Automotive / Trial. Nissan designs the Ariya, its 100% electric SUV

Impossible to escape this, any major car manufacturer must market a 100% electric SUV.

Built on the CMF-EV platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance aimed at 100% electric models, the Ariya is therefore a technical cousin of the very successful Renault Megane E-Tech.

It will have as competitors the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Skoda Enyaq iV, Volkswagen ID.4 or MG Marvel R or more exotic, the Aiways U5. Rivals abound, so what does this Nissan offer?

The arched profile is dynamic. Nissan photos

Ariya takes care of your style

At first glance, the latest Nissan is surprisingly good. The flanks look finely sculpted by the wind, the trompe l’oeil grille is topped with fine optics and the overall profile is dynamic with an arched shape. It is successful as long as you are sensitive to Japanese design.

At 4.60 m in length, the Ariya falls into the category of large SUVs. But what about inside? Does this size benefit livability?

The cabin is refined, zen and welcoming.  Nissan photos

The cabin is refined, zen and welcoming. Nissan photos

A cocoon of technology

Japanese style is found in the interior. The clean, horizontal dashboard appears to float in the cabin. The materials are surprising, like the wood that covers the panel, and pleasant. Touch controls are efficient, intuitive and disappear when the ignition is turned off. Beautiful and efficient.

Ariya wants to impress and it works. Stop exaggerating a little. In the center, the center console takes up a lot of space but is electrically adjustable.

A motorized storage also opens slowly thanks to a drawer that looks very fragile and in which you will not be able to discard anything. You will surely manage to impress your passengers with this useless storage.

But one could also ask about the need to add another electric motor at this point to get a slow drawer and anything but practical.

Nissan completely overhauls the brand's habits.  Nissan photos

Nissan completely overhauls the brand’s habits. Nissan photos

Infotainment and screens

On this panel is the essential central touchscreen, with an interface completely redesigned by Nissan. The set is pleasant to use, without revolutionizing the genre, and it integrates Alexa voice control.

The information is clear, the resolution is sometimes a little confusing, but the whole is modern. But the driver leaving for a somewhat distant destination would have deserved a GPS capable of planning the route and the stops at charging stations. Nissan is planning a smartphone app that we weren’t able to test.

Not enough when Tesla has offered this tool in all of its cars for over a decade. Too bad for Ariya, who was close to the good point in this chapter.

On the wooden panel, the touch controls are of the most beautiful effect.  Nissan photos

On the wooden panel, the touch controls are of the most beautiful effect. Nissan photos

On the road

On the quiet roads of Sweden, the Nissan SUV is pleasant.

The suspensions erase road imperfections, the soundproofing is very careful and the driving is zen. Generous torque doesn’t hurt traction and the resulting weight isn’t felt much when cornering or braking.

Lively without being brutal, Ariya is perfect in the role of family friend.

In this top-of-the-range Evolve version, with a panoramic roof, ventilated front seats and a pack that includes the head-up display, the center mirror provided by a camera and the very successful Bose 10 HP audio system, the Ariya is an invitation to travel.

For this first test, Nissan entrusted us with a small 218 horsepower battery motor. But what is its autonomy?

In our test drive in Sweden, the Nissan Ariya was economical.  Nissan photos

In our test drive in Sweden, the Nissan Ariya was economical. Nissan photos

Autonomy and charging

The Ariya range offers a choice of three engines.

At the top of the range, the Ariya 306 hp, with all-wheel drive, two engines and an 87 kWh battery available from €57,400.

In the mid-range, the 242 hp Ariya with 87 kWh battery also starts at €54,400 and finally our test version, the 218 hp Ariya and its 63 kWh battery, whose price starts at €47,300. This version is announced with a range of 400 km on the WLTP cycle.

After two days on Swedish roads limited to 70 km/h at best, infested with automatic radars, and desperately flat, it is difficult to establish a balance of consumption, as these conditions are cut to break autonomy records.

Be aware, however, that we consume an average of 15.5 kWh/100 km, that is, a theoretical range of 406 km six kilometers above homologation! The first in our life as electric car testers.

The price starts above €40,000.  Nissan photos

The price starts above €40,000. Nissan photos

Conclusion: a highly recommendable SUV

With its successful look and interior, Nissan’s expertise in electricity and its pleasant handling, the Ariya could appeal to families who want to go 100% electric.

He will have to face increasing competition. Starting at €47,300, the Ariya tries to position itself above the Volkswagen ID.4s, which trade for €43,000.

To benefit from the €6,000 ecological bonus deducted from this amount, the Nissan buyer will have to negotiate a small discount with their dealership to get below the €47,000 ceiling. Under these conditions, Ariya will be charged €41,000 against €37,000 for Volkswagen.

With her more extensive equipment and her much more careful presentation, Ariya has all the cards in her hand to achieve this.

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