Introduction Nissan Ariya: a first imperial electric crossover

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TEST // Forerunner of the electric car with the Leaf, Nissan returns with the Ariya, an electric crossover. Available in three battery and motor combinations, this vehicle offers a cabin where space is king. Although our introduction was brief, we left our first impressions…

Eleven. This is the number of years that separate the Nissan Leaf, the brand’s first electric car, from the new Ariya crossover. A long wait may be due to the common strategy with Renault, requires alliance.

Nissan ariya CONCEPT electric crossover SUV TOKYO SHOW JAPAN 2019

The Nissan Ariya concept car was unveiled in 2019

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

A small flashback, in 2017, the year of the presentation of the IMx, the concept car on which the Nissan Ariya is based. We’ll have to wait until 2019 for Nissan to unveil the Ariya Concept, an electric crossover that’s 95% finished. The remaining 5% will be spent on chassis development.

Nissan ariya electric crossover SUV Yasuragi Hotel nacka sweden sweden

Yes, this photo was taken in Sweden at the Hotel Yasuragi located in Nacka.

© Nissan

Finally, the Ariya was made official in July 2020. Initially, this SUV should have been marketed from mid-2021. However, the Covid-19 pandemic passed through there and, above all, the shortage of semiconductors had the effect of delay its arrival on the market by several months.

It was therefore time to meet Ariya, and it was on the Swedish roads that we were invited for a small hands-on. While we wait for Airya to enter our car comparison, we are already handing this handling over to you.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV navigation TomTom

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

CMF-EV Alliance Common Platform

Whatever the angle of view, the Ariya has a very futuristic look, marked by a recessed roofline and a body that emphasizes curves. Its front features a massive V-shaped closed grille adorned with the new luminous logo framed by long flashing lights. The LED headlights are very thin, as is the light strip that adorns the rear facade across its entire width. This headband is topped with a spoiler that gives the impression of having to do with a Lexus or an Audi Q8.

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nissan ariya electric crossover SUV

The trunk has a very elegant design, perhaps a little too much for our taste.

The Nissan Ariya is based on the same common platform as the CMF-EV Alliance. A total of three battery and motor combinations will be offered in Europe.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV CMF-EV

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The Japanese crossover will also be available in two-wheel drive (drive) with two battery capacities: 63 kWh (gross capacity 66 kWh) and 87 kWh (gross capacity 91 kWh). They will power an electric motor of 160 kW (218 hp; 300 Nm of torque) or 178 kW (242 hp; 300 Nm of torque), depending on the version. Top speed is limited to 160 km/h. The 0 to 100 km/h is shot in 7.5 s and 7.6 s respectively. The range varies from 403 to 533 km (WLTP cycles).

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Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV MOTOR ENGINE MOTOR

For drivers looking for dynamism, an all-wheel drive version called the e-4ORCE is also offered with two electric motors with a total output of 225 kW (306 hp; torque of 600 Nm) and powered by the 87 kWh battery. Top speed is from 200 km/h to 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. The range is announced for 500 km (WLTP cycle).

Nissan ariya electric crossover SUV CMF-EV battery

The Nissan Ariya is available with 2 battery capacities (63 and 87 kWh) whose weight varies from 438 to 566 kg.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

On the charging side, the SUV comes standard with a charger whose AC power is limited to 7.4 kW. Note that Nissan offers an optional 22 kW charger – only on the 87 kWh version – against a €1000 ticket.

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Finally, the Nissan Ariya supports fast charging (up to 130 kW at DC) via its Combo CCS socket. The manufacturer advertises a charging time of 30 min to recover up to 350 km on the 87 kWh version.

The Japanese philosophy of MA

MA is a Japanese philosophical paradox”at the heart of Japanese design philosophy and culture, where absence can be as important as presence“explains the Japan House website in a dedicated article. Concretely, this “void” or this “pause” — the MA can be voiced or gestural — “gives a new shape and a new meaning to the whole“The passenger compartment of the Nissan Ariya is therefore based on this MA where the space is organized, with minimalist controls such as the air conditioning unit.

Nissan Ariya SUV Electric Crossover INSIDE

So, as soon as you enter the cabin, you have the feeling of being in a Zen room where tranquility reigns supreme. This feeling is reinforced by the leg room. Rear passengers will also be catered for thanks to a wheelbase of 2.77 meters.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV CMF-EV TRUNK

This exploded view highlights the Nissan Ariya’s greatly reduced trunk volume.

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

nissan ariya SUV crossover electric trunk

On the other hand, the trunk volume – divisible – is limited to 468 liters (rear seat raised), or even 415 liters in the all-wheel drive version (e-4ORCE 87 kWh).

A zen but smart interior

The Nissan Ariya doesn’t forget to be modern and smart. Particular attention is paid to this electrically adjustable center console on which an elegant gear selector is positioned. This console includes a dedicated area with touch controls, including the e-Pedal Step function, introduced in the second generation Leaf. We’ll have the opportunity to come back to that a little later.

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Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV CONSOLE

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Another design gem, the air conditioning and heating tactile and tactile controls are integrated into a frame that looks like a long piece of blackberry husk. Again, there’s a nod to Japanese arts. The commands disappear when the ignition is turned off.



Note the climate control touch controls that disappear when the ignition is turned off.


The Nissan Ariya has a secret motorized compartment

Modernity is also felt in the cockpit, with two 12.3-inch digital screens (31.24 cm diagonal) each. The first, without touch, serves as an instrument panel and comes with a 10.8-inch (27.43 cm diagonal) head-up system.

Nissan ariya SUV electric crossover hud head-up display

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The second, tactile, is the control tower. We can only rejoice to finally see Nissan modernize its infotainment with a responsive display and studied ergonomics. In terms of design, however, we’re very close to what we found in the Kia EV6 or Ioniq 5.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV INSIDE SCREEN SCREEN

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

range of 400 km

It’s time to hit the road. Our test version, the Evolve finish (top of the range), has the smallest battery, namely 63 kWh (useful capacity).

First observation, despite its 1914 kg, the Nissan Ariya is dynamic, both on start-up and on restarts. On the other hand, it’s best to relax when it comes to making sharp turns, otherwise the roll is scarred. Nothing unacceptable, but the chassis typing is very comfort-oriented, with very flexible suspension settings. The seats, however, provide good support. In any case, the Zen philosophy remains present on the road, with excellent operating silence, certainly due to the treatment of the windows.

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A word about the Leaf-initiated One-Pedal that turns the gas pedal into a brake pedal as soon as you take your foot off. This has the effect of significantly slowing the vehicle down – and recovering energy – until it comes to a complete stop. On our Ariya, the system – renamed e-Pedal STEP – is a little different. In fact, as soon as the accelerator pedal is released, the car decelerates, but does not come to a complete stop. To come to a complete stop, use the brake pedal.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV ePedal STEP

The intensity of the STEP e-Pedal, which acts as regenerative braking, varies according to the chosen driving mode (Eco, Standard and Sport). Finally, the built-in ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving system is in order, while the connected route planner is pretty well done. Our only regret is having to trigger the battery preconditioning yourself, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

On the way we crossed many fixed radars. Fortunately, we were able to count on the TomTom signature navigation system, which was very responsive and accurately signaled the dangers of the road.

After driving about 180 km on various roads and in rainy weather, our average consumption was around 15 kWh/100 km. This number suggests a range of just over 400 km, in line with the manufacturer’s announcement. We will, of course, make a point of verifying these numbers during a more extensive test run on our French roads.

Nissan Ariya electric crossover SUV CONSUMPTION RANGE

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

balance sheet

They say it’s better late than never, but in the case of the Nissan Ariya, it’s still unfortunate that the manufacturer waited so long to offer a second electric vehicle when it pioneered this niche. In its defense, the Covid crisis is there, not to mention the shortage of semiconductors.

Despite an attractive design and a cozy, tidy interior, the Ariya will have a hard time handling the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and other Kia EV6s. Not to mention that the €47,300 entry ticket does not allow you to benefit from 100% of the ecological bonus.

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