New DelhiThe GoodPHOTOS: ARUN CHANGRANINissan KicksThe Nissan Kicks is the most recent addition in the compact SUV market in India. Kicks looks strong and portrays the SUV stance with its V-shaped signature grille and plastic body cladding, along with 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels. The sleek projector headlamps with LED DRLs (daytime running lights), blacked-out D-Pillar, along with a contrast roof, are quite eye-catching. Hyundai CretaOn the other hand, the Hyundai Creta features a large and bold grille with prominent chrome all around blending with bi-functional projector headlamps giving it an aggressive and sportier front face. With the DRLs sitting low in the bumper, along with the fog lamps, the silver cladding in the front and the rear bumper gives this compact SUV a more muscular look. The side profile with the sharp shoulder line running right across from the front to the rear and merging into the rear tail lamps and also the 17-inch diamond-cut alloys gives the Creta a very distinctive look. Nissan Kicks’s dashboardOn the inside, Kicks cabin feels quite classy. You will first notice the dual tone dashboard; black and brown leather across the dashboard gives it a stylish touch. Right in the centre of the dashboard is the floating 8-inch touchscreen, which along with the brushed silver accents gives the interior a premium feel. The car also comes with features such as auto LED projector headlamps, cruise control, hill-hold assist, rain-sensing wipers and many more. Getting in and out is easy, thanks to wider opening doors. In addition, the seats are very comfortable with adequate under-thigh support. The dual-operable rear parcel shelf, which can be operated from inside, is a nice thought too. Hyundai Creta’s dashboardAs we step inside the Creta, we notice a dual tone (black and bridge) dashboard. The high quality of plastics that make up the dashboard makes the cabin appear upmarket. Additionally, this compact SUV comes loaded with features such as a 7-inch touchscreen (that offers facilities like Apple Car Play and Android Auto), wireless phone charging, cruise control, an electric sunroof and the powered driver’s seat. As for the front seats, they are really comfortable with good visibility. The comfort factor is high with the car’s rear AC vent keeping the passengers comfortable while on the move.Nissan Kicks and Hyundai Creta’s specification and priceIn this comparative analysis, we managed to get our hands on the diesel variants of these two compact SUVs. Nissan’s Kicks comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine mated with 6-speed manual transmission. This car seems to have shorter gear ratios. There is a bit of turbo lag, but when it picks up, it feels smooth. It goes over all potholes or bumps with ease. Not to miss, when you engage the reverse gear, the first in-segment 360-degree camera helps you all through.On the other hand, the Creta comes in two diesel variants – 1.4L and 1.6L. We drove the 1.6L diesel engine, which feels powerful and excited as the moment you put your foot down on the accelerator, the SUV is quick to respond. Its six-speed transmission offers perfect shifts. We were really impressed with its overtaking abilities, both in the city and on the open highway. The ride quality is pretty decent and the car cushions all the bad potholes with ease.The BadConsidering the competition in the compact SUV segment, one cannot afford to have the flaws. Kicks’ steering calls for more effort in the city as it is hydraulic. Talking about the Hyundai’s Creta, when you drag this SUV, it feels little soggy and just does not give you the confidence. In addition, the rear seats sit a little too low and the rising window line does not give us an airy feel. The spare wheel, which was earlier a full sized alloy, is now a steel wheel.The UglyWhile you are driving the Kicks and wish to change the music, you really have to lookout for the steering column audio controls. Another thing here is that the pedals are too close, especially when there is no dead pedal. Additionally, you will notice that there are no cup holders in the centre console.As for the shortcomings in Hyundai’s Creta, it is disappointing that the ISO fixed child-seat mounts at the rear are available only on the SX variant, rather than across the range.