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In-depth reviews

Nissan Ariya - Interior, design and technology

Stylish design and excellent cabin quality mean that the Ariya should be able to compete with the best in class

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.4 out of 5

Price
£39,645 to £59,025
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​At first glance, the all-electric Nissan Ariya offers plenty of style and kerb appeal. Buyers will need to recalibrate their expectations about a Nissan family SUV because we think it outclasses anything else the Japanese manufacturer currently has in its line-up.

The Ariya has a minimalist exterior design that is still distinctive enough to create real desirability, but it's inside the cabin where buyers will be seriously impressed. The level of perceived quality is excellent, and better than you’ll find in any Volkswagen ID-badged rival. Wood-effect trim combines well with the premium-feel upholstery, while the ambient lighting — inspired by traditional Japanese lanterns — is a smart touch.

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Instead of traditional dials to operate the heating and ventilation functions, Nissan has used a series of haptic controls set into the dash below the 12.3-inch infotainment screen. They work surprisingly well and add to the cool interior design theme.

It’s a straightforward choice in terms of equipment levels; the Advance model is flush with useful kit and the technology, but you can add an openable panoramic sunroof as part of the ‘sky pack’, as well as the ‘Tech Pack’, which includes a 10-speaker Bose sound system, head-up display and digital rear-view mirror.

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If you step up to Evolve trim, you get all of these features, along with adaptive high beams, ventilated front and heated rear seats, Nissan's ProPilot Park system, and the sliding centre console, among other luxuries. Upgrading to Evolve spec costs around £4,000, though, so we’d save some money and stick with the regular Advance trim.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The look of the screens pegs back initial expectations of the Nissan’s infotainment system. Although the twin 12.3-inch displays are large, the resolution isn’t as high as we’d like, so the data displayed isn’t as sharp. Despite this, the software is lightyears ahead of what Nissan offers in some of its other cars. 

We’re impressed by the screen’s speed when responding to touches, while loading times, in general, are competitive with systems from rivals such as Volkswagen. The map display is bright and clear, without any fussy, unnecessary details cluttering it up. The system can also select the most energy-efficient route and suggest charging stops along your journey, plus a function to pre-condition the battery before you arrive for the most effective recharging.

Of course, there’s the added benefit of standard Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity if you want to run navigation or audio apps directly from your phone.

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