Nissan Ariya (2022) Review – The electric recovery is less interesting than you might think

Nissan Ariya (2022) Review – The electric recovery is less interesting than you might think

We have been tapping our watch with the index finger for months. Where is the electric Nissan Ariya? It was introduced to the press and the public in 2020, but has yet to appear on the market more than two years later. A little more patience…

What is known about the Nissan Ariya (2022)?

After the summer vacation, in September, the time has come, then you can attract Ariya to the dealer. The reasons for the delay are obvious: the corona epidemic and the worldwide shortage of computer chips made the work impossible. Yet we can also call Ariya late for another reason. During the introduction of the compact SUV, Nissan repeatedly emphasized its pioneering status. After all, the Leaf was one of the first mass-produced EVs.

But let’s be honest, then Nissan left its leadership. Why is not entirely clear. We assume that the Japanese manufacturer has created cold feet after the introduction of the Leaf in 2010. The model was revolutionary, but it did not revolutionize the car market as much as Nissan had hoped. And Jani was too early to take advantage of the current surge in electricity. In fact, it has always remained a bit of a niche product.

What’s so great about the Nissan Ariya?

Immediately after boarding, you will see its beautiful dashboard. This is not so much because of its design, but because of the materials used. Nowhere do you see cheap plastic as a sign of cost savings. The upholstery looks like it’s from a German luxury limo and the wide Alcantara strip on the top feels really nice. If you change the front seat to the back seat, you have enough space. More than enough in fact, when it comes to legroom.

Strange are the push buttons in the central tunnel and below the infotainment screen. You can’t see them when the car is off. Only when they light up does it become clear that you can press them, for example to change the temperature. The pads provide haptic feedback, so you feel the vibration under your finger when you use them. However they are the case of style over substance. Good, but not friendly, because it is impossible to work blindly.

Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?
Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?

At the time of the press release, Nissan only had the Ariya with a 63 kWh battery ready for us. Above that entry-level model is the 87 kWh and four-wheel drive 87 kWh e-4ORCE in the price list. The first has an output of 242 hp, the second 306 hp. Both travel about 500 km on a full charge. The Ariya 63 kWh powered by us produces 217 hp, with a torque of 300 Nm and a range of up to 403 km.

What immediately stands out? Ariya is incredibly quiet, thanks to, among other things, the use of double glazing. You hear tire noise in the cabin, no wind and no noise from the power train. The Nissan drives like a typical EV, with light steering and a smooth chassis with stiff damping. Finally, unfortunately, keep the relatively high weight of the battery in check.

Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?
Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?

You forgive the electric car, because there is so much good in it. Immediately high torque when running, for example, but also a great power to pass and of course the comfort of single pedal operation. The Ariya never uses its physical brakes, because it automatically slows down in electric mode when you release the power pedal. Do you prefer it distributed? Then you press a button and the e-Pedal anchors itself inside.

What could be done better about the Nissan Ariya?

To recover kinetic braking energy or not, Ariya will have to be recharged at some point. Optionally, this can be done at home with 22 kW. Although your home charger must be fine for this, because 11 kW is often the upper limit. Fast charging out the door is not Nissan’s strong point. With a maximum charging speed of 130 kW, the Japanese electric SUV is below the competition. Although the Skoda Enyaq iV and Volkswagen ID.4 do not do much better with 135 kW.

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Nissan is trying to put a positive spin on it. The Ariya has a very flat charge current, the brand says, from 130 kW at 20 percent battery level to 100 kW at 80 percent. It’s impressive, but compared to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6, it’s not much use. They maintain their top charging speeds of 220 and 240 kW respectively for a surprisingly long time and still get 110 kW at 80 percent battery level.

In order to fully charge, the EV battery must be brought up to temperature. In some models, this happens automatically when you head to a charging station, but surprisingly in the Ariya you can set it manually. According to Nissan, this was chosen because many people travel with external software. Okay, but then you make both possible.

When will the Nissan Ariya come and what will it cost?

After the summer vacation you can see Nissan Ariya at the dealership. It is available from 48,990 euros for the version with a 63 kWh battery and 217 hp. Nissan specifically asks 6000 euros more for the variant with an 87 kWh battery and 242 hp (54,990 euros) and another 4000 euros more for the top version with four wheels and 306 hp (58,990 euros).

Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?
Nissan Ariya (2022) review - Is Nissan's electric comeback interesting?

Compared to its direct competitors, the Ariya seems on the pricier side. The supercharged Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are between 45,000 and 56,000 euros. Volkswagen is asking between 47,190 and 54,990 euros for that ID. 4. Although you should dive into the price lists to check all the standard and premium options against each other.

What do I think about the Nissan Ariya?

The arrival of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 turned the electric SUV segment upside down. The Nissan Ariya does not. It’s definitely an attractive and efficient EV, but it’s hard to raise the level of the competition. Except for its interior, which attracts attention with its minimalist style and high quality.

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