our impressions at the wheel of the family SUV

The Ariya is desired. The Covid-19 crisis and the semiconductor shortage have thrown the plans of Nissan, which planned a sensational entry of its first 100 percent electric SUV on the European car market in autumn 2021. The bodywork is yet to be seen, but the manufacturer already has open orders (prices from €46,400) for a June launch on the French network. In the meantime, some competitors such as the Skoda Enyaq, the Volkswagen ID.4 or the Tesla Model Y have established themselves well in this family electric SUV market.

The Argus showcased a European Nissan Ariya at the Jarama Circuit in Spain.

catch up, Nissan is making the crossover the headliner of its new offensive, which plans to launch a range of six electrified models by the summer. The Japanese know it. Like the other manufacturers, it has no choice but to follow the trend and press ahead with its electrification strategy in order to comply with the new European CO2 emission standards.2. Exit the sheet at the top and hello Arya! It’s one of the brand’s messages during a press event that allowed us to get to know their latest addition. A presentation that comes after the vehicle’s static discovery last year. To say it straight away: this grip was succinct as we were barely allowed thirty minutes at the circuit (that of Jarama near Madrid). Driving in single file, marked with a few cones and other highlights aimed at simulating different road routes. But this first exposure to a pre-production model equipped with a 63 kWh battery has already allowed us to estimate the capacities of this Ariya while waiting to find it for a first full test.

2022 nissan ariya review
This first handling of the ariya often took place in single file.
test ariya circuit jarama madrid
Several parts of the Jarama Circuit have been demarcated by cones.


Range and price Nissan Ariya

Before we get behind the wheel, let’s take a look at a key aspect of electric models, their range. It differs according to the three versions available, as shown by the homologated autonomy in the WLTP cycle:

  • 403 km for the 218 hp Ariya with 63 kWh battery;
  • 520 km for the 242 hp Ariya with 87 kWh battery;
  • 493km for the Ariya 306hp 4×4 with 87kWh battery.

This latest version features a second electric motor on the rear axle, doubling the torque figure (600Nm versus 300Nm for the traction Ariya) and initiating an all-wheel drive called 4WD e-4orcand. Unfortunately, at €60,400 this state-of-the-art Ariya misses out on the bonus capped at €1,000 on lower versions as the first prize is shown above €45,000 (All prices, amenities and bonuses can be found on the next page). Nissan promises charging times of no more than 35 to 40 minutes for a refueling at a fast terminal up to 80% thanks to a tolerated power of 130 kW. When charging with alternating current, the standard power is 7.4 kW and €1,000 must be added to benefit from the 22 kW on-board charger (only available with the large battery and not before March 2023!). For this first run, we had the entry-level Ariya with 218 hp, 300 Nm of torque and a “small” 63 kWh battery. A beautiful baby that already weighs 1,914 kg, more than 400 kg more than its big brother, the Qashqai e-Power.


Ride

So it’s time to drive the circuit, which is riddled with artificial chicanes to slow us down. As a good electric SUV, the Ariya makes for dynamic starts and revives enthusiastically between two obstacles. It is noteworthy that we feel that the pair is available immediately. These strong accelerations then decrease with increasing speed. Despite its high weight, the SUV reacts quickly in bends. The crowd remembers our memory, especially when braking.

nissan ariya electric suv review
The Ariya’s order book opened in late March, but the electric SUV won’t hit dealerships until June.
Dimensions Nissan Ariya
The Nissan Ariya is 4.60 m long (1.66 m high) and based on a long wheelbase of 2.78 m.

Nissan has not renewed the “single pedal” solution, like the Leaf, which allows, when you take your foot off the accelerator, to restore significant deceleration until the vehicle comes to a complete stop. According to him, customers didn’t want that. Then we discover the “e-Pedal Step” system: braking that takes place about electrical regeneration and mechanical friction slow the car by 5-6 km/h but require driver intervention to bring it to a complete stop at the end of the race. We activated the E-Pedal very little in that short time. We were also unable to fully test the three driving modes Eco, Standard and Sport. They each have an influence on the strength and behavior of the regenerative braking system, but also on the response of the accelerator pedal or the steering assistance.

The latter also seems to be well calibrated. It makes the Ariya both agile and stable. The comfort seems very correct and the suspension rather flexible, although it remains difficult to judge precisely this point on a perfectly smooth track. Most notable, of course, is the silence. Forget the noise of the engine, the taxiing and the wind… at least during the few seconds of the 130 km/h section.

nissan ariya driving report
At the wheel of the Nissan Ariya, comfort and support seem good, although we would have liked a little less firmness in the seats.


On board

Cultivated ambience with a touch of minimalism, that’s how we would describe the interior of the Ariya. Despite a sloping roofline, the spacious cabin offers enough space in the front and rear. As a reminder, the SUV is based on the CMF-EV platform dedicated to the electric vehicles of the alliance with Renault; a technical base also used for the Mégane E-Tech.

nissan ariya interior
The interior design of the Nissan Ariya SUV is elegantly minimalist.

This makes it possible to occupy a completely flat floor and eliminate any separation between driver and passenger. Those new to electric vehicles will be pleasantly surprised by this arrangement.

The surfaces look decent despite the large amount of plastic. Good point anyway: Nissan has cleaned up to eliminate the most conventional buttons and keep only the vent buttons encrusted into the wood-effect material (touch controls with haptic feedback). Otherwise, all useful information is under the driver’s nose as it’s projected onto two 12.3-inch touchscreens, one for instrumentation, the other for infotainment. A fairly easy set to use.

nissan ariya interior
Heating and ventilation are controlled via touch zones on the wood-look dashboard.
test nissan ariya dashboard
These controls disappear as soon as the ignition is switched off. Original and elegant!

The rear passengers are impressed by the slightly reclined backrests and the generous legroom – even in the middle seat – thanks to the electrically sliding console between the front seats (High Evolve version only). With a volume of 468 l, the trunk is less spacious in five places than that of the Volkswagen ID.4 (543 l) and the Skoda Enyaq (585 l). In the 4 x 4 version with the second electric motor in the rear, it even drops to 415 l. This is still sufficient for everyday use, while loading is made easier by the removable double floor and the motorized tailgate, which is standard from the first series.

Nissan Ariya rear seats
Despite lowering the flag, installing it on the rear seats in the Nissan Ariya is easy.
trunk nissan ariya
The Nissan Ariya has a trunk volume of 468 l in the 4×2 version, which drops to 415 l in the 4×4 version.

On the following page you will find the results of the test, prices, equipment and options, as well as the technical sheet of the Nissan Ariya.

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