The Ariya, Nissan’s second electric offering in 13 years, lands as a solid winner, a fat, beautiful carriage that stands up against close rivals Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6.
It also offers a host of trims starting at around $43,000 all the way up to $60,000, thus allowing it to compete with vehicles more luxurious than it is (Lexus RZ 450c, Mercedes EQB) and cheaper (Kir Niro EV).
Everything was wide and substantial on the body of my tester, the Platinum – slabs of metal on its hood, flanks, trunk and curly-cue rims. It’s also nice and roomy on the inside, with materials befitting Nissan’s luxury arm Infiniti. Another plus is that it arrives seemingly finished, unlike “early” electric efforts by some companies who are more testing first models than delivering a full blown wow, as the Ariya is.
Blue leather adorned the seats of my Platinum trim, accompanied by a pleasing-looking faux-suede on the dash and doors. There are “Kimiko” patterns tastefully placed in various cabin locations in addition to ambient light fixtures that make the vehicle a pleasure to sit in whether driving or doing work or eating or relaxing with the seat back reclined. There’s also a gargantuan moon roof, so on those drives on a warm night, all is well. Those who are 6 feet tall or thereabouts will find both the front and back suitably roomy.
Put the back seat up and you get a not-huge 22.8 feet of space, in fact it’s less space than many similar cars. There isn’t any frunk.
Motor performance, range/charging info
There are numerous drivetrain, power and ranges available. For our purposes, with the Platinum, we were served by the Engage e-4ORCE, which delivered a second motor mounted on the rear axle. That means you’ve got all-wheel-drive all the time, which is handy in snow but lessens your mileage. This configuration makes 335 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, but our Platinum got 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. with an estimated 0-60-mph time of 4.8 seconds. Press materials indicated over 267 miles per gallon on a 100% charge, which is better than some, not as generous as others.
It’s buttery, sharp, quiet and, again, feels like a finished product, ready to fly off the proverbial shelves. The sound-deadening materials mute road noise well, and the steering is firm. The Sport mode really doesn’t produce a rocket, though there is a definite “whirr” or “whoop” sound playing over your sound system as you drive and another pleasing series of melody/vibes as you back up.
The brakes don’t work like others in that when you press your foot, the pedal seems to be the boss and will sometimes be in motion when your sneaker touches it. It’s merely disconcerting, though, and after a day, they were just “the brakes” again. The brakes also do not stop you completely as you approach traffic ahead of you – you have to keep your foot on the pedal to come to a complete stop at speeds less than 5-10 MPH. It’s odd but not a deal-breaker.
The really impressive feature with the e-4ORCE is that its two motors can and do send power to any of the four tires, depending on circumstances and you, the driver, will never know it.
Its touchscreen is easy to use, quick to connect and the sound system is rich and full. The center console moves to and fro via a button, so you can adjust your cup holders, electronic shifter and armrest to your height/size/comfort.
A Pro Pilot Assist 2.0 provides eight cameras, 12 sensors, five radar streams and the native mapping and nav system. You can choose from three modes – White, the standard, Green, providing steering assist and Blue, allowing you to do the hands-off driving if you meet certain criteria such as keeping your eyes on the road, which the software will monitor.
It’s an effective, thoroughly modern system, but we’re still not there yet on the attempts to “leave the driving to us.”
Otherwise, the Ariya is a more-than-fine addition to the lineup of electric vehicles, and very welcome.
For more info re: trims, safety and warranty, click here.
Article source: www.forbes.com