ARIYA & DRIVE (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Nissan's Ariya aims to rejuvenate the upper-mid-sized part of the EV market. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 51
The Ariya broadens Nissan's EV range up-market, an upper-mid-sized Coupe-Crossover that really seems to have the 'want one' factor missing from so many family-segment electric vehicles. It's boldly styled, has a cutting-edge cabin and offers a choice of battery sizes and drivetrain options. Think EV are dull? Check this one out.
Backgroundword count: 148
Every major brand has been developing Electric Vehicles over the last decade. But only a few have been doing so with actual customers, selling cars from actual showrooms. One of these brands is Nissan, who established the concept of an all-electric family car with the innovative LEAF all the way back in 2011. Before bringing us a follow-up, that difficult second album, this car, the Ariya. Much of that time was spent creating the platform this car sits upon, the CMF-EV chassis that also underpins its very similar close cousin, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. That car is positioned in size and price very similarly to the current-day Nissan LEAF, so this one, its name based on the Japanese word for 'honourable', must be a slightly larger, slightly more aspirational, more up-market thing. A mid-sized Crossover aimed at entry-level Tesla territory and the EV market's most over-crowded segment.
Driving Experienceword count: 295
The idea here, says Nissan, is to 'amplify the fun-to-drive aspect' of electric mobility. A heavy old EV; fun to drive? That might be a new concept for you. If so, Nissan wants to change your mind. This one is certainly weighty, tipping the scales at between 1.9 and 2.2-tonnes, depending on spec. But it counters with sharp steering and near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution. Less welcome is the unsettled ride over poor surfaces that characterises quite a few EVs in this class, despite promises of a 'magic carpet' feel from this car's freshly developed CMF-EV platform. That's been primarily created for front-driven models like this Ariya's Renault Megane E-Tech Electric close cousin - which isn't ideal for this Nissan in a class where most rivals are more maturely propelled from the rear. You're also reminded of the class below by the size of the volume model's battery pack - 63kWh of usable capacity, in a class where 70 to 80kWh-sized battery packs are more common. For a chunk more cash, an alternative 87kWh battery pack's available, boosting the base version's rather mediocre 250 mile range figure to a more reasonable 329 mile total. With that bigger battery, you're also offered the alternative of the brand's clever 'e-4ORCE' AWD system, which adds an extra motor on the rear axle and is offered in standard form with 306PS and a driving range figure of up to 319 miles. There's also an 'Evolve+' e-4ORCE flagship model, which ups the power output to 394PS. Either way, the e-4ORCE package adds an extra 'Snow' setting to the three standard ones fitted to all Ariyas - 'Standard', 'Eco' and 'Sport'. Plus all variants get an 'e-Pedal' brake regen system that's so powerful it can almost slow the car to a standstill.
To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227
Pictures (high res disabled)
Scoring (subset of scores)
Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen
|Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.|