2023 Nissan Ariya First Drive Review

Nissan has finally released the follow-up to its pioneering Leaf EV. In short, it’s a good small-midsize electric SUV but it will not redefine the segment. In fact, it’s very average in most aspects meaning that it will suit the needs of the vast majority of consumers. Its major problem is pricing when compared to its immediate competition like the 2023 Volkswagen ID.4. And yes, we still have audio issues… Apologies.

Can you believe that it’s been almost two and a half years since nissan first teased the upcoming reveal of their highly anticipated follow-up to the first mass-produced eevee in the world the leaf it has been and finally here we have it this is the 2023 nissan aria and that’s accent on the ah is as you can see a large compact or small mid-size ev suv and my first

Impressions because this is a first drive are that it is exactly what nissan does best which is give you everything you absolutely need on average and it really really works because nissan has had some massive success selling cars like the ultimate just job but that’s not the point right here but this busy segment now already has a volkswagen id for the ionic 5 the

Key suv6 the mustang mach e from ford and it’s getting busier and it’s gonna get busier much very quickly is what i’m trying to say now i won’t give you all the pricing details right now but the base price is 52 998 dollars for with the smaller 63 kilowatt hour and that’s net battery already right there there’s a tiny bit of an issue because there are vehicles

The larger battery that are priced a little bit less and our rear wheel drive as opposed to front wheel drive which for some premium aspect what we’re going to do in a following a video and if you have watched one or two thank you so much very much appreciated uh we’re going to discover together in this sans new design language for evs going forward and we’re

Going to take it for a drive now it’s only been a few minutes but so far like the design and the packaging the drive have been perfectly average and that’s a good thing i really mean that that is a compliment anyhow so here we go walk around then a drive all right so a couple of things going forward first of all uh we’re going old school because my audio equipment

Has completely failed therefore we’re hoping that the iphone mic picks up everything i have to say and two well as you can very well see i probably should have shot this part of the video before we got to the lunch spot which has gravel roads as you can see but you know what it’s kind of i don’t know it kind of compliments it’s an suv right it’s a rugged no i’ll

Forget about it i didn’t say anything um so look we’re just gonna do in a walk around of the new 23 aria and for all intents and purposes i think from this angle it’s where it looks best i really have to say i like the light bar it’s not exactly novel it’s on a number of other suvs but well now it’s dusty but when it’s clean it just it’s blacked out which is kind

Of nice and then obviously the entire thing lights up when you uh turn the lights on um as we continue to walk around i mean i love the dual shirts in a tennis it’s very cool oh and a spoiler is very neat too uh that’s standard too so it’s not an accessory or an add-on um and it’s good looking i mean you know nobody is going to be a real fan of those wheels

But they have an aerodynamic effect i’m certain um oh yeah to give you an idea of the size okay so from nose or yeah nose to rear you’re looking at about a rogue-sized vehicle but the wheelbase is more murano style so you can tell that there’s a lot of interior space look how short the overhangs are on each end as we complete the walk around we come around to

This side this is the new nissan shield the reimagined for the aria for the future of nissan and okay so our example is actually a very lovely metallic flaked uh blue color and the totally blacked out shield really blends in nicely same thing for the flares which are black but there’s a silver one uh over on display and that whole front end is far more prominent

I think it’s a little bit nicer or easier to absorb when it’s blended into the background as opposed to stick out um okay so so and once more you’ll have to forgive me for this because there are lots of new trims with the 23 aria i won’t pretend that i remember all of them but i can tell you that the base model which i mentioned the pricing 52 998 will get you

Front wheel drive so single motor configuration a 63 kilowatt hour that’s net uh battery size for a grand total of 348 kilometers of range at the very at the very other end of the pricing spectrum you have the platinum which is 69 198 and we’ll give you an 87 net kilowatt hour battery dual motors a lot more power and a lot more range i’ll tell you a little bit

More about that once we get behind the wheel of the car so now to our tester and the other reason why i’m confused with all the trims i really apologize i’m usually better prepared but this is a quick event so as you can see this is an m power plus but that’s as i just showed you is a us trim the equivalent in canada is going to be the evolve plus because it has

The larger 87 net kilowatt hour battery and it has the front wheel drive configuration so this is essentially your range queen in the entire lineup of arya’s for 2023. i’ll tell you now it’s 490 kilometers which is pretty damn good if you ask me okay so by the way this model retails for 64 998 dollars and includes a bunch of things including leatherette’s heads up

Display power hatch and a number of other features so the hatch itself opens up to a trunk that’s 645 liters of space it’s actually it it’s more than it looks in fact because you have all the storage down below the surface of the trunk parties for my shadow little cubby holes on either end and when you put the rear seat back down you add about a thousand liters

To all that but should you keep it up and use it for actual passengers i mean there is a ton of room back there so that’s my driving position as per norm the norm that’s for a slightly taller bigger passenger that i had and there’s still a fair amount of room even for an average size adult ingress and egress is very easy thanks to the very very wide opening and two

Note these are pre-production models so that would explain i think why this is this plastic is so glossy but otherwise this is lovely this is because it’s a higher trim like i said in evolve plus it’s actually quite nice i mean the attention to detail in here is is huge now let’s just go to the front so this is your leather and it’s actually got suede inserts in the

Seats which is really nice these are zero gravity seats which are wonderfully comfortable i mean it’s almost invasive because they actually touch every part of your back the small the lower the mid the middle of the everything it’s it’s very nice um like i said i mean you can’t well i guess you can kind of tell that this is this is a very premium approach uh and

One of the things as to why that is is because nissan is putting a lot of emphasis on the fact that this is kind of a lounge the reality is actually before i tell you what the reality is this is a neat feature kind of i mean it’s novel at first but i think maybe it grows old or you don’t really use it another thing you might use though is you ready these are new

Neat little marketing boys i guess that you know nissan will use and people will associate to the aria so it’s all good as far as storage though while i’m up here not much two cup holders it isn’t exactly any room under here the door bins are limited per se so it’s a lounge with not that much room for your gear and stuff but here also i mean getting in and out is

Fantastic the seats are good um so oh yeah while i’m here this is really nice it’s a twin 12 inch display which is well i guess it’s a must-have in 2023 or for 2023 and a nice little lovely animation uh the gauges are lovely everything is very presentable there’s a lot of ways to configure it volume volume okay um and as far as space is concerned i mean nissan

Says it’s lounge-like but my passenger and i not the smallest guys but uh we’re both feeling quite snug in here uh these are your haptic buttons so the only hard button you’re gonna find well are your hazards and that’s for tuning and your volume knob everything else are haptic surfaces which is very beautiful but in other vehicles i’m not saying it’s the case here

Sometimes depending on the lights and the way things are set up you can’t really see the button yes like i said you know there’s a haptic feedback to them so that’s kind of nice um you kind of have to concentrate quite a bit in order to make them you know to select the right button because there’s there’s no 3d effect going on but it looks very clean and i mean

It’s not real wood but you know it’s it’s believable screen the menus everything that i’ve used so far that is home it’s always difficult working through the phone um you know everything is fairly straightforward and simple the the hmi and the infotainment system are up to par with everything you would ever want in a modern vehicle so here are your drive modes

This one i’ll shown to you right here sports standard in eco then there’s the e-step button see in the well middle to the left see it lights up blue so that’s like an aggressive regen breaking mode and then when you toggle the shifter into drive if you toggle once more you get into b so that’s your max engine re-break max engine re braking i know i know what i’m

Saying brake regent mode i got this um it’s very nice on the inside i really like the steering wheel fit and finish for a pre-production model is exemplary i must say and the driving experience is actually really nice so let’s do that now all right so as i mentioned this is an evil plus large battery front wheel drive so again because of the two batteries the

Two different motor configurations there are multiple outputs uh so for the base front-wheel drive with the smaller battery to 14 horsepower to 21 pound-feet of torque with the larger battery front wheel drive has 238 horsepower 221 torx when you add a second engine motor with the smaller battery horsepower goes up to 335 and then if you go the large battery and

All-wheel drive you’re up to 389 horsepower and in both cases well into the 400 pound-feet of torque for both but this version which will probably be very this configuration i should say which will probably be very popular in the us won’t be assumingly not the highest take rate because in canada we love our all-wheel drive so that means minimum 335 horsepower for

You and me okay sorry about that okay so driving the arya has turned out to be well there’s only one piece of bad news and i guess i can start with that right now um the i showed you the drive modes and the e-step regen braking setup essentially why it’s not called e-pedal like in the leaf well it’s because there’s no one pedal driving offered in this vehicle

The leaf and apparently according to nissan this is what consumers wanted i have i’m confused about that because one of the best features in an ev is one pedal drive but what do i know anyhow so right now i’m in uh i’m in d i’m in eco drive mode so i’m being and i mean e-step as well so i’m being very green driving speed limit and uh range so far seems very

Believable at 490 because we haven’t been exactly been well we haven’t been very kind to it let’s say and uh 45 kilometers 45 left and the range is still around 200 kilometers so i i think 490 is a very believable number in these ideal driving conditions as always i guess we can keep talking about batteries so the aria is capable of 130 kilowatts charging power

And speed which you know in 2023 seems a little low but nissan has a reason for it and this is what they told us it’s basically for reliability purposes so unlike evs that i’ve driven just this past summer which can charge at speeds almost twice as fast i mean the speeds vary wildly according to this sound with this speed this rating it’s going to be stable more

Reliable and you have a much better chance of you know getting a good charge quickly without any variations reliability that’s the answer it’s got a 7.2 kilowatt onboard charger meaning on a level two home charger uh the 63 kilowatt hour battery needs about 10 and a half hours for a full zero to 100 state of charge if you have the 87 kilowatt not this yes this

One a seven kilowatt hour net battery looking at closer to 14 and change which is par for the course it’s understandable it works it makes sense it’s all good speaking of good i guess i’ll just go into standard drive mode with 238 hp to 21.5 feet of torque and a vehicle this size and weight i mean the power is good the torque is instantaneous as we’ve come to

Expect in these evs but like other evs in this range say non-performance versions the power tapers off fairly quickly but there’s plenty of it when you’re merging on the highway or you want to pass um i’m expecting lots of fun with dual motor versions absolutely uh so the power is good it’s decent it’s fine uh the steering wheels are responding to my inputs and i

Can’t ask more of that brake pedal feel is okay it’s a little spongy and there’s a fair amount of travel but it works it’s good um and then there’s the ride quality we are in tennessee not too far from nashville and even the rough roads like the rough country road that i’m on right now are about as smooth and pretty as the best roads in the greater montreal area

And i’m finding uh that and the ride is a little bits stiffy i hate using stiff but it’s a little bit harsh it’s like the chassis is tuned for a little bit more of a sporty feel than outright comfort which means translated into montreal roads that i’m probably gonna you know complain that the ride is not as good or not as comfortable as it probably should be

But overall i have to say i was expecting a little bit less from this end i i don’t know why guilty as charged i’m admitting it um but at the same time it’s doing exactly what i thought and this and evie would do which is be the one ev to do it all i mean it’s the perfect average evie that will give you enough range enough comfort enough luxury enough space it

Will answer nearly all questions and requirements for consumers in fact the bottom line the only issue is price you know other rear wheel drives small mid-size or a large compact electric suvs have a marginally smaller or same size maybe even a little bit larger battery a little bit more range and they’re three to five thousand dollars cheaper with a rear mounted

Engine that could play against it but right now there’s so much demand for electric suvs that nissan will sell absolutely everything they can build um there isn’t much more i can add to that i’m pleasantly surprised with the novel design um the packaging this is a pre-production model and it feels really good i have to admit it drives wonderfully well and um that’s it

Transcribed from video
2023 Nissan Ariya First Drive Review By Motor Illustrated