Following the huge success of the Leaf, Nissan’s newest EV, the Ariya has a tough act to follow. Richard Gooding discovers if the all-electric crossover impresses
What is it?
The Nissan Leaf is largely remembered as the first ‘proper’ electric car of the modern age. The five-door electric family hatchback was launched in 2010 and evolved into a second generation in 2017. Announced in 2020, the Ariya coupé crossover is the second coming of Nissan’s electric passenger car, and couldn’t be more different from the Leaf, embracing the current family car trend for practical space and SUV style.
What range does it have?
Nissan Ariyas have either a 63kWh or 87kWh lithium-ion battery with a single electric motor or dual motors if fitted with the e-Force all-wheel drive powertrain. Official WLTP combined cycle range for 63kWh models is up to 250 miles; the 87kWh version increases this to 329 miles. The 87kWh all-wheel drive variant officially travels from 310-319 miles on a single charge. A standard heat pump should help efficiency.
How long does it take to charge?
All 63kWh Ariyas have a 7.4kW on-board charger as standard, with the option of a 22kW unit. When plugged into a 7.4kW wallbox, the battery will be charged from 10-100 per cent in 10 hours. A 22kW connection takes this down to 3.5 hours. It’s worth noting that of the 63kWh models, the Engage trim does not have the 130kW DC CCS charging rate as standard which comes on the Advance and Evolve and will refill the battery from 10-80 per cent in around 30 minutes.
The 22kW on-board charger is standard on all 87kWh Ariyas. A 7.4kW wallbox will charge the battery from 10-100 per cent in 13.5 hours, the 22kW connection adding on two hours to the 63kWh battery’s refill time.
How does it drive?
The Ariya’s coupé crossover lines certainly get it noticed, and at over 4.5m long, it’s a large car. Inside, the minimalist dashboard features haptic switches which appear ingrained in the wood-effect trim, creating an upmarket and premium feel, and the same treatment is applied on the centre console with the e-Pedal and driving mode switches. Japanese-style lantern ambient lighting also adds a distinctively different look. The materials mostly feel premium, and the Ariya’s cabin is a comfortable place to spend time.
Based on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform which also underpins the new Renault Megane E-Tech Electric, the Ariya is comfortable and quiet on the move, and also delivers plenty of pace. Three driving modes – Eco, Standard and Sport – allow you to tailor the driving experience, while a firmer ‘B’ braking setting increases the regeneration available.
The e-Pedal mode is carried over from the Leaf, and gives an almost one-pedal driving option, making the Nissan even more relaxing to drive.
What does it cost?
The Nissan Ariya family is made up of 63kWh, 87kWh battery sizes, front or all-wheel drive specifications, and Engage, Advance and Evolve trims.
At £39,645, the entry level Engage 63kWh features 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear view camera, a 12.3-inch navigation screen, a 12.3-inch driver’s display, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 63kWh Advance adds 130kW DC CCS charging and dual zone climate control, and the £47,140 63kWh Evolve features an electric panoramic sunroof, a powered and movable centre console, and ventilated front seats.
Ariya models with the 87kWh battery are priced from £44,645, while the cheapest e-Force all-wheel drive model is the £50,845 87kWh Advance The range-topping 87kWh Evolve+ model costs from £59,025 and features an enlarged 290kW/388bhp power output.
How much does it cost to tax?
The Nissan Ariya is exempt from VED charges in its first and subsequent years of registration. For fleets, the Japanese crossover has a two per cent 2023-2024 Benefit In Kind (BIK) value.
Why does my fleet need one?
The Nissan Ariya is a stylish and well-made electric SUV that drives well, and features some innovative interior design features. Quality takes a step up over the Leaf, and in part, justifies the higher price, but practical and usable space is also a key benefit. The newer entry level Engage model should add some more fleet appeal, but overall, the Nissan crossover impresses with its blend of range, power and style.