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2023 Nissan Ariya turns a new leaf for the brand

The 2023 Nissan Ariya not only represents the best new Nissan in years, but it also reorients a brand that seems to have come a long way since its first leader, Carlos Ghosn, broke the law. . However, the electric crossover is not without its problems, most notably periodic delays that keep it off the starting line.

Timing may not be everything, but it is definitely something. And Nissan knows this, being the first automaker to launch electric vehicles to the masses in late 2010 with the Nissan Leaf. Since then, it seems like a different era, but the past year has had a bigger effect on Ariya. Scheduled for mid-2021 and derailed due to Covid-related chip shortages and manufacturing issues, the Ariya is finally reaching dealers now, much later than the competition.

“The chip shortage has caused a lot of disruptions,” said Aditya Jairaj, Nissan’s electric vehicle marketing manager. Green car report. “We also want the customer to have the right vehicle.”

The single-engine front-wheel drive model is the right car for the present; it was the only car. The dual-engine variant will launch early next year, Jairaj said, but that gap is always in the plans.

Numerous electric models have launched since the Ariya’s initial launch, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV 6 and 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 Standard with a small battery and a motor for under $40,000 — Ariya’s original target price. Now Nissan Ariya 2023 has a starting price of 44,485 USD and crest at $60,000. Upcoming Ariya e-4orce all-wheel drive variants add about $4,000 across the entire lineup.

However, Nissan is not convinced.

“We feel that the Ariya is striking at the right time,” said Brian Brockman, Nissan communications director.

So shrunken. Not only is the Ariya the brand’s most impressive new car in years, but it also optimizes interior space to raise the bar for electric crossovers at this price point.

Similar in size to the small crossover Nissan Rogue, but with an extended wheelbase like the mid-size crossover Nissan Murano, the Ariya has a spacious interior. It has a more rounded hood and a more upright stance than sportier electric crossovers like the Kia EV6 and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

Adjust for comfort

Sports are not Ariya’s forte.

I tested the flagship Premier version with the larger 87 kWh battery pack at $55,985, including destination. Nissan gave us a drive on the lovely winding roads of the Natchez Trace Parkway, outside the Nissan manufacturing plants in Smyrna, Tennessee, where the Nissan Leaf is made. Ariya is currently imported from Japan. Nissan’s plant in Canton, Miss., will produce two new EVs by 2025 – one Nissan, one Infiniti – but Nissan didn’t reveal what could go beyond those first two.

An externally excited 178 kW synchronous motor powers the front wheels for 238 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. With a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds, it’s quicker and more responsive than 4-cylinder cars in Nissan’s lineup. But it’s slower than electric-powered rivals and lacks the soaring power that makes electric cars fun to drive. That could be by design, as Nissan intends to ease the transition to electric by creating a driving experience similar to that of an internal combustion car. At 4,604 lb, it’s about 200 lb heavier than a similarly equipped Hyundai Ioniq 5, but within 50 lb of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Mustang Mach-E with larger packages. The Ariya drives mostly like the ID.4 Pro, except that the Pro’s rear wheel layout makes it more alert.

The softness also applies to the suspension. The front struts and multi-link rear suspension feel resilient, as if tuned to handle more weight, perhaps for the AWD version. The weight distribution is slightly forward, but it tends to lean forward and the nose dives in for a more exhilarating ride. It seems taller than other electric crossovers, so the body leans more sharply on winding roads. The steering is similarly soft and removed from the road surface, as if it weren’t expecting or encouraging more assertive inputs.

It’s exceptionally quiet thanks in part to the laminated side glass and noise-absorbing compounds on the stock Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres. There is some slight road noise but to expect above 70 mph from the standard 19-inch wheels with aerodynamic covers.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

The other sacrifice to get used to a car is to install a limited regenerative brake. Similar to the Nissan Leaf, the e-Pedal Step button provides regenerative braking, but unlike the Leaf, it doesn’t stop completely. Instead, releasing the accelerator gradually puts the car into a sluggish mode, like cars with internal combustion engines and automatic transmissions. Oddly enough, setting B in the dashboard-mounted gear lever seems to have significantly more regen braking capacity. There’s no one-pedal driving, no auto-hold, and no real EV advantage here.

It’s disappointing to emulate car characteristics, especially as opposed to rethinking a clean interior.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

Comfort is king

The cabin invites occupants with a soft synthetic leather upper punctuated by a thin horizon of air vents divided by a metal trim. The standard 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster fits in the standard 12.3-inch touchscreen under a glass panel, from concave to convex, and Ariya introduces Nissan’s new infotainment interface.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

Its horizontal plane is styled like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 but with menu buttons on the left and hot navigation buttons at the bottom of the map screen. The Apple CarPlay screen takes up the full screen, but I appreciate the split screen that lets you switch between it and the native infotainment keys. But most of that information — map displays, performance gauges — is accessible within the instrument cluster. It’s much easier to use and much better integrated than the system in the Mustang Mach-E and much more user-friendly than the ID.4 system. A volume knob sticks out from the center of the vent panel, but it’s not centered with the touchscreen, which might upset most of the OCDs among us.

Beneath the vent is a composite panel with hollows that stretch from top to bottom that looks like the real thing. Haptic climate control is incorporated into the wooden panel with the same fidelity to the touch as traditional buttons. It looks great, the illuminated icons seem to hover over the faux woodwork instead of dimming it. Out of all the touch control panels on the market today, it’s the only one that keeps me away from dials and buttons.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

The flat bottom steering wheel common in the Nissan product line creates spaciousness for the Ariya. The floor is wide open, like the old benches but with the comfort and changeability of the electric front trunk.

The open floor plan includes a power-sliding center console up to 6.0 inches. It’s more subtle than the manual sliding control panel in the Ioniq 5. Wood-like trim graces the control panel, including on the cup lid. The only things that make Nissan feel familiar are the gearshift paddles on the dashboard, written under drive mode, and the e-Step buttons. The dashboard also has one of the better wireless smartphone charging trays, angled up below the palm rest. I slid it in without looking and my i-Phone always started charging. The only drawback is that it is easy to forget under the palm rest.

The sliding panel also creates space in the back or brings the USB ports closer to the people in the back seat. Four 6-foot-2 adults can be stacked for comfort, but the overhead compartment can cause the tallest passengers, such as the Editor of Green Car Reports, to bend slightly. Still, 37.0 inches of rear legroom feels like an understatement.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down, and cargo space expands from 22.8 to 59.7 cubic feet. All but the Venture+ models have a tiered cargo deck with smart storage compartments.

It feels like the most spacious all-electric crossover in its class, even with a panoramic sunroof split by a bar instead of the fixed glass roof that spans the ID.4 and Mustang Mach-E.

Supports next generation ProPilot 2.0

Another new development that Nissan shows on the Ariya is the next generation of limited hands-free driving, ProPilot Assist 2.0. Designed to resemble GM’s Super Cruise system but without being overly complicated, it allows hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of North American highways with limited access.

A control screen mounted at the top of the steering column ensures the driver is always on the lookout for the road and if not, a series of escalation warnings are activated, including brake cadence, until the system shuts down and an emergency stop is initiated. grant. The instrument cluster icons change color based on readiness, so the white steering wheel icon turns green when road conditions have been met and the system is ready. Pressing the button on the steering wheel turns the icon blue, indicating it’s active. At night, the ambient light rings the doorbell and the dash also reflects the semi-autonomous state.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

In our brief testing outside of Nashville, it performed well with good lane positioning and other vehicle awareness, although it was somewhat more reserved than the Super Cruise. It has an automatic lane change function that activates in one of three ways — through navigation settings; based on system suggestions; and with a manual flash — but in any case, the driver has to hold the wheel, making it useless. Still, it’s still possible to drive hands-free from Nashville to Chicago, with minimal driver interaction, and regular updates promise to make it even better. Every time Ariya is turned on, the HD map will be updated by TomTom.

One engine efficiency

The base Ariya with the 63 kWh battery pack has an estimated range of 216 miles, while on the other end of the spectrum, the lower Venture+ version with the 87 kWh battery pack has a 304 mile range. Most Ariyas have a rating of 289 miles. The EPA numbers translate to a good efficiency rating of 3.0 mph, but I can’t attest to that based on my hilly driving route and heavy throttle usage during my driving day.

2023 Nissan Ariya

2023 Nissan Ariya

It DC fast charging at the highest speed of 130 kw, and it uses CCS protocol, cemented Nissan diverts from CHAdeMO like the Leaf, so charging the battery from 10% to 80% at that rate takes about 40 minutes. Nissan offers a 7.2 kw built-in charger for home charging on a 240-volt circuit at up to 30 amps, allowing for a full charge in 14 hours. Those periods are longer than the competition, but not enough to be a deal breaker.

There’s a lot to like about Ariya, proving that the wait was worth it. With all-wheel drive variants, it will only get better as improved performance complements the comfortable character of Nissan’s finest car.



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