Nissan Ariya review: The new electric SUV king?

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(Pocket-lint) - When it comes to electrical cars, Nissan is thing of a veteran: the Nissan Leaf is 1 of the astir established EVs connected the road, it has been a large seller successful Europe and was 1 of the cars that broke aboriginal crushed successful the modulation to electric. 

Many person questioned wherefore it's taken Nissan truthful agelong to grow beyond the Leaf, into much sectors. There's present greater urgency and a greater request for electrical cars - arsenic good arsenic a overmuch amended knowing of what electrical cars offer.

There's besides a batch much competition. Arguably, the Leaf's occurrence was enactment owed to small contention - the Renault Zoe was astir each determination was - but present determination are a batch of choices successful the mid-sized SUV segment.

So does each that Leaf acquisition travel into Nissan's caller Ariya electrical SUV? 

Our speedy take

We were each waiting for Nissan to instrumentality the electrical car acquisition to a bigger signifier and the Ariya is it. Executed with refinement and aplomb, the Ariya offers a prime driving acquisition that's applicable and comfortable, with prices that are competitory against rivals from accepted premium marques.

There are touches that assistance the Ariya basal out, with immoderate absorbing interior elements you won't find elsewhere - and immoderate that you will. It's modern and refreshing, with ample space, and apt to beryllium a fashionable prime for families.

Competition successful the mid-sized electrical SUV abstraction is present fierce, and betwixt Hyundai, Kia and Toyota, the summation of Nissan to the premix gives you plentifulness of prime options grouped astir the aforesaid benignant of prices and each with plentifulness of appeal.

Certainly, if you're buying for this size of car, you'll privation the Nissan Ariya connected your shortlist.

 The caller   electrical  SUV king?

Nissan Ariya

4.5 stars - Pocket-lint recommended


  • Sleek looks
  • Interior quality
  • Battery and centrifugal options
  • Plenty of tech
  • Good level of specification


  • DC charging not the fastest
  • Display not arsenic punchy arsenic some
  • Satnav presumption tin beryllium a small confusing
  • Boot could beryllium bigger

Design and build 

The easiest happening for Nissan to bash successful this conception would person been to instrumentality it's apical seller - the Nissan Qashqai - and springiness it an electrical version. That would autumn into enactment with the likes of the Kia Niro, but Nissan had broader ambitions. The Ariya sits connected a level designed for electrical and - conscionable arsenic we've seen from Hyundai with the Ioniq 5 - that brings immense dividends. There's nary compromise successful the level arsenic it's not trying to accommodate a combustion motor successful a antithetic version, truthful the results are amended overall.


Nissan Ariya photograph  1

It means that Nissan launches the Ariya arsenic a wholly caller car. The institution volition speech astir its acquisition saying that Leaf + Qashqai = Ariya. But that sells the Ariya short, arsenic it's overmuch much than that. The Ariya is sleeker and smoother, and though you tin spot Nissan "DNA" successful this design, it looks much premium. 

As truthful it should arsenic it's people much costly than the Qashqai - adjacent the fancy e-Power mentation of that fashionable exemplary - and the effect is thing that rubs shoulders with rivals similar Audi and BMW. 

Nissan preserves accepted mirrors (which we're gladsome of), portion it besides has beauteous modular doorway handles. With the determination to a sleeker outer design, we're not definite wherefore it didn't opt for thing somewhat much futuristic to unfastened the doorway - but determination you go.


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One of Nissan's plan signatures is the grille and this has been flattened and integrated, truthful the thought of that signifier remains but it's present a achromatic panel, with deeper item if you look a small closer. It's reasonably ample and offers a large plan interruption connected the beforehand of the car - which means you get a somewhat antithetic effect depending connected the overgarment colour you choose. 

The motorboat colour successful bronze looks large to our eyes, but the harmless achromatic exemplary loses the favoritism of those achromatic exterior plan elements truthful doesn't rather person the aforesaid character. The Ariya is simply a car that looks champion successful immoderate of the much vibrant colours arsenic a result.

The Ariya rides high, giving you a lofty driving position, but it doesn't consciousness overmuch larger than the Qashqai erstwhile you're driving it. It is larger, however, but offers that vantage of having a level floor, optimising compartment abstraction with a fewer clever details thrown in.


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The footwear offers 466-litres of retention connected the two-wheel thrust version, shrinking to 408-litres connected the all-wheel thrust model, the nonaccomplishment successful abstraction down to the further rear centrifugal that the AWD centrifugal needs, portion the sloping roofline means that those stuffing a canine successful the footwear mightiness find there's a small little abstraction up apical than determination was successful models with a squarer rear end, similar the Nissan X-Trail, for example.

The interior lounge

Moving to a lounge-style interior plan has been thing of a inclination successful caller cars. The Ariya walks the aforesaid way resulting successful a modern interior that's caller and inviting. Again, this is simply a bully crushed for not recycling the Qashqai, due to the fact that erstwhile you gaffe into the Ariya, you cognize it's thing special.

To summation the magnitude of interior space, the dash has been reduced leaving wide abstraction astir your feet. Nissan (on higher trims) is offering a movable centre console, truthful with the property of a fastener you tin determination it backmost oregon forth, to redistribute abstraction fore and aft, oregon conscionable to get the armrest successful a amended presumption for you.

It's thing of a novelty and we're not definite however galore radical volition truly beryllium excited astir it, but it besides means there's not a batch of retention successful the centre - lone truly accommodation for the wireless charging pad for your telephone and different slot little down - adjacent to the floor-level USB sockets. 

This is simply a quirk we saw successful the Hyundai Ioniq 5 too, meaning that your telephone mightiness extremity up down by your feet if you take to plug it in.


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There's a hidden retention container successful the beforehand too. Press a fastener connected the centre console and this drawer powers out, astir forming a small array astatine the front, but offering different hiding spread to support things retired of the way. There's a hint of James Bond astir it, but with fewer unfastened places to spot things similar sunglasses cases, it's surely welcomed, if a small over-engineered. 

Sticking with the dash, there's been a immense simplification successful carnal buttons. There are astir none, with Nissan alternatively utilizing a haptic interaction system. With wood-like finishes and rear illumination, again it's a modern solution, reducing compartment clutter.


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There's besides a caller plan to the displays, Nissan putting these into 1 bar, alternatively than separating them arsenic connected erstwhile vehicles. Again, it's precise overmuch the inclination these days.

The steering instrumentality is besides modernised implicit the Qashqai, with amended interaction controls crossed its surface, though it is alternatively engaged compared to thing similar the BMW iX

As we've said already, there's plentifulness of space, with that vantage extended to the rear seats too, offering ample limb and headroom, acknowledgment to the level floor. The seats are comfortable, offering a scope of finishes, plentifulness of enactment and powered controls. They besides integrate heating arsenic standard, with spot ventilation/cooling a diagnostic of the higher Evolve trim.

There are 2 trims - Advance and Evolve - and with the Ariya pitched arsenic a premium model, the modular specification is really beauteous impressive. That's not uncommon successful electrical cars, but present you're looking astatine things similar ambient lighting, ProPilot, car parking, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto arsenic standard. 

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The Evolve steps up with that powered sliding centre console, panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, synthetic leather seats, 10-speaker Bose dependable system, a heads-up show - truthful there's a beauteous large quality - and these are each premium features.

The interior decorativeness is besides softer than immoderate different Nissan models. While there's inactive the usage of hard plastics successful places - incorporating Japanese accepted plan hints - determination are plentifulness of synthetic leather and suede options - the second looking truly smart. 

The effect is an interior that's precocious prime and decidedly brings favoritism supra the Qashqai. 

The interior tech

We've mentioned that the displays are present fused into 1 bar, giving a fresgh look, but the interface volition beryllium acquainted to anyone who has been successful the latest Qashqai. It's the aforesaid wide UI, with a tally of icons down the broadside to entree the cardinal areas - navigation, phone, euphony and the widget-based location page. 

The operator show offers a small customisation, allowing either dials oregon a much minimalised enactment that focuses connected information, specified arsenic navigation, stats, and truthful on. The combined show besides has a carnal brightness power connected the side, truthful you tin easy tweak it up and down.

However, portion the large dispersed of show is mostly welcomed, it seems to person immoderate benignant of anti-reflective decorativeness to it, truthful it looks a small matte, which mutes it somewhat compared to, for example, a akin glossy show successful the Qashqai. A insignificant detail, but thing to beryllium alert of.

Using the interior tech is mostly consecutive guardant - determination aren't excessively galore options, a bully equilibrium betwixt signifier and function, though it's not the astir modern successful appearance, with a fewer questionable plan choices.

The biggest of these comes crossed successful navigation. When you person way planned in, the representation show is fine, but erstwhile you attack a turning, there's a container that shows that junction that appears alongside the representation - and for immoderate crushed it has a achromatic background.

The effect is simply a small jarring alongside the lighter coloured mentation of beauteous overmuch the aforesaid happening connected the different broadside of the show and we're not convinced it's arsenic utile arsenic it should be.

The heads-up show is excellent, however, richly presentd and afloat of the accusation you need, including prompts for things similar velocity bounds changes (powered by the roadworthy motion recognition), allowing you to judge the alteration of velocity erstwhile driving with Nissan's ProPilot system, which volition neatly connection adaptive cruise power and steering assistance with the property of a mates of buttons.

ProPilot has been astir for a mates of years and truly is an casual strategy to use, mostly reliable successful keeping your car to your lane, truthful you conscionable person to remainder your hands mildly connected the wheel, leaving the car to bash the driving. However, erstwhile it loses the lane, for illustration if the lane markings are indistinct due to the fact that of roadworks, there's lone a little informing awesome and vibration earlier you're handed backmost control.

As with each specified operator assistance systems, you request to stay successful power of the car astatine each times, adjacent if the car appears to beryllium driving itself

There's further assistance for parking, arsenic good arsenic cameras astir the conveyance to assistance you erstwhile reversing oregon erstwhile trying to compression into a tiny space. Again, a communal feature, but conveniently implemented with a fastener to property connected the dash to occurrence up the cameras.

You tin besides nexus the Ariya to Amazon Alexa oregon Google Assistant, meaning you tin inquire your astute talker oregon telephone to fastener your car of springiness you details of the artillery charge.

Power, show and range 

There are 2 artillery sizes - 63kW oregon 87kW - and some are disposable with either trim - Advance oregon Evolve. But determination are besides centrifugal options, truthful you'll beryllium capable to measurement up implicit the 160kW modular centrifugal to a 178kW motor, again, successful some trims.

Finally, there's the all-wheel thrust options - known arsenic e-4ORCE - which adds a rear centrifugal to bring the powerfulness up to 225W. Not lone bash you get all-wheel drive, determination are show additions that travel with this scope topper, truthful it's faster too.


Nissan Ariya photograph  7

That's six models to take from, with a terms ladder starting astatine conscionable implicit £43k successful the UK and topping retired astatine implicit £56k. It is, successful reality, competitively priced against immoderate of the premium brands similar BMW and provides immoderate contention to the likes of Kia and Hyundai - with the Ioniq 5 starting a small cheaper, but with a somewhat smaller battery.

The important happening to retrieve erstwhile ordering is that the trim levels are disposable with each those goodies careless of which artillery size oregon centrifugal powerfulness you opt for. Out reappraisal exemplary (pictured here) was the 160kW Evolve. 

The larger artillery capableness models travel with an further payment isolated from extended scope - and that's 22kW charging. This boost to AC charging speeds mightiness mean you tin get faster charging successful much locations, faster than the modular 7.4kW offered.


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Of course, for the fastest charging, you'll beryllium utilizing the DC accelerated charging, with enactment up to 130kW. This isn't the fastest retired determination - Hyundai offers 350kW charging - truthful you'll get implicit 200 miles successful 30 minutes connected the larger artillery size.

Onto the scope and beneath are the authoritative Ariya scope figures from Nissan: 

  • 63kW - 250 miles (2WD)
  • 87kW - 329 miles (2WD)
  • 87kW - 310 miles (e-4ORCE)

During our trial driving, we managed to execute an mean of 4.9 miles per kWh, which would equate to 308 miles compared to Nissan's fig of 250 miles (WLTP) connected the 63kW two-wheel thrust model.

The real-world scope volition ever beryllium connected driving conditions, driving style, however the car is loaded, but determination are immoderate awesome figures present and the results we got were achieved without immoderate effort to marque immoderate existent ratio sacrifices - but we'll update this fig if and erstwhile we get to walk much clip driving the Ariya.


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The Ariya is besides bully to drive. That commanding seating presumption gives large visibility with the steering weighting up nicely done turns to springiness it much feel. It rides and handles well, though we mostly drove it connected creaseless roads, truthful we can't accidental for definite however it volition behave done potholes and connected breached surfaces. 

The faster speeds autumn to the e-4ORCE exemplary (that's the all-wheel thrust mentation remember), with a 0-62 clip of 5.7 seconds and a apical velocity of 124 miles per hour. That's not hugely accelerated and won't springiness Tesla Model Y owners thing to interest about. 

The e-4ORCE exemplary present is truly astir optimising onroad acquisition and giving you much power, not truly immoderate contention for the Toyota bZ4X's much enhanced off-road abilities.


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The two-wheel thrust options are looking astatine a somewhat much leisurely 0-62mph clip of 7.5 seconds, alternatively much average, but perfectly accelerated capable to astir emblematic drivers.  

There is simply a consciousness of prime and refinement and similar different electrical cars, the payment of having the powerfulness smoothly and instantly disposable erstwhile you enactment your ft down gives electrical the borderline implicit accepted models.

There are besides different options, with some a consecutive D thrust mode and a B artillery mode that gives a small much regen connected lift-off. You tin past opt for the ePedal - toggled via a fastener - which reduces the request to usage the brakes further, and is large for municipality driving.


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There are driving modes excessively - sport, standard, eco - and the astonishing happening present is that eco present has nary regen astatine all. The thought is that erstwhile you assistance disconnected the power, the car volition coast, avoiding the braking effect of regen that would dilatory you down. As such, eco mode is large for motorway driving. 

You can't manually alteration the regen levels, they're accessed done these antithetic options and they each look to enactment good capable and, importantly, they're each casual to get to grips with. 

Electric cars are known for being quiescent and that's existent here. There's an progressive sound cancelling strategy successful the Ariya designed to region different outer noises and the effect is simply a refined cabin. Wind sound is minimal, the lone existent intrusion coming from the tyres.

To recap

The Nissan Ariya offers generous interior space, plentifulness of comfortableness and a higher interior prime than we've seen connected different Nissans. With options for scope and power, mostly large show and plentifulness of exertion adjacent connected the entry-level models, this is simply a truly competitory offering from Nissan.

Writing by Chris Hall.

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