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2023 Nissan Ariya, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car

 

2023 Nissan Ariya First Test: Leaf Take Two?

The new electric Ariya SUV attempts to make more of an impression than the Leaf did.

010 2023Nissan Ariya
nissan ariya Full Overview

Pros

  • Cool wood buttons
  • Pro Pilot Assist is great
  • It’s comfortable

Cons

  • No one-pedal driving
  • The interior isn’t as functional as it should be
  • Slow charge speed

In December of 2010, the Nissan Leaf became the first electric car to be widely available to Americans since internal-combustion-engine-powered vehicles took off a century earlier.

Compact, cute, and efficient, we dubbed it “remarkably unremarkable, in the best possible way. ” A long 12 years later—and after numerous manufacturers have launched multiple entrants into the EV space—the Leaf finally has an electric stablemate in the Nissan lineup. The question: Is the 2023 Nissan Ariya electric SUV “remarkably unremarkable,” or will it stand out in an increasingly crowded field?

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What’s The Nissan Ariya?

Although the Leaf was always sort of a niche vehicle for American buyers, the Ariya is aimed at the heart of the American SUV market. Sized like the compact Rogue but offering midsize Murano levels of interior space, the Ariya is the first Nissan to run on the company’s new CMF-EV platform. The Ariya’s specs likely won’t raise the eyebrows of EV early adopters, but they’re instead roughly analogous to the four-cylinder-powered compact crossovers Nissan expects most Ariya buyers will be swapping out of.

The Nissan Ariya launches with a 91-kWh battery pack and a front-mounted motor good for 238 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, a healthy power bump over the comparable Rogue. The automaker also plans to offer a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version with 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque, as well as an entry-level model with a smaller, 66-kWh battery pack.

The front-drive/large-battery Ariya Venture+, which starts at $47,125, will be the range champ of the lineup, with an EPA-estimated range of 304 miles. Our mid-level 2023 Ariya Empower+ test vehicle ($47,125 to start, about $54,000 as equipped) with the same battery and motor setup is rated for 289 miles, while base, small-battery/front-drive models are rated for 216 miles. Dual-motor models aren’t rated yet, but expect about 265 miles of range with the large battery pack.

While the Ariya’s range is respectable, its peak charge rate of just 130 kW isn’t particularly impressive. Rivals like the Ford Mustang Mach-E reach 150 kW, while the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 hit 235 kW. The general rule of thumb for shoppers new to EVs: Generally speaking, the higher the peak charge rate, the less time you’ll spend tethered on a road trip. Unlike the Leaf, the Ariya fast-charges using the common CCS1 connector instead of Nissan’s preferred (and increasingly rare stateside) CHAdeMO plug.

006 2023Nissan Ariya

What’s The Ariya Like To Drive?

First, the acceleration and braking numbers (you can skip the next two paragraphs if you’d like to go straight into the more subjective stuff). Like the Leaf, the Ariya isn’t a numbers car. Our front-wheel-drive test SUV accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and covered the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 92.9 mph. Although it’s quicker than many of its internal combustion rivals, that’s slower than all of its electric competition.

Of comparably equipped single-motor electric SUVs, the Ariya is closest to the Volkswagen ID4, which hits 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and runs the quarter mile in 15.8 seconds at 88.8 mph. The EV6 GT-Line and Mustang Mach-E California Route 1 Edition are quicker still, hitting 60 mph in 6.5 and 6.3 seconds, respectively, and crossing the quarter mile in 15.0 seconds at 95.0 mph and 14.8 seconds at 96.8 mph. If speed is your thing and you want an Ariya, you’ll likely want to wait for the dual-motor version.

The Ariya is similarly average in our braking and handling courses. It brakes from 60 to 0 mph in 128 feet (the ID4, EV6, and Mach-E all come in at 123 or 124 feet), and it laps the figure eight in 27.6 seconds at an 0.61 g average (far behind the Kia and Ford, but just edging out the Volkswagen).

But the Ariya, clearly, isn’t about outright performance. It’s engineered in many ways to be a comfortable compact crossover that just so happens to be electric. On that front, it succeeds. Acceleration isn’t neck-snapping, but the Ariya pulls away with the sort of confidence-inspiring authority of a torquey V-6, and it has good passing power.

Many EVs feature a full “one-pedal” driving mode that allows the driver to accelerate and brake with just the throttle, but the Ariya unfortunately doesn’t. Its “E-Step” mode ups regenerative braking, but it’s incapable, by design, of actually bringing the Ariya to a stop. More annoying than having to press the Nissan’s mushy brake pedal is the fact that the pedal automatically moves in E-Step mode, making it feel like the brake pedal is trying to escape your right foot when you’re slowing down.

The Ariya rides and steers reasonably well. On the latter front, initial turn-in is surprisingly quick. That makes the Nissan fun when negotiating traffic, but the overall feel is otherwise numb when going down the road. The ride is comfortable, but there is a fair bit of body motion over expansion joints, potholes, and curves. All-wheel-drive Ariyas can vary motor torque front and rear to control the body’s pitch; the front-drive version would benefit from some mitigation strategies, too.

The best part about the Ariya is the latest version of ProPilot Assist. The advanced driver aid punches well above its weight. It confidently holds its line through bends, accelerates and brakes as a human would, and can even change lanes automatically. It’s not quite GM’s Super Cruise, but it’s close.

003 2023Nissan Ariya

Wood You Like To See Inside?

The Ariya’s driving dynamics may be forgettable, but its interior isn’t. The open and airy cabin is lovely to look at and be in, even if the execution isn’t exactly nailed. The interior incorporates quality-feeling materials, dual screens, a flat floor, and novel features such as a power-operated stash drawer built into the dash, a power-sliding center console, and wood-like trim with integrated touch buttons, similar to BMW’s approach with the iX. The Ariya could use a little polish, though.

The wood buttons, for example, wash out in direct sunlight and don’t always respond the first time you press them. Similarly, the stash drawer in the dash is incredibly useful, but you must press and hold one of the touchpoints on the wood panel to get the delicate-feeling drawer to slowly motor out of the dash. Also, if you drive with it open (a likely possibility since there isn’t a ton of storage up front) the button flashes at you angrily.

The power-operated center console is of limited utility, too. Not only does it sit far higher than the door-mounted armrests, but motoring it backward both takes up rear passenger space and makes it easier for your passenger’s items to slide into the driver’s feet. Both the console and the drawer would likely be more useful if they were manually operated.

Even if some of the tech doesn’t work as well as it could, the Ariya package is practical. The front buckets are cushy and couchlike, perfect for long stints in the saddle, while the back is adult-friendly and a fine place to spend time, even if the floor is a bit high due to the battery underneath. Despite the aggressive fastback roofline, the trunk is also spacious, with Nissan’s handy divide-and-hide panels boosting its versatility. The only thing that could make the Ariya more practical would be if it included a frunk like some of its rivals do.

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Is The Nissan Ariya A Good Car?

At this stage—and unless the dual-motor variant changes things—we fear the new Ariya will suffer the same fate as the Leaf before it. In its current state, this remarkably unremarkable electric SUV isn’t particularly competitive when it comes to its performance or most of its tech.

Even so, it is a stylish and practical electric alternative to EVs like the ID4 and, perhaps more important, mainstream crossovers such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Ultimately, maybe following in the Leaf’s tire tracks isn’t such a bad thing, after all—after two generations (and counting) it remains among the bestselling EVs in the world. Maybe unremarkable is enough, after all.

2023 Nissan Ariya Empower+ Specifications
BASE PRICE $47,125
PRICE AS TESTED $54,000 (est)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-motor, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
MOTOR TYPE Permanent-magnet electric
POWER (SAE NET) 238 hp
TORQUE (SAE NET) 221 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION 1-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,725 lb (53/47%)
WHEELBASE 109.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 182.9 x 74.8 x 65.7 in
0-60 MPH 7.5 sec
QUARTER MILE 15.8 sec @ 92.9 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 128 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.79 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.6 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 105/91/98 mpg-e
EPA RANGE, COMB 289 miles
ON SALE Fall 2022

 

2023 Nissan Ariya Starting at $44,485

2023 nissan ariya

Overview

Nissan is expanding its line of electric vehicles with the 2023 Ariya SUV, which will go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2022. The Ariya will join the Leaf hatchback in the Nissan showroom and will offer up to 300 miles of driving range, which beats the Leaf’s maximum of 226. The Ariya’s design represents a shift from the current sharp, angular lines seen on many of Nissan’s vehicles.

The low, wide stance of the Ariya differentiates it from the Rogue and gives it a sportier look. Two different battery sizes will be offered—a 63.0-kWh battery is standard, and a larger 87.0-kWh pack is optional—as well as either front- or all-wheel drive. A host of driver-assistance features, infotainment tech, and convenience items will be included here, helping the 2022 Ariya compete with similarly sized EV crossovers, such as the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Kona Electric.

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What’s New for 2023?

The Ariya is an all-new vehicle for Nissan. It features Nissan’s new semi-autonomous driving system (ProPilot 2.0), which debuted on the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline sedan. The Ariya is said to deliver up to 300 miles of driving range, but only when equipped with the optional dual-front/rear-motor drive configuration and the larger 87.0-kWh battery pack.

 

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Engage
$44,485
Venture+
$48,485
Evolve+
$51,485
Empower+
$54,985
Premiere
$55,985
Platinum+
$61,485

The Ariya’s $44,485 starting price puts it above the Leaf and other affordable EVs but under the base price of the Model Y, but that entry-level Engage model comes with a smaller battery pack and a lower 216-mile estimated driving range. We’re of the mindset that to successfully switch from gasoline to electricity, range is key, so we’d go with the Venture+ trim which boasts the longest driving range among the Ariya’s four trim levels at 304 miles per charge.

 

EV Motor, Power, and Performance

Unlike the Leaf, which comes only with front-wheel drive, Nissan is pulling from features developed in other cars, including the GT-R sports car’s torque-split system, to offer optional all-wheel drive via a dual-front/rear-electric-motor configuration. Front-wheel drive models offer a claimed zero-to-60-mph time of 7.2 seconds according to Nissan, so if you’re looking for more pep, consider the more powerful all-wheel-drive Ariya which is significantly faster.

We estimate that model will zip from zero to 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds, a feat that is similar to higher-end electric vehicles. From what we’ve experienced so far, the Ariya provides a calm, stable ride that should please most buyers, but it lacks the sporty nature we driving enthusiasts prefer. When we get a chance to test the Ariya for ourselves and evaluate its handling in the real world, we’ll update this story with details.

2023 nissan ariya

 

Range, Charging, and Battery Life

Nissan says the Venture+ offers up to 304 miles of driving range per charge, which is quite the step up from the Leaf’s maximum range of 226 miles. The Evolve+ and Premiere models offer up to 285 miles per charge and the top-spec Platinum+ is supposedly good for up to 265. Going with the base Engage trim requires compromising on range due to that model’s smaller battery pack which is rated for only 216 miles per charge. The Ariya will be capable of charging at home on 110- or 240-volt outlets as well as at public charging stations and even DC fast-charging ports.

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Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe

EPA fuel economy estimates aren’t yet available for the Ariya, nor has Nissan released any claimed MPGe figures. When the Ariya gets closer to launch, that information will likely be available. We also hope to test the Ariya ourselves on our 200-mile highway route, which allows us to evaluate its real-world efficiency. For more information about the Ariya’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Ariya’s interior looks futuristic and minimal. Nissan has discarded every button possible in pursuit of a smooth dashboard that favors a sleek look to match the design of the exterior. Despite Nissan’s claim that the Ariya’s cabin is unlike a traditional automotive interior, its minimalistic theme appears to be its sole unique trait. Not that the cabin doesn’t look like a nice place to spend time.

A flat, low floor creates a spacious feeling inside, and Nissan has incorporated its comfy zero-gravity seats into the design. The rear seat space is noticeably less generous than the front, but a pair of adults should still find it comfortable and roomy enough even for long-distance travel.

2023 nissan ariya

Infotainment and Connectivity

Dual 12.3-inch displays serve as both the digital gauge cluster and the infotainment screen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-dash navigation should all be standard features. The Ariya concept that was shown in 2019 had a feature that allowed the car to sync with the schedule of the driver, so it can pre-heat or pre-cool the interior while it’s parked and charging, and therefore not draw on the power from the battery.

The concept also showed off technology that would allow the driver to use their phone to park the Ariya automatically from a nearby location using ProPilot’s Remote Park, a system similar to Tesla’s Smart Summon feature. Nissan hasn’t said yet if these features will make it to the production model.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The Ariya will feature ProPilot 2.0, Nissan’s second generation of the ProPilot semi-autonomous technology, as an optional feature. The system allows drivers to remove their hands from the wheel in certain driving scenarios. Although we haven’t tested this new setup, we liked the original ProPilot system when we used it in 2017—and if that’s any indication of how version 2.0 will perform, our expectations are high.

For more information about the Ariya’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode

 

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

We predict the Ariya will come with the same basic warranty package as the Leaf when it goes on sale. That warranty should include a competitive bumper-to-bumper policy as well as battery protection that stretches over eight years or 100,000 miles.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Battery warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance

 

Specifications

2023 Nissan Ariya
Vehicle Type: front- or front- and rear-motor, front- or all-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE
Base: front-wheel-drive with standard battery, $40,000 (est.); front-wheel drive with large battery, $47,125; all-wheel-drive, $60,125

POWERTRAINS
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 63 or 87 kWh
Dual Motor: current-excited synchronous AC motors, combined output of 389 hp, 443 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 87 kWh
Charging: 7.2 kW on-board charger; 130 kW CCS DC-fast charging
Transmission: direct-drive

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length: 182.9 in
Width: 74.8 in
Height: 65.4-65.7 in
Passenger Volume: 105 ft3
Cargo Volume: 23 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4200-4700 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 4.9-7.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 13.0-15.8 sec
Top Speed: 115 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 93-105/99-110/90-99 MPGe
Range: 215-300 mi

 

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