This week I was sporting the 2022 Nissan Kicks, which happens to be the smallest SUV in the Nissan lineup and the most affordable. The ideal vehicle for a novice driver or student on a budget. Having said that, I will still be reviewing it in my own perspective, as a young working woman with a very active social life that drivers over 33km one way for my commute and another 50km plus after it to my extracurriculars.
Although classified as an SUV, it does not feel like one, given its compact size. I have never been in a Mini Cooper, but this is what I imagine it would be like. The Kicks drives like a shell on wheels and feels like what you would expect from an inexpensive subcompact. The seats have no support, and with its frame, it reminds you of sitting in a classroom chair. Honestly, one of the least comfortable I have driven in.
The shell and frame description matches the overall feel of the cabin, as any noise within it echos. The sounds of the wind and road seep in, and were at its peak during my 45-55 minute commute on the highway. At least it didn’t feel that way physically. The suspension was stiff enough to buffer most of the uneven terrain and potholes.
Given the Kick’s simpler build it is easy to acclimate to. The cabin is spacious enough and the controls easy enough to figure out on your first try. And there is lots of visibility from large windows. Although this is coming from a more petite Asian woman, which brings me back to my Mini Cooper analogy, you don’t see many 6 feet men climbing out of these.
Although despite the 2022 Nissan Kicks being the base model vehicle it still offers driver most modern conveniences, and the standard in its infotainment and safety technology. You have lane assist and adaptive cruise control to help keep distance, and 360 cameras to aid in parking without blind spots. Plenty of USB ports for you and all your smart phone using friends, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto link capabilities, and even heated seats and steering wheel. Everything you would want, but not expect at this price point.
In terms of handling, the 2022 Nissan Kick is not my favourite, you feel the effort the vehicle takes. Acceleration is at its own determined pace. The brakes are stocky and feels cumbersome, almost like it stick. But once again, at least the suspension was responsive, and you don’t realize how fast you are actually going in it until you get there.
In conclusion, I always say there is a vehicle for every demographic and not everything is designed with me in mind. So, despite my critiques I would recommend the Nissan Kicks to any student or beginner driver. The fuel economy is decent when you aren’t planning on a drag race, and you have everything you need to get you from point A to B. It is just that for my busy lifestyle and the amount of time I am behind a wheel, I want a bit more luxury and a lot more comfort for my extended time within.
But given who this vehicle is designed for, I feel it is the perfect car to pair with my round up recap of late-night spots to grab a bite at, and not just bars or clubs. Ideal for the struggling students and young night owls.
Noor Convenience & Donair
680 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X6, Canada
One of the places I frequented when I was working midnight shifts is Noor. This 24-hour convenience store on Broadway also served shawarmas to go. So, when I had to stop in for some toilet paper and milk, I also walked out with a savoury lamb wrap. A far tastier option than the fast food chains alternatives out there.
Fritz European Fry House
718 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1B6, Canada
Those who have partied downtown on the Granville Strip know Fritz is the go-to for after hours, sobering up eats. Opened until 2am, this Belgian fry house will satisfy all your deep-fried snack carvings. Top and dress your potatoes the way you like it with plenty of meat and veggie options and any sauce you can think of.
Cold Tea Restaurant
1193 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M1, Canada
This is a great spot for those who want a club vibe with live DJ and bumping music, but don’t want to stand up and dance to it. Opened until 2am Friday and Saturdays and until 12am the rest of the week with regular live entertainment. Sit and enjoy tasty modern Chinese cuisine including fried chicken and fried rice. And drink from long list of cocktails including share bowls for 4 or more and individual tropical drinks served in tiki mugs shaped like ninjas and pandas.
Sing Sing Restaurant
2718 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E8, Canada
Looking to stay out of downtown, but what that upbeat energy? Then look to Main Street’s Vietnamese pho and pizza bar Sing Sing for later night fun. Dressed in neon lights it is easy to spot. Open until 2am Friday and Saturdays and until 1am the rest of the week. You won’t get authentic pho or pizza here but a fun fusion take on favourites best couples with one of their many beers on tap. Where else can you get hoisin sauce on your pizza?
Lucy’s Eastside Diner
2708 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3C7, Canada
Still on Main Street you have Lucy’s Eastside Diner advertised as being open 24hours, but also lists hours until 12am, so call ahead to confirm. They are a retro 50’s diner with all day breakfast options like scrambles and eggs Benedict. And hearty lunch options like burgers, soups, and salads. Any comfort country craving you have they can curb with milkshakes, Mac and cheese, and even meatloaf. For one of the largest late night menus available look to Lucy.
All the students know Breka Cafe is the spot to go to when looking to stay out late studying, and with multiple locations you are sure to find one near you. This bakery has found its niche in catering to the students who need a caffeinated beverage and sweet treat to get them through their finals. They have ample seating and good lighting for any cram session. And for those who don’t need crack open a book, visit any Breka location for their in house made doughnuts with seasonal flavours.
162 Water St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1B2, Canada
Boasting one of the best burgers in Vancouver, Pourhouse is Gastown’s speakeasy bar with an elevated food menu. Open until 12am daily, their menu covers inexpensive eats you crave like grilled corn on the cob and scotch egg; as well as luxury indulgences like fried chicken and caviar and Lobster Thermidor.
153 16th St W, North Vancouver, BC V7M 1T3, Canada
Located in North Vancouver, Andrea’s Restaurant opens until 2:30am Friday and Saturday and 12pm or 1:3 am the rest of the week. Look no further for scratch made authentic Greek cuisine. Just because it’s late it doesn’t mean you can’t eat well.
27 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, BC V6B 0C4, Canada
Open until 1am weekdays and until 2am weekdays this Mexican taco and cocktail bar is a lively spot. Located in Blood Alley, you have to know what it is you are looking for to know where to go. But when you spot the neon decor there is no way to stay away. The bold colours and lively music draws you in for a good time. They serve a creative assortment of tex-mex style nachos, tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. Choose your protein and what format you want it in. But honestly the draw is their drink list. Tropical cocktails, blended margaritas, and drinks so strong they serve them in buckets with ice and candy. Where else can you fake a full moon party with Thai Buckets?