2023 Nissan Ariya
Nissan has been in the electric vehicle business since 2011. Two generations of the Leaf hatchback showed how much the company learned about how to engineer, produce, and sell a vehicle that only requires a battery to drive.
The new 2023 Nissan Ariya is an outgrowth of what the company learned from the Leaf. This time, they have put their expertise into a new SUV positioned right in the heart of the EV marketplace.
What makes the Ariya worth looking considering?
The first thing you will notice is its design. You might mistake this as the replacement for the Murano, but there are distinct differences between the two. For one, the Ariya is smaller – about the same size as the Rogue. Yet, no one would blame you for mistaking the Ariya for Murano on occasion.
The angular design starts with a solid “grille” panel flanked by the headlamp units. It is a bold statement inviting one to look at the Ariya from the front. The roofline has a fastback-like style towards the rear, with a glass panel on the C pillar. It is quite tall below the window line. The rear end offers a narrow glass pane on the liftgate, with a horizontal taillight bar below the window line.
Our Engage tester wore a set of 19-inch wheels with aerodynamic wheel covers. The black-on-black paint job already shows of a very stealthy look overall. It does come in other colors that make the Ariya pop out more in a crowd.
Inside, you get a tablet-like wide screen area, split between a digital instrument cluster and the infotainment screen. The instrumentation is comprehensive and informative, with customization for the right information you need. Nissan’s infotainment system is very good and work well within the new screen. A large and informative head-up display helps keep your eyes on the road. You will find a combination of tactile and haptic controls throughout the cabin. When the vehicle is off, the Ariya’s interior is clean and tidy to look at.
The environmentally friendly leatherette seating offers solid comfort. You have electric controls for both front seats. There is some bolstering to lock you in and they are very wide, fitting within a spacious cabin area. The center console is adjustable back-and-forth.
Rear seat room is excellent with more than enough leg and head room for a lot of different bodies. Cargo space is pretty decent. The 22.8 cubic feet space behind the rear seats expand to a generous 59.7 cubic feet with those seats down. There is no front cargo space due to the electric drive system taking up the area below the hood.
Currently, front-wheel drive models are available. There is a single motor driving the front axle – power ranging from 214 to 238 horsepower, with 221 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive models will get a two-motor setup – one for each axle. Our Engage front-wheel drive model came with the 214 horsepower, 160-kilowatt motor. A 63-kilowatt-hour battery “fuels” the motor with an estimated range on this model is 216 miles. There are other Ariya models that offer a range up to 304 miles. If you recharge at a DC Fast Charging station, Nissan states that it would take 35-40 minutes to go from 10-80% state of charge, depending on which model you drive.
The driving experience is very solid. The ride was firm, but very confident no matter the surface. Handling was also balance with some roll through the curves. Steering is solid with a good on-center feel. Turning radius is not as tight as one would like, but you can maneuver quite well if you need to.
Brakes are solid turning in good stops during normal and panic situations. Pedal feel is really good when you are in a normal braking mode. Turn on the e-Step mode and you get a more aggressive brake regeneration sending more power back to the battery pack. All you have to do is to step off the pedals when it is engaged towards a solid stop.
The 2023 Nissan Ariya lineup starts at $43,190. There are four trim levels to choose from. Our Engage front-wheel drive tester acme with a sticker price of $44,525. The all-wheel drive models are coming this summer.
The Ariya is welcomed addition to a growing number of battery electric SUVs in our market. Competitors include the Hyundai IONIQ 5, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X, Subaru Solterra, Chevrolet Equinox EV and Blazer EV.
Given the current competition, Nissan does make a really good battery-electric SUV. The Ariya is a good choice for consumers looking for a family vehicle or a spacious commuter.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors