The 2020 Nissan Kicks facelift has finally been launched in Japan, a month after the updated B-segment SUV made its maiden debut in Thailand. Two variants – X and X Two Tone Interior Edition – of the Kicks will be offered in Japan, with prices starting from 2,759,900 yen (RM110k) to 2,869,900 yen (RM114k).

Now, the JDM Kicks is also powered by the same HR12DE 1.2 litre three-cylinder petrol engine that’s sold in Thailand, but it acts solely as a generator for a 1.57 kWh battery that’s positioned under the front seats. The engine produces 79 PS at 5,400 rpm and 103 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm.

The main propulsion system is an electric motor with a 95 kW output rating, which translates to 129 PS and 260 Nm of torque. This drives the front wheels, and it’s important to note that the internal combustion engine only acts as a pure range extender for this application.

Four drive modes are available, including Smart, Eco, Normal and EV. The car uses a shift by wire system and a One-Pedal function that allows drivers to accelerate and decelerate (via regenerative braking) using only the accelerator pedal, just like the current Leaf.

Design-wise, the compact SUV gets a bolder V-motion radiator grille, slim LED headlights, a sportier front bumper with prominent side intakes and integrated fog lamps, blacked-out A-pillars for the floating roof effect, and new tail lights with boomerang-shaped light graphics.

There’s a total of 13 different exterior colours in Japan, including nine monotone colours and four two-tone options. The hero colour is none other than the two-tone Premium Horizon Orange with Pure Black combo, which pairs rather well with the Orange Tan interior upholstery.

Speaking of interiors, the midlife refresh didn’t introduce much change to the cabin. Instead, it feels rather familiar, with prominent revisions include a new design for the steering wheel and a reworked centre console to accommodate the model-specific gear lever and powertrain controls.

The entry-level X variant gets a mixture of cloth and synthetic leather upholstery, while the X Two-Tone Interior Edition gets a statelier finish. Nissan says the Kicks offers best-in-class space – there’s 600 mm of knee room, 85 mm headroom, and a boot space of 423 litres. Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” seats are standard, and the rear seatbacks can be tilted or folded via a retractable lever.

For safety, both variants get the automaker’s Pro Pilot safety system as standard, which includes Intelligent Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Around View Monitor, autonomous emergency braking, Intelligent Ride Control, Moving Object Detection, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Driver Attention Alert, Intelligent Trace Control, a digital rearview mirror and Blind Spot Warning. There’s also an “SOS call” function for emergency situations.