The new electric Nissan Ariya: what does driving look like?

The new electric Nissan Ariya: what does driving look like?

Written by Brian Moody

Ariya’s design, in-vehicle technology, and attention to detail sets it apart from other $40,000 electric crossovers

If you’re looking for an electric SUV that replicates all the deep sounds and feelings of a gasoline-powered vehicle, then the Nissan Ariya isn’t. In a world of flowing sounds and electronic exhaust tones, the new Nissan Ariya 2023 comes with “Quiet and Tranquility” instead. Is this a good choice? yes.

For years, Nissan (7201.TO) has been adding a few more models that feel and act more like luxury vehicles than basic, affordable transportation. Nissan Armada and Murano are perfect examples. Arya fits this definition, too.

Pay attention to the details

The materials inside are good, but the design, in-car technology and attention to detail set it apart from other $40,000 electric crossovers. For example, there’s an electrically sliding center console, a hands-free Pro Pilot 2.0, and the use of backlit Japanese joinery style throughout the Ariya’s interior and exterior. Some of the usual Ariya car interior materials are used, but the overall look is upscale. Nissan calls the new look “the eternal Japanese future.”

Using flow buttons is another high-tech touch. Instead of using traditional buttons and switches, Ariya uses flush buttons and provides haptic feedback when pressed. The official term is “capacitive touch switches”. The result is a clean, tidy, functional and reassuring cabin.

Arya is the real deal

The introduction of another electric vehicle has become commonplace. But keep in mind that flashy computer models and dramatic titles don’t always add up to a real car that the public can buy. Arya is not a vapor. This is the real thing. In fairness, I’m a little late. We first saw a very production-ready Ariya at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019. What’s not uncommon is Nissan’s ProPilot 2.0 hands-free driving feature.

Like the Super Cruise on some Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models, the ProPilot 2.0 allows for extended periods of hands-free driving. The Ariya also includes an electrically retractable center console so the driver can feel more comfortable on road trips where there is no need to push the throttle and brake.

Part of the ProPilot 2.0 is the automated parking feature and is good for parallel and aft parking. This feat is accomplished by pressing a button on the center console.

Read: What new and used electric car buyers need to know about the new tax incentives

hidden features

This retractable console is just one of the many features that highlight Nissan’s attention to detail. Another is the dashboard-mounted energy storage box. This container pops up by pressing a button; It has a cover, so it can also be used as a prop for an iPad or even a small laptop – perfect for killing time while waiting for Ariya to charge.

However, the single feature inside the Ariya that shows how far the designers and engineers have gone is the charging cord charging device near the floor under the base of the center console. Why wasn’t this a feature before? Simply put, it’s a place where you can wrap the USB charging cable when you’re not using it. Or, if you have a longer cable, you can keep part of it wrapped while charging.

An unmanaged charging cable can interfere with the gear selector and cup holders and look unsightly. iPhone users are treated with Apple (AAPL) Wireless CarPlay, but Android users will have to plug in to mirror their phone’s screen on the car’s screen.

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Two screens and technology

And speaking of screens, Ariya has two 12.3-inch screens. One is concave and the other is convex. The display in front of the driver contains all the usual gauges and information, including a Tesla-like graphic interface (TSLA) that shows where other cars are in relation to the Ariya while driving hands-free with ProPilot 2.0. This offer is a fully digital experience. There are no analog scales. This screen is in the form of a curved TV; It is slightly concave to allow the driver to see more information at a glance. The secondary screen is convex and connected to the main screen. This design brings the infotainment screen a little closer to the driver than usual, making it easy to get information at a glance.

This new system has sharp graphics, responds quickly, and is easy to use. If you include the head-up display, technically there are three screens. Ariya also includes over-the-air updates, “specifically, the software that controls the multimedia system, electrical and electronic engineering, chassis, climate system, and EV settings,” according to Nissan.

Ariya’s driving and charging range

The big question with any electric car is range. How far would you go on a single charge? With Ariya, the mileage is about 300 miles on a single charge. We were driving the Empower+ front-wheel drive (FWD) version. This range is estimated at 289 miles. The Venture+ version is 304 miles long. We expect the best-in-class All-Wheel Drive (AWD) version to have a range of around 250 miles. As with all electric vehicles, this will vary based on your driving habits, weather, and terrain.

Fortunately, Ariya can handle fast charging. Nissan says it will take about 40 minutes to charge from 20% to 80%. On-board charger – 7.2 kW. Compare that to a 6.6 kW paper. Ariya uses a CCS connector when charging. Both FWD and AWD models offer a choice of a 63 kWh or 87 kWh battery.

Read more: What will electric vehicle charging look like in the future?

On the road

Acceleration is quick, but it doesn’t have that amazing almost endless drag that you feel in Tesla cars. Then again, it’s a safe bet that Nissan chose battery stability and long life combined with proper range on neck acceleration. If that kind of “wow” acceleration is what you’re after, get the GT-R. Horse power varies in Aria trim levels. The handling is subtle, although you could tell, at times, Ariya would move a bunch of weights. The AWD version is likely to be the fastest.

Speaking of the Nissan GT-R, Ariya’s AWD system has been dubbed “e-4ORCE,” and Nissan says it is “born out of the company’s rich history of developing unforgettable all-terrain vehicles and sports cars” and “the spiritual descendant of the ATTESA E torque split system.” -TS from the Nissan GT-R and the intelligent all-wheel drive systems found in Nissan’s lineup of crossovers and SUVs.”

It’s no secret that most electric cars are very quiet. Arya is no exception. However, the Ariya appears to be built to slightly higher standards than other mainstream electric vehicles. It is clear that not only is there engine noise, but road and wind noise is also very well managed. The driving experience combined with the materials, shapes, technology and textures of the interior creates a very serene environment.

There are distinct driving modes such as Normal, Eco and Sport. Each causes the car to respond in a different way. There is no piped “engine” sound or exciting acoustic profiles that accompany the various driving modes. This is another conscious choice Nissan is making to allow serenity to play when it comes to the road driving experience.

Also Read: Best Car Technologies to Look for When Buying a New Car

Hands-free driving

On the road, ProPilot 2.0 delivers exactly what it promises; Miles and miles of hands and feet free driving. It deals only two steps and takes over the driving tasks on designated highways. Contrary to Tesla’s bad name for “full self-driving”, the Nissan system is only good on designated roads or roads in the database. These highways are usually divided like motorways. But also, unlike the Tesla system, you don’t have to “check” the steering wheel inputs.

Nissan uses a color-coded system to notify you when the vehicle is in hands-free driving mode. Both in the dashboard and via an LED light running along the base of the windshield. The system will require the driver to take over if certain conditions are not met on the highway. For example, a construction area or blurred lane markings will cause the ProPilot 2.0 to require the driver to grab the steering wheel. One interesting note: ProPilot doesn’t just stop when it senses something that only a human can manage. Instead, one level of adaptive cruise control retracts. This shift is less worrisome than other hands-free systems and is just a light interruption on a long journey.

Read next: Polestar plans to build a great electric car – when can you get it?

The all-electric Ariya SUV from Nissan 2023 is very good. Ariya’s overall quality is impressive. The interior feels a degree or two higher than the current Murano Platinum. FWD Ariya models will be available first, with AWD versions available later in 2022.

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09-20-22 0503ET

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