The Nissan Ariya not only attracts attention but also has the ability to alter perceptions of electric vehicles
Car Reviewed: Nissan Ariya Evolve 87kWh Sport Pack
There are plush carpets, armchair comfort, double-glazed windows, and cabin-filling air conditioning, so the Ariya is better equipped than many residences that cost four or five times its list price. It also has a range of approximately 300 miles.
You get a lot of technology, a luxurious interior, and driving systems that you can use to optimise efficiency, enjoyment, and range, which is over 300 miles on a single charge.
It’s not a cheap SUV but is competitively priced compared to rival EVs or traditional petrol vehicles.
Ariya is the culmination of Nissan’s ev experience acquired since its first Tama runabout in 1947 and, much more recently, the incredibly successful LEAF from 2010, the world’s first mass-produced ev with nearly 390,000 units sold across its two generations.
Nissan has determined that it can profit more from its ev technology if it ups its game in terms of market sector and consumer preferences; hence, the Ariya was designed to appeal to potential Tesla buyers. It has a sleek design to compete in the Crossover segment of SUVs and Coupes.
Independent NCAP tests revealed that it is not only one of the safest EVs but also one of the most efficient at utilising stored electricity. Consequently, it has won numerous independent awards, including for its design.
The Nissan Ariya is available in Engage, Advance, Evolve+, Evolve, and Performance trims with a variety of equipment upgrades to enhance each level and a choice of 63 or 87 kWh batteries with electric motors generating 160kW, 178kW, 225kW, or 290kW. Officially, prices range from £46,145 to £60,585.
Our midrange Ariya Evolve was equipped with an 87kWh battery and Sport Pack trim, which featured blue upholstery, Nappa leather seating details, and 20-inch alloy wheels with aero coverings.
The mid-range powertrain is well packaged to optimise cabin space. It has three driving modes to emphasise economy to sporting ability, variable regeneration, and due to the test vehicle’s low centre of gravity, it corners well despite only having front-wheel drive.
MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear arrangement contribute significantly to the vehicle’s sporty response in the quickest mode, along with adjustable steering and large disc brakes that inspire confidence.
Activating the e-pedal can add a few miles to even short journeys and creates a single-pedal experience, which is optimal in urban traffic or when parking.
On multiple occasions, after an overnight charge to nearly 100 per cent capacity, we were able to travel up to 300 miles consistently.
The motor’s response was excellent, with strong, consistent power regardless of load, near-silent operation, and no gearshifts to contend with. It immediately changed modes without hesitation.
The vehicle’s near 2.2-tonne weight due to its battery pack was scarcely noticeable except when cornering, where it tended to run wide on tighter turns, but it significantly improved the ride quality. Bumps were effortlessly absorbed, but the damper’s response was occasionally abrupt.
Road rumbles and suspension noises were audible only when the Ariya’s all-powered windows or sunroof were opened, as the vehicle was otherwise very silent. When the double-paned windows were shut, external noise was significantly reduced, and then the dual-zone air conditioning kicked in, producing some commotion. The system’s output, directional control, and temperature variation were all satisfactory.
The vehicle’s infotainment system is completely compatible with mobile devices and operating systems, the central screen is of a respectable size and possesses a high level of clarity, and it transitions rapidly between selected functions. A head-up display on the windscreen supplemented the display in front of the driver. The heated steering wheel, front and rear seating, and front-seat power adjustments were appreciated.
With the tilt-and-reach adjustable steering column and memory settings for the seat and door reflectors, the driver has a virtually limitless range of options for achieving a comfortable driving position.
The majority of the secondary controls on the lower fascia, console box, and wheel spokes were touch-sensitive contacts that were visible during the day but less so in low-light conditions. These primary light and windscreen wiper stalks were partially concealed behind the wheel.
With the exception of a small slit in the rear window, visibility was reasonably good all around the Ariya, thanks to the headlamps and large windscreen wipers.
The boot was easily accessible and opened and closed at the stroke of a button. Once inside, leg and headroom were ample for a four-five-seater, but I believe a family might struggle with the boot’s capacity unless the partitioned floor is utilised, while the offset split-back seat provides practicality.
The Nissan Ariya Evolve 87kWh Sport Pack is a very attractive model for today’s environmentally conscious consumers, but it is also capable of winning over some petrol-loving purists.
It would perform even better if the warranty were extended, as this is now the norm for a vehicle that deserves better.
Robin contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.
Robin was the longest serving chairman of The Western Group of Motoring Writers. He specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes WheelsWithinWales.uk which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.
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