Revealed: The Nissan Ariya Electric Crossover

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Nissan is taking a step up into the EV big leagues after announcing its plans to launch its first all-electric crossover, the Ariya.

Arriving to the UK in late 2021, you’ll have to register your interest online if you want to be among the first to get your hands on one. Entry-level models are starting from around £40,000, not including the government plug-in grant.

Before you do that, read on for all the information on the Ariya’s specs.

Design

Exterior

Nissan Ariya
Credit: Nissan UK

At first glance, the Ariya has the look of a futuristic concept car. It doesn’t have contours like a regular vehicle, but one “single horizon line” running from front to rear which gives you a glimpse into the future of electric car design.

Although it’s clean-looking, Nissan has done a great job of making it simultaneously striking. A large part of this is down to a new illuminated badge, a dual set of thin LED headlights at the front and rear, plus a sporty sloping coupe roofline.

The Ariya can either sit on top of 19″ or 20″ wheels, both of which have a modern five-spoke design, spinning gracefully as you cruise along.

Nissan’s development chief for the Ariya, Makoto Fukuda paid extra attention to ensuring the car had structural rigidity. This was done by linking the upper body of the car to its battery casing to make it one solid entity and give drivers more confidence behind the wheel.

Interior

Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya is the first model to feature the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new EV platform. Known as CMF-EV, this architecture translates to a revolutionary driver-passenger experience when you step inside.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on creating a lounge-like feeling in the Ariya. A flat floor adds a feeling of spaciousness across the whole cabin, while a power sliding centre console lets you create more room in the front or back at the push of a button.

“Zero Gravity” fatigue-free seats are also included, which is part of Nissan’s technology push for smarter mobility. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the neutral posture offered by the seats was inspired by NASA’s measurements of space shuttle seating. The design is said to emulate the weightless feeling of space travel which releases burden on the body and offsets tiredness behind the wheel after long periods of driving.

What’s more is that the interior lighting of the car has been designed with Japanese craftsmanship in mind. Namely, the concept of Omotenashi (‘hospitality’ in Japanese) is used for illuminating the Ariya’s cabin gradually when you open the door and get inside. After you shut the door, the lades fade out and the car ‘invites’ you to start the engine by using pulsating lights on the start switch.

Top features of the Ariya

  • Head-up display: driver data such as turn-by-turn directions, speed and the current song you’re playing through the sound system pops up ahead of you on the windscreen.
  • Customised display: two dual 12.3″ touchscreen displays sit behind the steering wheel. You can select which items you want to appear by swiping from right to left.
  • Haptic climate control buttons: when you turn the car on, touch-sensitive buttons for climate control light up on a dash panel below the radio volume control dial. If you don’t want to use touch to heat up or cool the car, you can use your voice to ask the car to do it for you.
  • Power sliding centre console: the centre console in the front of the car can slide forward or backwards at the push of a button. You can alter this to create more space in the front or back.
  • Advanced ambient lighting: selecting different driver modes in the Ariya changes the colour of the interior ambient in the car
  • Propilot: automatically maintains a safe distance from the car ahead on motorway journeys.
  • Propilot park: the Ariya automatically parks itself when you activate the Propilot park button.
  • Connected services: A Nissan app connects your phone to your car, allowing you to benefit from enhanced features. For example, if the car has low battery and you start navigation on your phone, it will automatically pick a route which has charging stations along the way, with certain locations recommended based on your charge status.

Performance

Nissan Ariya
Credit: Nissan UK

There are five different versions of the Ariya which will be available in the UK, with a choice of a 63kWh or 87kWh battery. You’ll even be able to choose between single-motor front-wheel-drive or dual-motor all-wheel-drive.

The 63kWh battery offers a range of 233 miles, while the 87kWh tops out at 310 miles on a single charge. These figures are remarkable, pipping the stiff competition from the Tesla Model X (305 miles) and Jaguar I-Pace (292 miles).

For the best performance, you’ll want to look to the E-4orce 87kWh performance trim. It accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, has 388bhp and a top speed of 124mph. You’ll suffer in the range department though, with the combined WLTP figures coming back at 248 miles.

If you want better efficiency, the single-motor and larger 87kWh battery pack will get you the maximum 310 miles on a single charge. Of course, driving style and the weather could impact these numbers.

Practicality

The Nissan Ariya has bigger dimensions than the Qashqai – it’s 20cm longer, 4.5cm wider and 7cm taller. It’s not far off being a similar size to the rugged, practical X-Trail.

Three adults will easily fit in the back thanks to the seats being the same size and having headrests. The flat floor of the car and adjustable centre console means everyone sat back there can have a good amount of leg room.

Until we can sit inside the car, it’s hard to tell whether the coupe roofline will eat into rear passenger headspace. However, this is only likely to be a problem for people over six foot.

Boot space will vary depending on which version of the Ariya you opt for. The three dual-motor models will have reduced space because of the positioning of the additional motor, so you’ll have 408 litres to work with. Choose a single-motor version and this increases to 466 litres, which is 33 litres more than the Qashqai.

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