After the reign of the Leaf, the Japanese brand is launching the Nissan Ariya, its first electric SUV which comes to play in a competitive segment.
It’s been twelve years since the Nissan Leaf first saw the light of day in Japan. One of the first electric cars, presented with great fanfare by the resplendent Carlos Ghosn at the time. The Leaf was not the one that was going to save the planet, but the one that wanted to democratize the emission-free car.
First attempt, first attempthishō for Yokohama, which quickly found success with its city car, still considered the most popular electric car with more than 500,000 copies sold to date. A pioneer, favored by the absence of direct competition for more than half of her career, but who unfortunately rested too much on her laurels. It took more than ten years to see the arrival of a second generation of electric car at Nissan, with the new Ariya. But now he is not the only one in the segment and some have already positioned themselves as references.
Concept car styling
The Nissan Ariya, which opens a new chapter in history Zero Emission of the brand, has chosen to tackle the road SUV segment. With a length of 4.60 m, it tackles frontally the false twins of the Volkswagen group with the Volkswagen ID4 (4.58 m) and the Skoda Enyaq (4.65 m), but also the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (4 .64 m), among other raised proposals that are 10 cm taller (MG Marvel R, Toyota bZ4X, etc.). In short, a bunch of people!
To achieve this, the Nissan Ariya embeds the CMF-EV platform that it inaugurated with the concept. A technical base developed by Nissan, shared within the Alliance and already used by the Renault Megane e-Tech. From the heralding concept car, the new SUV retains its exotic style, with smooth surface treatment and no frills. But no matter how stylistic or aerodynamic it tries, the Ariya can’t stealthily cut through the air with its silhouette. On the number side, it stabilizes at a Cx of 0.28, which is as much as the ID.4.
Due to his pencil stroke, it is the tranquility that he inspires. This is particularly the case in the cabin, which is just as relaxing as a traditional Japanese living room. The platform makes it possible to push back all the technical elements and to make room clear inside. Like its German competitor, the Ariya has a flat floor and shines not only by its spaciousness but also by its impression of space which seems inherited from the washitsu.
As in a Japanese living room, the shōji less
The materials used on the upper parts are of good quality, unlike the plastics of the lower parts. This is also where the kumiko, highlighted patterns that take up all the art of woodworking. But the materials are less flattering than Japanese cypress, of course. The intention is there, especially since the subdued lighting behind a false washi respects tradition and simply highlights the darkness as a traditional one would Chōchin.
But as in Japan, tradition coexists with modernity. And the Nissan is no exception to the rule with a large 12.3-inch digital panel placed in front of the driver, or other digital touches like the air conditioning controls on the wooden-style center console. It’s beautiful, but it requires skill to select the functions. Below there is an electrically retractable box that can be used as storage or as a bento box. But the alignment of the elements is perfectible, the absence of non-slip coating limits its use and the kinematics is slow. Just like the movement of the sliding center console, which frees up even more space at the front to the detriment of the rear seat, where any passenger will have to spread their legs. This console also includes the drive selector and controls related to driving, including the e-Pedal Step function.
All passengers will have space on board. At the rear, the wheelbase of 2.78 m allows occupants to stretch their legs. The seating position is correct, and the door cutout does not require you to hunker down more than necessary. The 468 l cube hold in this mechanical configuration with a single front engine. It is a little less than its natural competitors on the strict comparison of the figures. But it has a floor that can be split in two, useful for reaching the cables underneath. Too bad, however, the modularity remains basic and there is no trunk under the front cover. In this game, MED or CMF-EV platform, same fight!
An entry-level version just in autonomy
We had the opportunity to take control of the Nissan Ariya in its call version with the single-motor configuration and the battery with a capacity of 66 kWh, including 63 kWh useful. While the brand has not officially confirmed the name of the supplier, an exploded copy of the SUV displayed CATL modules. The whole is cooled by a hydraulic circuit at the base of the pack to ensure better performance, especially when recharging.
However, this first test was carried out in Sweden, on a particularly favorable course with drastic speed limits. It is therefore difficult to be able to bring out a realistic average autonomy when the fastest of the highways taken did not allow you to exceed 100 km/h… We will have plenty of time to go over it with a lie detector but in the meantime, this SUV has presented an average consumption of 16.2 kWh/100 km, i.e. nearly 390 km of autonomy.
A value not so far from the WLTP value, the Nissan promising an average of 403 km in this version. This could correspond to a rather favorable consumption on secondary roads. Because according to our estimates, based on our usual data, the appetite of the SUV could well revolve around 26 kWh / 100 km on our highways, or nearly 240 km of total autonomy. In any case, the battery seems a bit tight to complete the versatility of this large SUV. You will undoubtedly have to prefer the version equipped with an 87 kWh unit (533 km WTP) to enjoy it properly with your family.
Zen driving in the Nissan Ariya
Because the Nissan Ariya quickly presented its qualities as a traveler during this Swedish test. Here again, it deserves to cut through the air at 130 km/h so that we can be sure of the aerodynamic noises, but they seem to be fairly well controlled at first. A little better in any case than the rolling resonances which seem more marked. But nothing that really disturbs the tranquility on board, where passengers are bathed in comfort. Well suspended and rigorous when it comes to channeling its 1,984 kg in running order with driver, it prefers the peaceful rhythms imposed by its light and mute steering.
The permanent magnet synchronous type motor produces 218 hp (160 kW) for 300 Nm of torque, exactly the same values as the most powerful Renault Megane e-Tech. The performance is modest, with a 0 to 100 km/h in 7.5 s, a maximum speed of 160 km/h and a 80-120 km/h in 5.5 s. It’s not as snappy as a karateka, but it’s about right in the category.
It’s on the highway where he feels most comfortable, with ProPILOT semi-autonomous driving activated, letting himself be guided by his route planner. The graphics of the navigation do not appear as modern as its other on-board technologies, but the roadmaps presented are complete: we know in advance the estimated charge rate on arrival as well as the terminals where it will be necessary to recharge . On the other hand, it does not offer an automatic battery preconditioning system. It is up to the driver to do it manually, based on the recommendations of the manufacturer, who recommends activating it 30 minutes before recharging below 10°C.
Average charging speed
In this regard, the Nissan Ariya does not make a fuss. Slow charging is entrusted to a 7.4 kW system as standard, and the 22 kW device is only available as an option (1,000 €) on the highest level of finish. On fast terminals, it can aim for a peak power of 130 kW. We haven’t had the opportunity to perform a load test, but the brand promises a 20-80% in 28 minutes. Note that the two batteries have the same number of cells, but that these are therefore very different in the 87 kWh unit, without the manufacturer being able to provide us with the technical details. This could thus explain why the 87 kWh version requires 30 minutes for the same exercise and has a better maintained curve.
Difficult to establish a hierarchy for the time being in this segment in terms of charging. But we will quickly have the opportunity to establish a comparison between the Nissan Ariya and its competitors in this area. At Skoda, the Enyaq 60 has a 120 kW DC system as standard (against 135 kW on the 80 and 80 X). On the Volkswagen side, you have to take a Pro version (77 kWh) to benefit from a 135 kW charger with the recent update. As such, Nissan has confirmed to us that no update of the charging power is planned for the moment. This is a blow to the precept of kaizenyet dear to Yokohama… Finally, it is difficult to mention the Hyundai Ioniq 5 which takes off with its 800 V e-GMP platform and its cannon refills.
Essay Nissan Ariya : the balance
Nissan had taken a step ahead with the Leaf. Relying on its achievements, the brand was taken aback by competitors who are already wandering in a segment that will quickly fill up. Difficult for him to stand out, especially since the characteristics of this access version remain within the average of the segment, both in terms of efficiency and versatility.
But to better find a place for itself, it comes with an exotic style (it’s subjective), an ultra-spacious cabin and a neat presentation, despite a few perfectible adjustments on these first models. But it also comes with only two trim levels to purify the range, which put the package in terms of equipment. There are only a few cosmetic options left to choose from, as well as the 22 kW charger. In short, the proposal is pleasant. But is it enough to model the career of the Leaf?
Nothing is less certain, knowing that its call price set at €47,300 shatters any hope of a maximum ecological bonus. To benefit from it, you will therefore have to make use of an LLD offer and start a discussion with a seller who would normally be open to negotiations.
- Pleasant interior atmosphere
- Appreciable habitability
- Driving comfort
- Recharge 22 kW AC en option
- High call price
- Limited versatility