By Breda Corrigan
The all-new, fully-electric Nissan ARIYA is a stunning expression of Nissan’s new vision. Nissan beat its rivals to market with the LEAF electric hatchback when it was launched in 2010, with the brand becoming an electric pioneer in the process. The ARIYA is Nissan’s second full EV model for Europe, and the futuristically-styled electric SUV sets new standards for quality, drivability and technology for the brand. Underneath the sleek, coupé SUV-style body sits the Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF-EV platform, which is shared with the all-new Renault Mégane E-Tech family crossover. However, at 4,595mm long, the ARIYA is bigger than its French relative, and its 2,775mm wheelbase results in generous space for up to five occupants.
The exterior design of the ARIYA looks absolutely fantastic from every angle, and it is certainly a feast for the eyes. A single horizon line replaces fussy contours, while thin LED headlights shine at night, then disappear during the day. With its large front grille, sloping roofline and striking rear light design, the ARIYA brings the future of motoring to the here-and-now. The high-quality cabin in the ARIYA is refreshingly spacious and is a true feast for the senses, as it successfully combines wood-effect trim with the premium-feel upholstery, while the ambient lighting, which is inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns, is a nice touch. Instead of traditional dials to operate the heating and ventilation functions, Nissan has used a row of intuitive haptic controls set into the dash below the 12.3-inch infotainment screen.
The twin screens are large and clear, while the speed when responding to touch commands is impressive. The map display is also bright and clear, and the system comes with the added benefit of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The ARIYA’s hands-free powered tailgate opens to reveal a boot capacity of 466-litres, while there is extra storage space underneath the boot floor. Ingeniously, the movable boot floor is in two parts, and can be placed vertically to divide the boot into different sections for easy transportation of the weekly grocery shopping, and the likes.
Two Trims, Two Battery Options.
The new ARIYA comes in a choice of two trim levels – Advance and Evolve – both of which are available with the choice of a 63kWh or 87kWh battery. For now, the only drivetrain available is a front-wheel drive format, but an all-wheel drive variant (badged ‘e-4ORCE’) is set to come on stream in the near future. Advance trim comes with wireless phone charging, dual-zone climate control, a heat pump, LED lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, a powered tailgate and a suite of safety and driver-assistance systems as standard. Evolve specification adds an openable panoramic roof, a BOSE™ sound system with 10 speakers, a camera-based intelligent rear-view mirror, a 10.8-inch Head Up Display, Adaptive Driving Beam with Auto Leveliser, and ProPILOT Park.
Test Car Details.
My test car was a new ARIYA Evolve 87kW (with Nappa Leather), which was finished in White Pearl paintwork with contrasting black trim elements. The 87kWh battery, when connected to a 242PS electric motor driving the front wheels, leads to a claimed 519km of range, while the motor’s 300Nm of torque means a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 7.6-seconds. The resulting ease of acceleration makes the ARIYA a relaxed car to drive, while an excellent suspension set-up and commendable body control adds greatly to the overall sense of calm within the cabin. Nissan’s ingenious e-Pedal set-up from the LEAF has been rebranded as ‘e-Pedal Step’ for the ARIYA. Although the car won’t come to a stop on its own, the level of brake regeneration is enough to enable drivers to rarely have to touch the brakes with any great force at all. The ARIYA’s steering is light and precise in equal measure, so the car is easy to manoeuvre in and out of tight parking spaces. The low-set dashboard allows for excellent forward vision, while the combination of a 360-degree camera, parking sensors, moving object detection and emergency braking take the strain out of reversing. When connected to a 130kW fast charger for 30-minutes, the battery can gain enough energy for up to 300kms of additional range, while a full charge (0-100%) at home can be completed in about 14-hours via a 7.4kW wallbox charger (10-hours for the 63kWh battery).
The all-new Nissan ARIYA stands out in terms of its futuristic exterior styling, upmarket cabin, supreme refinement, outstanding comfort and cutting-edge EV technology, while the spaciousness within the five-seat SUV is also highly commendable. The ARIYA Advance 63kWh is priced from €48,995 – inclusive of current Government EV incentives (t’s & c’s apply). My ARIYA 87kWh Evolve test car specification is priced from €66,995.