The new Nissan Ariya electric SUV features eye-catching styling, a range of up to 310 miles and a 389bhp power variant – and Nissan claims it heralds “a new era for electric vehicles” by combining a high level of technology with “exhilarating” handling.
Pre-orders for the Volkswagen ID 4 rival are open now, ahead of the first deliveries starting in the summer. Prices start at £41,845 for the entry-level Advance model with front-wheel drive and a 63 kWh battery.
This car gets up to 223 miles on the WLTP cycle, and its 215 hp engine accelerates it from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds.
The larger 87-kWh battery is available from £51,090 with a more powerful 2WD powertrain with 240 hp – for a range of 310 miles – or from £53,790 with thee-4orce all-wheel drive, which is available with either 302 hp or, topping off the-4orce Performance for £58,440, 389 hp.
The thee-4orce Performance model does the distance from 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds and, like the other e-4orce models, reaches a top speed of 124 mph (25 mph more than the single-engined cars).
The production-ready Ariya retains the bold styling of the concept unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show, showcasing Nissan‘s new brand identity with “seamless, elegant and fresh” styling. It shares the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-EV electric architecture with the smaller Renault Mégane E-tech Electric, and Nissan boss Ashwani Gupta said it represented the start of “a new chapter for Nissan”.
He said the company is committed to “enhancing the fun-to-drive aspect of electric mobility“, adding: “It’s not just a great EV crossover, it’s a great vehicle – a true wonder power that will take us into the future.”
Nissan’s new e-4orce all-wheel-drive system is described as the “spiritual descendant” of the system used in the GT -R supercar. It uses a rear-mounted regenerative braking system to minimise vehicle lean and smooth the ride.
Nissan Ariya has Standard, Sport and Eco driving modes, while the thee-4orce variant also has a Snow mode. Nissan claims that the underfloor battery has been positioned to ensure a 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles, and flat underbody aerodynamics enhance stability. It also uses the Leaf’s e-pedal regeneration system, allowing driving with just one pedal.
Makoto Fukuda, Ariya’s development chief, said the focus is on quick acceleration and “maximum usable power in a wide range of driving conditions”.
The Ariya is 4595 mm long, 1850 mm wide, and 1660 mm high and has a wheelbase of 2775 mm. This makes it virtually the same size as VW’s upcoming ID 4 electric SUV. The weight of the Ariya ranges from 1.8 to 2.3 tonnes, depending on the equipment.
The vehicle’s front features a new “shield” design and has a 3D “Kumiko” pattern under a smooth surface. The Nissan logo will be backlit with 20 LEDs in markets where this is possible. The side profile has a low coupe roofline with a single horizon line connecting the front and rear sections of the car. The rear end features a distinctive C-pillar design, a high-mounted rear wing and a one-piece light bar. The Ariya rides on 19- or 20-inch wheels and has a multi-link rear suspension.
The minimalist interior is similarly bold, with virtually all physical buttons replaced by capacitive switches with haptic feedback integrated into the surface of the dashboard. Under the main instrument panel is a fold-out storage compartment. There are also “Zero Gravity” seats, a 12.3-inch central touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital display for the driver and what Nissan claims is one of the largest full-colour head-up displays in this class.
The Ariya is also offered a high level of driver assistance systems, including an enhanced version of the Leaf’s ProPilot system with lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Nissan’s Safety Shield active safety systems come as standard.
The Nissan Ariya has a new voice control system, and owners can use a Nissan smartphone app to check battery status and adjust climate control remotely. Built-in 4G connectivity also allows over-the-air updates.
The 63 kWh cars come with a 7.4 kW home charger, while the 87 kWh cars come with a 22 kW three-phase charger. There is also a 130-kW fast charger.
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