We picked up Nissan’s new electric crossover, the Ariya, from Charles Hurst on the Boucher Road, taking it for a weekend workout.
Accommodation & Equipment
Size wise, the Ariya sits somewhere between an X-Trail and a QASHQAI. It’s built on the new CMF-EV platform, and its ground-up EV packaging provides brilliant internal accommodation. If space equals luxury, then the Ariya is one luxurious vehicle.
This is the ADVANCE version of the car, with the EVOLVE being the higher spec’d alternative. Up front there are dual 12.3″ touch screens, one behind the steering wheel which provides all the info you need at a glance. It’s configurable too, showing efficiency, maps and media, all over multiple pages accessed from a button on the steering wheel.
The other screen is central in the cabin, slightly angled towards the driver, providing access to the infotainment system. Wireless Apple CarPlay is a welcomed addition if you are an iOS user, bringing the latest mapping and entertainment apps to the Ariya without the need to plugin your phone. Below the 2nd screen you’ll find a physical volume knob plus a row of haptic touch switches.
There’s no frunk here, under the bonnet is home to the motor, inverter and ancillaries. The boot is a little smaller than expected at 468 litres, although there’s a useful sub-boot below that. Our review car was fitted with the optional openable panoramic sunroof with power shade (£1,295) which brightens up the interior nicely.
The standard fit 360 surround camera system is such a great feature, and one that’s missing from some higher priced competitors. There’s the usual assortment of USB ports for charging in the front and rear along with a wireless charging pad for a phone under the armrest.
On our morning journey along the M1, the Ariya’s ProPILOT with Navi-Link system handled the commuter traffic well, bringing the car right to a standstill when necessary. On faster runs over the weekend the system held the car in lane while navigating the bends too.
Performance, Handling & Ride
Our test car was the rear wheel drive version with a 63kWh battery. Traction was good and there are 4-wheel drive options available too if you need them (the AWD versions all come with the larger 87kWh battery).
With a 0-60 time of around 7 seconds, the Ariya has plenty of oomph for overtakes. In terms of ride quality, everyone that was in the Ariya over the weekend commented on its comfort.
The car has a solid feel with typically great Japanese build quality. It looks good in the flesh, especially in some of the 2-tone colour schemes that are available, as they show off the contrast with the dark roof and front end with its swooping DRLs.
Charging & Efficiency
The Ariya’s charger ports are on the left hand front wing. You can choose to upgrade the 7.4 kW onboard AC charger to a 22 kW version (which is also included as standard on higher priced models). That’s a very useful feature that could add around 75 miles of range per hour so well worth considering if you are going to be using 22’s frequently. On the DC side the Ariya can charge at up to 130 kW.
Our car was riding on 19″ wheels and the weekend’s temperatures ranged from 6 to 17 degrees. We covered 199 miles, on a mix of motorway and A roads, seeing it average 3.6 miles per kWh.
3.6 miles/kWh x 63 kWH Usable = 227 mile range
As usual we checked that with the EV Database, and their real world range for this model is quoted as 205 miles which we could definitely better. Having driven a 200 mile range car for nearly 3 years I can say it’s ideal for 99% of travelling around Northern Ireland.
The Ariya competes in one of the most hotly contested sectors right now. Nissan’s early lead in electric vehicles means many of us had our first EV experience in a Leaf. The Ariya shows its heritage (the button under the accelerator will be familiar to many Leaf drivers), but also feels light years ahead of its older sibling. The e-Pedal provides that one pedal driving loved by so many and when added to the ProPILOT system, it takes the stress out of driving longer journeys.
The Ariya has an 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty on the Lithium-ion battery and it should definitely be on your test-drive list. After an enjoyable weekend we were sad to see it go. Even in this starter price spec with the smaller battery and 2-wheel-drive, it’s a most competent, practical, comfortable cruiser that we reckon will find a happy home with many families.
Prices for the Nissan Ariya start from £43,845. Many thanks to the Charles Hurst Group for the loan of the car for this review.
Why Nissan don’t want to make a car less expensive for a bigger number of people who can afford it. Nissan Micra should go electric. Imagine Nissan Micra with let’s say 51kwh battery or even 40kwh. It will sell much faster than so expensive £43k Ariya.