With its space-age styling and an electric range of up to 310 miles, Nissan's new electric Ariya is very likely to be a hit with consumers who are looking to move away from humdrum hatchbacks, and into something cooler which features an electric motor. With the Ariya, Nissan is aiming for an involving driving experience, and to that end is offering a range of versions to increase its appeal to buyers.
Starting in late 2021, Nissan expects to launch five Ariya models in the UK, with a choice of single or dual-motor units offering front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive respectively, and either a 63kWh or 87kWh battery pack depending on how much power or how many miles of range are needed. This will help the Ariya appeal to a wide range of buyers, with different versions appearing at various price points to cater for lower and higher budgets.
The new Nissan Ariya will start at around £40,000 and is expected to be a key rival for the Volkswagen ID4, Mustang Mach E and Tesla Model Y, so it will be lining up against a growing range of increasingly capable and appealing electric cars. Let's have a look in more detail at what we can expect from this exciting new electric SUV when it goes into production in late 2021.
Range, Charging, & Emissions
The new Nissan Ariya has a diverse choice of versions that can be tailored to the buyer's needs and budget.
Two battery pack choices will be available at launch, either a 63 kWh version providing up to 233 miles of range, or an 87kWh version offering up to 310 miles. Nissan intends to offer a 7.4 kW wall box with the former, a 22kW charger for the latter, and also the option of a 130kW rapid charger, for an almost instant boost of power when you need it.
Nissan hasn't yet detailed how long it will take to charge either of the Ariya's batteries, so expect this information to come later in the year.
The range will obviously depend on whether you specify a single or dual-motor version of the Nissan Ariya, due to both power and weight, so concentrate on the two-wheel-drive Ariya if you need a greater range.
The 63kWh dual-motor Nissan Ariya will return up to 211 miles, and the 87kWh model will travel up to 285 miles on a full charge. The 87kWh Performance version will deliver up to 248 miles.
The 63kWh single motor Nissan Ariya will be capable of up to 223 miles, and the 87kWh will achieve up to 310 miles, which is very good in its class. Bear in mind that these are in optimal conditions and that real-world driving will probably return a little less.
Nissan hasn't yet published full details of the Ariya's likely running costs because it hasn't been launched yet. However, assuming that the average domestic cost of electricity is 15 pence per kWh, expect to pay between £10.00 and £13.00 for a full charge from empty, or slightly more if you use a public charger on the road network, for which costs can vary significantly.
This sounds like an awful lot when you think about the bottom line of your electricity bill, but when you consider that it costs between £50 and £60 to fill up the average family car with petrol or diesel to achieve a similar range, the electric Nissan Ariya SUV represents excellent value. As the price of electric cars starts to come down as their popularity and market share increase, this makes them even more appealing to buyers.
Although electric cars emit no carbon dioxide (CO2) and therefore are not currently charged for road tax, it is expected that the list price of the Nissan Ariya will be over £40,000, and so it will attract the government's £335 per year levy for its first five years. You'll need to factor this into your figures because a lot of people assume it will be free for all-electric cars. A recent government policy change reducing the maximum eligible list price of £35,000 means that the Ariya will not be eligible for the £2,500 plug-in car grant either. However, don't let either of these things bother you too much, because the Ariya is likely to be a very impressive and enjoyable car to own, and you will still be making significant savings against equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle.
The Nissan Ariya promises to be an exciting and involving car to drive, not least due to its performance figures, which are impressive to say the least.
The entry-level 63kWh two-wheel-drive version will offer a very respectable 217bhp, launching it from 0 to 62mph in 7.5 seconds, with the 87kWh model returning 242bhp and reaching 62mph in 7.6 seconds. You might be surprised to find that the more powerful version takes longer to get there, but this is down to the heavier battery pack.
If you plump for the dual-motor Ariya, which features Nissan's e 4orce (read "E-force" rather than "E-fourorce") four-wheel-drive system, you can enjoy 278bhp from the 63kWh model, and 306bhp from the 87kWh version.
And if that isn't enough, the 87kWh Performance e 4orce develops a mighty, Tesla-rivalling 394bhp and will blast to 62mph in just 5.1 seconds.
Two-wheel drive versions of the Nissan Ariya are limited to a top speed of 99mph, and the four Ariya e 4orce models are limited to a top speed of 124mph. This should be more than enough for on-road driving and help you avoid draining the battery pack too quickly.
Don't forget that an electric car can deliver all its power very quickly, without waiting for a turbo to spool up like internal combustion engines have to, so whichever version of the Nissan Ariya you choose, it will be a quick car, but particularly so with the e 4orce Performance. Nissan has also mounted the batteries to ensure their weight is distributed 50:50, which makes for a balanced car that will hopefully hide its weight well on the road and give the driver an involving experience.
With a bit of practice you'll get used to the e pedal, which automatically brakes the car when you lift off the accelerator and uses the energy to charge the battery, meaning that if you plan well for junctions, you can generally drive just with one pedal.
The Nissan Ariya is unmistakably an attractive, edgy and modern looking new car, signalling Nissan's move into a new generation of shapely and athletic electric vehicles. It makes its smaller Leaf sibling look rather conservative and ordinary in comparison.
It has a clear crossover SUV look, with a swooping coupe-style roofline, but also a high shoulder line to give it a road presence. The Nissan Ariya is bold, but good looking, and will hopefully look tasteful in years to come. It has a neat illuminated badge on its nose, which is a nice feature, and sharp, modern LED lights all round.
The large boot lid opens to reveal a flat floor with up to 466 litres of boot space, or 408 litres for dual motor, four-wheel-drive vehicles. 466 litres is plenty enough for most jobs and is roughly in line with its rivals.
The Nissan Ariya was designed as a fully electric car from day one, so with the Ariya Nissan was able to exploit this and do what it really wanted with the design, without having to worry about blanking off grilles and similar things that manufacturers have to do when modifying vehicles that were originally fitted with a traditional petrol or diesel engines. This is great for buyers because manufacturers are now able to spread their wings a little and use more licence with the design of electric cars, making them much more exciting.
The space-age, futuristic feel continues inside the cabin of the Nissan Ariya SUV, which is a calm and clutter-free environment to spend time in. Two large displays dominate the dashboard, and many features can be activated using the voice command "Hey Nissan."
The party piece of the Nissan Ariya is the row of touch-sensitive buttons to control the ventilation system, which are novel but also surprisingly functional, and showcase some of the technology available in the Ariya. You will never tire of touch-sensitive buttons, particularly mounted into the wooden dashboard trim. Between this and the infotainment display system, there are very few buttons littering the dashboard or centre console.
With a built-in phone connection system, the Nissan Ariya will install updates to its software automatically, without having to be plugged in anywhere. At the moment this is a fairly rare feature but is expected to become more common as manufacturers catch up with the technology.
There is plenty of space for front and rear passengers who will sit high up in reasonable comfort. There is an airy feel to the cabin with a sweeping windscreen letting plenty of light in and giving excellent visibility of the road ahead. The centre console also slides back and forth to create extra room in the front or the rear as you need it, and the flat floor makes it feel even roomier, without the intrusion of a transmission tunnel.
Build quality cannot be assessed at this point because the Nissan Ariya hasn't yet been launched, but given the attention to detail shown in the pre-launch cars and the likely price point, it is expected that they will be well built and feature high-quality materials.
The Nissan Ariya SUV hasn't yet been launched, so likewise it hasn't undergone its Euro NCAP crash test yet, but it does feature a lot of the latest safety technology, including Nissan's ProPILOT system, which offers a range of safety and driver assistance features. It plans ahead for you and monitors factors such as lane keeping, and speed approaching bends and junctions, intervening if it needs to do so. Adaptive cruise control will also feature as part of this technology.
Expect a brace of airbags and a range of other active and passive safety systems to keep you and your passengers as safe as possible. Hopefully you won't ever need to experience any of the more active features of the ProPILOT system, but at least you know they are there.
At the time of writing, the list price of the Nissan Ariya has not yet been officially announced by Nissan, but it is anticipated that the list price for the entry level 63kWh, two wheel drive model, with its range of 223 miles, is likely to be around £40,000. Four-wheel drive versions are likely to be significantly more, rising to around £60,000 for the 87kWh Nissan Ariya e 4orce Performance model.