2023 Nissan Ariya: Review — Cars.com

– During the last couple of years, several electric vehicles have hit dealerships, and Nissan was hoping its Ariya compact SUV would be one of them, but delay after delay pushed back its launch to this fall. We’re in Nashville with Nissan, and we finally get a chance to drive the automaker’s first all-electric SUV. Let’s see if it was worth the wait. (upbeat music) So the Ariya is around the same size as a Nissan Rogue, but it’s styling is much different. It’s short hood and long sloping roof line bring some visual drama, as do its diagonal headlights

and large gaping face. The sharply raked C-pillar flows into this deck lid, and it’s split by a pretty cool looking horizontal taillight. Overall, the profile is a really sleek look, broken up by a couple of things, like chunky rear fenders and this big wing. I think overall, the look works, but from the driver’s seat, visibility suffers. Just about the only thing I don’t like from behind the wheel is the rear visibility. There’s a camera that blocks the view. There’s also the sloping rear roof line that makes it hard to see backwards. Other than that, the

Ariya is really comfortable on the road and has great road manners. So I’m driving the Ariya about 30 miles south of Nashville on a variety of different roads, from really big highways to

these beautiful, small, winding two-lane roads, and it feels at home in all scenarios. The Ariya is biased toward comfort in terms of ride and handling, and feels overall composed and stable. It won’t win any handling awards, but natural feeling steering and good maneuverability help. If you’re comparing the Ariya to a gas-powered SUV, it’ll feel super quick thanks to near instant electric torque. Compared

with other EVs though, it’s adequately peppy from a stop, and strong mid-range. It’s regenerative brakes have a solid but natural feel, but the e-Pedal setup will take some getting used to. Push a button on the console to engage the system. It allows the car to brake when your foot leaves the accelerator pedal from maximum energy recapture. Unlike the Nissan Leaf, however, it doesn’t brake down to a full stop. There’s still a little bit of creep. I find that odd, since the Leaf has true one pedal driving. The Ariya will be available in several trims with

front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, and two types of batteries, a standard range 63 kilowatt hour battery, or a long range 87 kilowatt hour battery. The long range battery is EPA estimated for 304 miles of max range in front-wheel drive models, but the standard battery delivers much less. It’s good for 216 miles with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive range estimates have not yet been announced for this battery. It competes against the Mustang Mach-E, which has EPA estimated range of 247 miles to 314 miles, depending on battery size and trim. It also goes against the Volkswagen ID.4, which

gets between 208 and 275 miles of range, depending on equipment. All versions come with standard features such as Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of safety systems. The ProPILOT driver assistance system, which allows for hands-off eyes-on driving, is available. It works on mapped highways, and will even make lane changes. Compared with General Motors’ system, Super Cruise, it’s a little different, because with Super Cruise, you don’t have to have your hands on the wheel to make the lane changes, but with Nissan’s system, you do. The Ariya seats five, and in the front seat it feels very spacious,

even for a taller driver. The overall vibe in here is very airy, very open, and very kinda minimalistic. The look really works, and I really appreciate the kinda straightforwardness of everything. There are a couple of weird quirks, but overall, I think they work well. One is small item storage. You’d think that this would be a big space, but it’s actually a pretty small space here. The biggest space is this tray that kinda powers down with the touch of a button, and opens up a really large space for small stuff. I’ll also have to power that

back. Down here, this is all open, which is kind of not something you see every day. You can fit a purse or a bag down here. Speaking of down here, there’s also this ambient mood lighting throughout the whole cabin. It’s on the doors, it’s by the feet. It just kind of creates this really modern, cool vibe. Controls are also a little bit different, but again, I think they work and they’re overall pretty straightforward and easy. There’s a lot of touch sensitive controls here, which are generally hit or miss. These are hip. When you touch them,

they make kind of a noise and they give you haptic feedback, so you know what’s happening. They’re really responsive, clearly marked. If you need more climate controls, they’re in the screen. The screen itself is also very bright, very responsive, and just easy to reach. On the kinda strange side is this gear selector. It is not traditional at all. It took a little bit of getting used to. Also, these touch sensitive buttons down here are not as responsive as the climate control up here. These control drive modes, they control the one pedal braking. So lastly, one

other kinda cool gimmick is that this console powers back and forward depending on comfort. So if you wanna open up this big space for whatever, a larger bag, or there’s, you know, the charging ports down here, you can power it all the way back. Not super comfortable, but opens up a huge space. If you wanna power it forward, it’ll do that, and it’ll go all the way forward, lining up your elbow with this padding. Overall, I’m really impressed with the screen setup. There’s two 12-inch screens. One is kind of concave, and it is in front

of the driver, and one is kind of convex, and it is right here for all of your navigation and multimedia. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay is standard, as is Amazon Alexa, which is kind of a really cool driver helper. One problem is that wireless Android Auto is not available. You can do wireless Apple CarPlay, but not wireless Android Auto. So that is one demerit against it. Other than that, the menus are really easy and straightforward to use. The screen is really responsive. Overall, it’s real straightforward. In back, I have loads of leg room. Taller people might

need a little bit more headroom. At 5’6″, I’m fine, but the sloping rear roof line kinda cuts into that. One cool feature about the backseat is these latch anchors for car seat connection. They are under a really neat flap, so for easy accessibility, and there’s an extra anchor in the middle position. So if your car seat allows sharing anchors, you’re able to put a car seat in the middle position using the latch anchors. That’s not something that you see in every car. In back, the cargo area is pretty large. Nissan says there’s about 59 cubic

feet of space back here, and the opening is pretty wide. One nice feature is this cargo management system that allows you to store smaller items under the floor. One last cargo note, there is no frunk, or front trunk, like other EVs have. Nissan says it’s to make room for all of that space in the front where I said you could put like a larger bag or a purse. The 2023 Nissan Ariya starts around $44,000 for the base Engage trim with the standard battery and front-wheel drive. That model with all-wheel drive starts at around $48,000. Variants

with the long range battery and front-wheel drive start at around $48,000. All-wheel drive bumps that to around $52,000. The Ariya lineup tops out at $61,485 for the highest trim with the long-range battery and all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models go on sale later this fall, but Nissan said all-wheel drive versions have been delayed until spring of 2023. Nissan was an electric car pioneer with the Leaf, so it’s no surprise that the Ariya is good. What is surprising is that it took the automaker this long to launch an all-electric SUV. For more information on the Ariya and

its competitors, visit cars.com. – That was good.

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