Nissan Ariya review

Early drive in Nissan Ariya prototype shows promise.

Pros: good looks, excellent quality, range of options

Cons: odd drive selector, rear headroom could be better

Nissan’s Ariya is its next new electric car. It takes the form of a five-seat SUV, and it will arrive in Ireland this summer. Before that, we’ve had a chance to take a quick drive in a pre-production version on closed roads.

Nissan Ariya Design

Nissan calls the Ariya a coupe-crossover, which might be stretching the truth a little, but there’s no denying that it is a good-looking example of the breed, and it has a distinctly raked rear screen to give it a sportier side profile than most SUVs in the segment. Elsewhere, it’s just as interesting, especially in one of the lighter paint colours offered, as that contrasts with the darkened lights, black roof and mirrors and the distinctive nose styling. Slender LED lighting enhances the modern feel, too.

Nissan Ariya Interior

Aside from a reduction in rear headroom if the panoramic glass roof is fitted, the cabin of the Ariya is very impressive and usefully spacious. The dashboard features two 12.3-inch displays within a single moulding, one for the digital instruments and the other as an infotainment touchscreen. Below that, a strip of high-quality material spans the width of the interior and features excellent touch-sensitive air conditioning controls. They offer up haptic feedback so they’re as good to use as they are to look at.

The same technique is applied to switchgear on the movable centre console, which also features myriad device charging and storage solutions. Depending on where this unit is moved to, the front passengers’ footwells are joined or there’s unimpeded space for rear-seat passengers. Three adults can fit back there reasonably easily, and notable features include the flat floor and wide-opening doors. Through all this, there’s a sense of high quality, thanks to real solidity in almost all the materials and controls.

Nissan Ariya Performance & Drive

We tested a front-wheel-drive version of the Ariya, using a single electric motor and a 63kWh battery pack. It’s smooth and incredibly quiet on the move. The motor sends up to 217hp and 300Nm to the front wheels, which is more than adequate for the car, allowing it to feel pleasantly fast, but not unusually so. In time, there will be all-wheel-drive variants offered, too, with up to 394hp.

Nissan Ariya Pricing

Nissan has yet to confirm how much the Ariya will cost. We do know that there will be two battery pack options, allowing an official range of from 403km to in excess of 500km. A 7.4kW on-board AC charger will be standard, with a 22kW upgrade expected to be optional. DC charging of up to 130kW will be possible in all models.

Carzone Verdict: 4.5/5

First impressions suggest that Nissan’s Ariya will be a terrific addition to the market. It looks good, has a fantastic interior, is civilised on the road and should have a wide range of options for buyers to choose from. The only unknown is how much they will have to pay for the privilege.

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