Nissan Ariya review

Nissan's all-electric SUV tested on Irish roads

One of the most anticipated electric cars to arrive in Ireland this year is undoubtedly Nissan’s brand new electric SUV, the Ariya. With a starting price of around €49,000, distinctive styling and practicality for family buyers, it goes up against other electric cars like the Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda ENYAQ and Tesla Model Y. The Ariya arrives at a time when there are lots of rivals to compete with, but is it a class leader?


Starting outside, the Ariya is built on a new platform and it marks a new styling direction for the brand. Nissan describes the Ariya as a coupe crossover, with its sloping roofline which is a styling feature that is growing in popularity these days. At 4.6 metres long the Ariya is a big car in the metal and it is noticeably larger than a Nissan Qashqai and closer to a Nissan X-Trail in terms of scale. Stand out features include a flush black grille up front and slim LED daytime running lights. In standard Advance specification it gets 19-inch alloy wheels with aero covers, a distinctive rear LED light strip and a rear roof spoiler, but the higher specificstion Evolve model that we tested has large 20-inch alloy wheels and a panoramic sunroof. Nissan also offers the Ariya in up to 10 different colour combinations including two tone options.


Stepping inside, the Ariya impresses with a clearly-designed driver’s area, and lots of quality materials and comfort for front seat passengers. It feels spacious from the driver’s seat, with a flat floor up front, good all-round visibility and plenty of adjustment from the steering wheel and seats, while the centre console can be adjusted backwards and forwards to increase the amount of floor space. Quality is good throughout the Ariya's cabin and arguably a step up from its rivals, with fabric and copper detailing on the panels, although there are some hard plastics further down on the doors.

A large touch screen system comes as standard stretching across the dashboard with a digital driver’s display, and the system is easy to use, with lots of touch sensitive controls for the climate control, while Apple Car Play and Android Auto are built in as standard. There is plenty of storage too with a wireless smartphone charger beneath the driver's armrest, two cupholders, a hidden storage area which opens at the touch of a button and room for large water bottles in the doors.

Stepping into the rear seats the doors open wide which is great for family buyers, and space is good with lots of legroom thanks to the flat floor,  a comfortable seating position and good headroom despite the sloping roof line of the car. Higher spec Evolve models get a panoramic sunroof and family buyers get two sets of ISOFIX mounts for child seats and there is a USB charge point, a USB-c charge point, armrest and storage nets behind the seats. As standard the Ariya gets an electric tailgate and boot space is reasobale, with 466 litres of room in the two wheel drive version. The all-wheel drive version has a smaller 408 litre boot, which is less than what you get in a Skoda ENYAQ or Volkswagen ID.4. There is extra space underneath the floor for storing charge cables and other items while the seats fold down flat for bicycles or flat pack furniture with a strong 1775 litre of total space in this configuration.  

Driving and range:

The Ariya is available with a 63kWh battery with a 403 kilometre range or a larger 87kWh battery with a claimed 529 kilometre range. We drove the larger battery version which has 178kw of power and a single electric motor on the front wheels, and first impressions are very good, it’s responsive, very refined and quite enjoyable to drive. Over mixed driving routes we have been getting around 20kWh/100km in efficiency, which equates to around a 400 kilometre range from a full charge. There are different driving modes available with ECO, Comfort and Sport, along with an e-pedal setting similar to the Nissan LEAF which allows one pedal driving and maximises regenerative braking, and our own preference is to leave it in ECO and with the e-pedal setting to achieve the most range.

Like most EVs it accelerates fast off the line, covering 0-100km/h in around 7.5 seconds, but more importantly it cruises comfortably and is very quiet inside when on the move. Overall visibility is good and while it can be hard to see out of the rear window due to the sloping roofline, this higher spec car has this built-in digital mirror which gives a live wide angle view of behind the car, it’s a really nice feature that helps in tight parking spaces. The Ariya has a very good reversing camera as standard and the turning circle is also good for tight spaces.


The Ariya can rapid charge at up to 130kW with a DC rapid charger, which is on par with many of its rivals, though not as fast as the Hyundai IONIQ 5 or Kia EV6 which can charge at over 200kw. This means this larger battery 87kWh battery version should be able to charge from 10-80% in around 35 minutes with a high speed charger, while the smaller 63kwh battery will charge faster. Most electric car buyers will be charging at home overnight however and the larger battery Ariya comes with an impressive 22kw three-phase charger for domestic use.


Nissan offers the Ariya in two different specifications with Advance and Evolve. The entry Advance with the smaller battery starts from around €49,000 including grants and it gets 19-inch alloy wheels, a heat pump, digital screens inside, a wireless phone charger and Nissan’s Propilot system with navigation. The higher specification Evolve model starts from around €52,000 including grants with the smaller battery and it gets a Bose soundsystem, adaptive lights, panoramic sunroof, a head up display, the intelligent rear view mirror and a ProPilot parking system.

If you want to go for the larger 87kWh battery for longer range, prices start from around €64,000 as it doesn’t qualify for the government grants at this price range.The Ariya gets a lot of Safety equipment and tech as standard too, with intelligent blind spot intervention, emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection and intelligent forward collision warning, and a whole host of other intelligent features.


So should you buy the Nissan Ariya? If you are in the market for an electric family SUV that has a premium look and feel, lots of practicality inside and one of the best drives in its class, it is definitely one to consider. The Ariya’s interior is especially impressive and the larger battery versions offer good real world range. That said, it has a high starting price tag compared to many of its rivals, and it may prove difficult to get your hands on one for the time being as it is fully sold out in Ireland. All in though, the Nissan Ariya is now one oof the standout electric family SUVs on the market and it will likely prove to be a best seller in years to come.   

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