Following the Leaf’s reign, the Japanese brand launches the Nissan Ariya, its first electric SUV to be used in a competitive segment.
It’s been 12 years since the Nissan Leaf first saw the light of day in Japan. One of the first electric cars, presented to great fanfare by the beaming Carlos Ghosn. The Leaf wasn’t the one that would save the planet, but the one that wanted to democratize the zero-emission car.
First try, first tryhisho for Yokohama, which quickly found success with its city car and is still considered the most popular electric car with more than 500,000 units sold to date. A pioneer who has benefited from the lack of direct competition for more than half of her career, but unfortunately rested too much on her laurels. It took more than ten years for Nissan to launch a second generation of electric cars with the new Ariya. But now he is not the only one in the segment and some have already positioned themselves as references.
Concept car style
The Nissan Ariya that opens a new chapter in history zero emission of the brand, has decided to tackle the on-road SUV segment. With a length of 4.60 m, it faces the false twins of the Volkswagen Group with the Volkswagen ID4 (4.58 m) and the Skoda Enyaq (4.65 m), but also the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (4.64 m ), among other raised proposals that are 10 cm higher (MG Marvel R, Toyota bZ4X, etc.). In short, a bunch of people!
To achieve this, the Nissan Ariya embeds the CMF EV platform it introduced with the concept. A technical base developed by Nissan, shared within the alliance and already used by the Renault Megane e-Tech. The new SUV of the announced concept vehicle maintains its exotic style, with smooth surface treatment and no frills. But no matter how stylistic or aerodynamic, the Ariya can’t stealthily cut through the air with its silhouette. On the numbers side, it stabilizes at a Cx of 0.28, which is as much as the ID.4.
Through his pencil line, it is the calm that inspires him. This is especially true of the cabin, which is every bit as relaxing as a traditional Japanese living room. The platform makes it possible to push back all the technical elements and free up space inside. Like its German competitor, the Ariya has a flat floor and not only shines with its spaciousness, but also with its apparently inherited impression of space Washitsu.
Like a Japanese living room, that Shoji fewer
The materials used for the upper parts are of good quality, unlike the plastics used for the lower parts. Here is the one too kumiko, highlighted patterns that evoke all the art of woodworking. But the materials are, of course, less flattering than Japanese cypress. The intention is there, especially as the dim lighting is behind a fake washy respects tradition and simply highlights the darkness like a traditional one would Chochin.
But as in Japan, tradition coexists with modernity. And the Nissan is no exception to the rule, with a large 12.3-inch digital panel in front of the driver or other digital touches like the wood-style climate control controls on the center console. It’s beautiful, but it takes skill to select the features. Underneath there is an electrically extendable box that can be used as a shelf or bento box. But the alignment of the elements is perfect, the lack of an anti-slip coating limits its use and the kinematics are slow. Just like the movement of the sliding center console, which creates even more space in the front at the expense of the back seat, where every passenger has to spread their legs. This console also includes the drive selector switch and driving controls, including the e-Pedal Step function.
All passengers have space on board. In the rear, the wheelbase of 2.78 m allows the occupants to stretch out their legs. The seating position is correct and the door cutout does not require unnecessary bending. The 468L cube holds a single front engine in this mechanical configuration. When strictly comparing the numbers, it’s slightly less than its natural competitors. But it has a bottom that can be split in two, which is useful for reaching the cables underneath. Too bad, however, that the modularity remains basic and there is no trunk under the front cover. In this game, MED or CMF-EV platform, same fight!
An entry-level version only in autonomy
We had the opportunity to drive the Nissan Ariya in its attractive version with the single engine configuration and the battery with a capacity of 66 kWh, of which 63 kWh is usable. While the brand hasn’t officially confirmed the supplier’s name, an exploded copy of the SUV showed CATL modules. The whole is cooled by a hydraulic circuit located at the bottom of the pack to ensure better performance, especially when recharging.
However, this first test was carried out in Sweden on a particularly favorable course with drastic speed limits. It is therefore difficult to establish a realistic average autonomy when you have not been able to exceed 100 km / h on the fastest of the motorways traveled … We will have enough time to check it with a lie detector, but in the meantime this SUV has an average consumption of 16.2 kWh/100 km or almost 390 km of autonomy.
A value that is not so far removed from the WLTP value that Nissan promises in this version with an average of 403 km. This could correspond to the consumption on rather cheap secondary roads. Because according to our estimates, based on our usual data, the SUV’s appetite could well turn around 26 kWh / 100 km on our highways, or almost 240 km of total autonomy. In any case, the battery seems a little tight to complete the versatility of this large SUV. You must undoubtedly prefer the version with an 87 kWh unit (533 km WTP) to be able to really enjoy it with your family.
Driving Zen in the Nissan Ariya
Because the Nissan Ariya quickly showed its travel qualities in this Swedish test. Again, it deserves to slice through the air at 130km/h so we can be sure of the aerodynamic noise, but it seems pretty well controlled at first. At least a little better than the more pronounced roll resonances. But nothing to really disturb the tranquility on board, where passengers are bathed in comfort. Well sprung and rigorous when it comes to channeling its 1,984 kg in running order with driver, it prefers the peaceful rhythms imposed by its light and mute steering.
The permanent magnet synchronous motor delivers 218 hp (160 kW) with 300 Nm of torque, exactly the same values as the most powerful Renault Megane e-Tech. Performance is modest, with a 0-100km/h in 7.5s, a top speed of 160km/h and 80-120km/h in 5.5s. It’s not as snappy as a karateka, but it is right in the category.
He feels most comfortable on the motorway when the semi-autonomous driving of the ProPILOT is activated and he is guided by his route planner. The navigation’s graphics don’t look as modern as their other onboard technologies, but the road maps presented are complete: we know in advance the expected charging rate upon arrival, as well as the terminals where recharging is required. On the other hand, it does not offer an automatic battery preconditioning system. It is up to the driver to do this manually, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations, which recommend activating it below 10°C 30 minutes before charging.
Average loading speed
In that regard, the Nissan Ariya makes no fuss. Slow charging is entrusted to a 7.4 kW system as standard, the 22 kW device is only available as an option (€ 1,000) in the highest configuration. On fast end devices, he can aim for a peak output of 130 kW. We didn’t get a chance to do a stress test, but the brand promises 20-80% in 28 minutes. Note that the two batteries have the same cell count, but these are very different in the 87kWh unit without the manufacturer being able to give us the technical details. This could thus explain why the 87kWh version takes 30 minutes for the same exercise and has a better maintained curve.
In this segment, for the time being, it is difficult to establish a hierarchy in terms of fees. But we will quickly have the opportunity to make a comparison between the Nissan Ariya and its competitors in this area. At Skoda, the Enyaq 60 has a 120 kW DC system as standard (compared to 135 kW on the 80 and 80 X). On the Volkswagen side, you have to use a Pro version (77 kWh) with the latest update in order to benefit from a 135 kW charger. As a result, Nissan has confirmed to us that there are currently no charging power updates planned. This is a slap against the commandment of kaizenbut dear to Yokohama… Finally, it is difficult to mention the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which takes off with its 800 V e-GMP platform and its cannon refills.
Nissan Ariya test: the results
Nissan had taken a step forward with the Leaf. Relying on their achievements, the brand has been surprised by competitors already wandering in a segment that will fill up quickly. The Ariya finds it difficult to stand out, especially since the characteristics of this access version remain average for the segment, both in terms of efficiency and versatility.
But to better find a place for itself, it comes with an exotic style (it’s subjective), an ultra-spacious cabin, and a decent presentation, despite some tweaks that could be perfected on those first models. But it also comes with just two equipment lines to refine the range, which sums up the package in terms of equipment. There are only a few cosmetic options left to choose from, as well as the 22 kW charger. In short, the proposal is pleasant. But is that enough to model the paper’s career?
Nothing is less certain when you consider that the starting price set at 47,300 euros destroys any hope of a maximum ecological bonus. Therefore, to take advantage of this, you must take advantage of an LLD offer and start a conversation with a seller who would normally be willing to negotiate.
- Pleasant interior atmosphere
- Noticeable habitability
- driving comfort
- Optional 22kW AC charging
- High call price
- Limited Versatility