’s facelift, which gave the car a completely redesigned front fascia with a far larger V-motion grille. You can tell the car apart from the global model through the Captur-style stalk-mounted wing mirrors, slimmer headlights (available with LED projectors) and the unique dashboard design that places the infotainment system high up between the centre air vents.

Aside from the new engine, the 2020 model year also adds features like automatic headlights and wipers, fog lights with a cornering function, push-button start, automatic engine stop/start and a new infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen and voice control. The car continues to come with the NissanConnect suite of connectivity features, including vehicle status and maintenance tracking and smartwatch compatibility.

Pricing for the 2020 Kicks starts from 949,990 rupees (RM54,700) for the base 1.5 XV manual and goes all the way up to 1,414,990 rupees (RM81,400) for the top 1.3 Turbo XV Premium CVT.