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The market for mid-sized family EVs is already impressively diverse, but while several players within it are positioned for a premium price, few have used what you might think of as traditional luxury car values to justify that price quite like the subject of this test: the Nissan Ariya coupé-SUV.
Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 are fast and rangy. Audi’s Q4 twins are edgy-looking and tech-laden. The Ford Mustang Mach-E offers range, handling dynamism and design cachet – as, each somewhat differently, do the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60. Is there an opening, then, for a premium family EV that puts comfort, refinement, cabin appeal and on-board space uppermost among its reasons for being? Nissan is banking that there is with this week’s road test subject.
While the charging point on the Leaf is on the tip of its nose, it moves to the nearside front wing on the Ariya. Unlike in many rivals, it is part of the car’s mirror-converted layout for RHD and LHD, so is always on the kerbside when you parallel park.Matt SaundersRoad test editor
This is only the Japanese brand’s second ‘proper’ all-electric passenger car. The smaller Nissan Leaf has been with us since 2011, and 11 years is plenty of time for Nissan to have thought long and hard about how it would expand its zero-emissions range (beyond the reach of the e-NV200 van, needless to say), and possibly even to have aborted an attempt or two.
So why wait so long? Perhaps the Ariya’s new platform explains it. This is the first car to adopt the new CMF-EV platform, which by 2030 will be serving under as many as 15 electric cars across the Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi brands. Stay tuned to find out what kind of upmarket family car it can make for right now in 2022.
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Range at a glance
The Ariya is offered in a choice of three equipment grades, with two drive battery capacities and in either single-motor front-wheel drive or twin-motor four-wheel drive.
Related Nissan Ariya reviews
Nissan Ariya 87kWh e-4orce first drive New 2022 Nissan Ariya: flagship EV priced from £41,845
The trim levels – Advance, Evolve and Performance – are separated mainly by on-board technology. Evolve trim adds a head-up display, Bose premium audio, a panoramic sunroof and synthetic leather seats.
|Nissan Ariya 63kWH Advance||215bhp|
|Nissan Ariya 87kWh Advance||239bhp|
|Nissan Ariya 87kWH e-4orce AWD Advance||302bhp|
|Nissan Ariya 87kwh e-4orce AWD Performance||389bhp|
Verdict Model tested: Rating:
Eleven years after the original Leaf, Nissan releases its tricky second electric album GoodSpacious, inviting and generally upmarket interiorSlick, super-refined and linear electric powertrainManages to go big on space and range simultaneouslyBadHead room for taller adults is disappointingly marginalPricier than key rivals, and perhaps short of premium brand pullUnsettled ride lacks the sophistication shown elsewhere
Model tested: Nissan Ariya 87kWh Evolve Price: £55,890 Price as tested: £56,635 Electric motor/s: 1 x AC, separately excited Drive battery: Lithium-ion, 87/91kWh (usable/total installed capacity) Driveline layout: Transverse-front-mounted, front-wheel drive Model tested Nissan Ariya 87kWh Evolve Price £55,890 Price as tested £56,635 View all specs and rivals Electric motor/s 1 x AC, separately excited Drive battery Lithium-ion, 87/91kWh (usable/total installed capacity) Driveline layout Transverse-front-mounted, front-wheel drive 0-62mph – claimed 7.6sec Power 239bhp Torque 221lb ft Top speed (claimed) 100mph Claimed weight 2093kg Fuel economy 3.4mpkWh (WLTP Combined) Electric range 322 miles (claimed) Max. charge rate 22/130kW (AC/DC) Rivals Volkswagen ID 4 Ford Mustang Mach-E Tesla Model Y 0-62mph – claimed 7.6sec Power 239bhp Torque 221lb ft Top speed (claimed) 100mph Claimed weight 2093kg Fuel economy 3.4mpkWh (WLTP Combined) Electric range 322 miles (claimed) Max. charge rate 22/130kW (AC/DC) Rivals Volkswagen ID 4 Ford Mustang Mach-E Tesla Model Y