Nissan Ariya SUV review
“The Ariya may only be Nissan’s first attempt at an electric SUV, but it manages to be one of the most well-rounded models on the market”
- Decent range figures
- Class-leading cabin
- Recent price drops and extra trims
- Some rivals have bigger boots
- Not the most thrilling to drive
Verdict - Is the Nissan Ariya a good car?
Overall, the Ariya succeeds in not only becoming one of the most desirable Nissan models you can buy, but also one of the most well-rounded electric SUVs on sale. While it may not offer the same range as a Tesla or the deft handling of a Kia EV6, the Ariya generally impresses all-round. It feels as premium as its price tag would suggest and is a welcome breath of fresh air for the relatively stagnant Nissan brand. Cheaper models introduced in mid-2023 only add to the appeal.
Nissan Ariya models, specs and alternatives
While most manufacturers are only now making their first steps into the world of EVs, Nissan is an old hand when it comes to electric cars. The Nissan Leaf has become one of the most established options on the market, with a relatively affordable price and a usable electric range. Yet, over a decade after the Leaf's initial launch, Nissan had done little to capitalise on that initial lead.
So in 2022, the Nissan Ariya was revealed as the brand’s first attempt at an electric SUV. Competing in one of the car market’s hottest segments, the Ariya took the fight to class stalwarts like the Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y.
The range kicks off with a 63kWh (usable) battery model that can manage around 250 miles on a single charge – which should be fine for the majority of users. However, if that’s not enough, there is also a larger 87kWh unit that stretches this figure to 329 miles depending on spec. Drivers can charge the Ariya at speeds of up to 130kW; this allows for a 20-80% top up in around 30 minutes.
While the Ariya will likely find its home on tight urban streets during the school run, it still offers much of the punchiness we’ve come to expect of electric cars. There are now four electric motor options to choose from: 215bhp (63kWh battery) or 239bhp (87kWh) single motor models, or more powerful 302bhp and 388bhp dual-motor setups – both mated to the bigger of the two batteries.
The first test car we tried was fitted with the entry-level 63kWh, 215bhp setup. Although it was certainly no Tesla Model Y in terms of acceleration, the Ariya’s electric motor still feels pretty swift thanks to the instant torque when you put your foot down. Getting from 0-62mph takes a respectable 7.5 seconds, which should be fast enough for most Ariya drivers; the punchiest dual-motor model cuts this time down to just 5.1 seconds. However, those looking for a sporty EV are better off looking at a Kia EV6.
In mid-2023, Nissan introduced two new trim levels. The range now comprises Engage (from less than £40,000), Advance, Evolve and Evolve+. Every version gets at least 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, a rear-view camera and those aforementioned dual 12.3-inch screens. All models also come with a heat pump, designed to lessen the load on the battery during extreme hot or cold temperatures – preserving as much electric range as possible.
Advance, as before, brings Nissan’s lauded ProPILOT driver assist systems, plus a 360-degree Around View Monitor with moving object detection. Evolve adds an opening panoramic roof, heated and cooled synthetic leather seats, a Bose stereo and a power-operated centre console. Evolve+ tops the range and adds blue leather upholstery, 20-inch wheels, and the most powerful dual-motor powertrain.
For a more detailed look at each aspect of the Nissan Ariya, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.
Nissan Ariya alternatives
The Nissan Ariya dives head-first into a really competitive part of the market. Rivals therefore span far and wide, from the all-conquering Tesla Model Y, to the sleeker, sportier Kia EV6. One thing is for certain, if you’re after a family electric car, you’re spoilt for choice.
Which Is Best?
- Name160kW Engage 63kWh 5dr Auto
- Gearbox typeAuto
- Name178kW Engage 87kWh 22kWCh 5dr Auto
- Gearbox typeAuto
- Name290kW Performance 87kWh 22kWCh 5dr e-4ORCE Auto
- Gearbox typeAuto