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In-depth reviews

Nissan Ariya - Electric motor, drive and performance

As well as offering excellent family SUV credentials, the Nissan Ariya is good to drive and provides decent pace

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Electric motor, drive and performance Rating

4.4 out of 5

Price
£39,645 to £59,025
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​Despite being a relatively tall and heavy electric SUV, the Nissan Ariya has been engineered to deliver a surprisingly decent drive. It balances offering a comfortable ride and providing sharper handling than many of its close rivals. The Ariya’s battery pack is positioned under the centre of the car, helping to create a low centre of gravity and a near-equal weight distribution. This means the Ariya feels more agile than expected, and the light but precise steering adds to this sense of agility.

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The Ariya’s suspension may be a little firm for some, but it’s more than accomplished at dealing with the typical imperfections of UK roads. The stiffer set-up means there’s little body roll, plus there’s plenty of grip to allow you to tackle B-road corners confidently. It isn’t as fun to drive as the more dynamic Kia EV6, but the Ariya has the advantage of being more comfortable and refined.

Driving in and around town is pretty effortless, thanks mainly to the smooth throttle and the Ariya’s ability to move seamlessly between its brake regeneration system and mechanical braking. There’s no jerkiness or uncomfortable jolts as you slow to a stop, which is a real plus point when driving in heavy traffic. Switch the drive mode to Sport, and the throttle set-up becomes noticeably sharper.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

The entry-level 63kWh model delivers 214bhp and 300Nm of torque from the single electric motor driving its front wheels, which allows it to manage the 0-62mph benchmark in a reasonable 7.5 seconds. Upgrading to the 87kWh battery also gets you a stronger 239bhp electric motor, which helps mitigate the performance deficit by adding the extra weight of a larger capacity battery pack. However, acceleration is still slightly impeded, as 0-62mph is dispatched within 7.6 seconds.

If you’re prepared to spend over £50,000 on your family wheels, then you might want to consider the 302bhp all-wheel drive Ariya e-4ORCE. The top-of-the-range Ariya generates 600Nm of torque and can rocket from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds, with a 124mph top speed. If that’s still not enough, though, the e-4ORCE Evolve+ ups the power to 389bhp, further reducing the 0-62mph sprint time to 5.1 seconds.

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