New 2021 Nissan Ariya electric crossover on sale from £41,845

Order books have opened for the new all-electric Nissan Ariya coupe-crossover, with prices starting from just under £42k

Order books have opened for the new Nissan Ariya, the electric coupe-crossover set to square up against the Tesla Model Y. The Arya’s four-strong line-up is priced from £41,845 for the entry-level Advance variant, rising to £58,440 for the flagship Performance model. Deliveries will commence in summer of next year.

The Ariya’s design sticks pretty close to that of a concept that was revealed at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. It’s 4.59 metres long, so closer to the dimensions of the X-Trail than the Qashqai, and has a look that’s more an evolution of the current Leaf’s than a close relation to the rest of Nissan’s line-up.

At the front, there’s a closed grille – flanked by 20 LEDs making up what Nissan calls a ‘shield’ – to highlight the fact that the Ariya is electric only. Ultra-slim LED headlights, which include four 20mm projectors each, are combined with animated indicators. The grille itself houses a plethora of sensors to help with Nissan’s ProPilot driver-assistance systems.

The profile shows how long the Ariya’s wheelbase is; at 2,775mm, it’s 70cm longer than an X-Trail’s. The car has a slightly stretched look exacerbated by a ‘floating’ roofline that tapers away noticeably towards the rear; a single arch of chrome helps to fool the eye and give the car an even swoopier appearance.

The rear has a strong shoulder crease integrated into the bootlid, along with a single ‘light blade’ that is designed to look black when the car is switched off. The model in these launch images has a two-tone copper package called Akatsuki, but the Ariya can be ordered with six two-tone combinations (each with a contrasting black roof), as well as four full-body paint finishes.

Platform, range and performance

The Ariya sits on a new architecture developed by the Alliance that also includes Renault and Mitsubishi. Called CMF-EV, it was designed from the outset for pure-electric vehicles alone. The new model is offered with a choice of front or four-wheel drive, along with a pair of battery options and a variety of electric motor outputs.

The entry-level Ariya Advance is front-wheel drive, and produces 215bhp and 300Nm – enough to take the car from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 99mph. It gets the smaller of the battery options, 65kWh (or 63kWh usable), which gives the car a 223-mile range under the WLTP test regime. That is helped by this being the lightest Ariya offered, at around 1,800kg. 

The next model up, the Evolve, gets a bigger 90kWh battery (87kWh usable) and a more potent 239bhp front-drive motor, presumably to help shift the extra mass that comes with the additional cells. As a result, performance remains similar, although there’s another 77 miles of range, totalling 310 miles.

Then there’s the Ariya e-4ORCE Evolve, which is equipped with Nissan’s electric four-wheel-drive system. This setup can control the levels of torque delivered between the front and rear, but it stops short of full torque vectoring across each axle; instead it uses the brakes at each corner to help improve the newcomer’s agility and handling on the road. The e-4ORCE Evolve is fitted with the larger 87kWh battery, with 302bhp and up to 285 miles of range. The extra power cuts the Ariya’s 0-62mph time to 5.7 seconds.

But it’s the Ariya e-4ORCE Performance that steals the performance headlines, with a healthy 389bhp and 600Nm of torque, enabling a 0-62mph time of just 5.1 seconds. But it takes a hit in range to achieve these numbers, managing just 248 miles. Both e-4ORCE models raise the Ariya’s top speed from 99mph to 124mph.

The Advance edition of the car receives a 7.4kW AC charger as standard for home connections, while all other models include a 22kW three-phase set-up. Nissan says the Ariya can support up to 130kW DC charging, which allows up to 375km (around 230 miles) of range to be added to the Ariya’s battery pack in around 30 minutes.

Interior and technology

The Ariya’s cabin treatment represents perhaps the most major departure from Nissan’s current range, with a radical layout that mixes higher-quality finishes and technology. No matter which trim level you choose, the dashboard is dominated by a pair of 12.3-inch screens – one is a central display for the infotainment system and the other is an adjacent digital instrument panel that sits ahead of the driver. 

Nissan says the two screens can function independently or, when required, as one operating environment, allowing information to be ‘swiped’ between them. Voice control also features, via a digital assistant activated by the phrases ‘Hello Nissan’ and ‘Hey Nissan’. The dash itself features no physical buttons; they’ve been replaced by haptic touch-sensitive controls integrated into the smart grained material that runs across the fascia.

The Ariya’s system includes 4G connectivity and is the first ‘always-on’ Nissan that can receive over-the-air updates for everything from the infotainment system to the chassis and EV settings. Smartphone integration will allow appointments and climate control instructions to be fed to the car in advance of any journey, too.

The infotainment system features support for Amazon Alexa voice control. Nissan says this allows owners to remotely check the status of the Ariya’s battery pack and range. Using the same function, drivers can also activate household smart devices, such as lights and heating, using the Ariya’s infotainment system.

Elsewhere in the cabin, there’s extensive use of either plush materials or simple, textured surfaces; the overall look is considerably more premium than any Nissan we’ve seen before. Under the instrument panel there’s a storage box that incorporates a slide-out tray that can turn the front cabin into a mobile office. And the flat floor and relatively long wheelbase should deliver good space for rear-seat passengers.

The boot capacity is 466 litres on two-wheel-drive cars, but e-4ORCE models lose a little of that because of the additional motor; their load bay stands at 408 litres.

Prices and specs

For £41,845, the Ariya Advance offers all the aforementioned kit, and an interior trimmed in black synthetic leather with fabric inserts. The two-wheel drive Evolve model gains a 22kW charger, a Bose stereo and an electric panoramic sunroof for £51,090. 

Evolve models can also be specified with black or grey synthetic leather upholstery, or blue Nappa leather. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels - unavailable with the Ariya Advance - can be optioned, too, as well as the Sport Pack. This bundles the 20-inch alloy wheels with the blue Nappa leather interior for a small cost saving. The e-4ORCE Evolve offers the same kit list and commands a £2,700 premium.

The range-topping Ariya e-4ORCE Performance costs from £58,440, and includes the most extensive standard equipment list: blue Nappa leather upholstery, 20-inch alloys and the Bose sound system are all fitted as standard. A head-up display and ‘intelligent’ rearview mirror also feature.

Nissan predicts strong residuals for the Ariya compared with its rivals; pricing experts CAP HPI expect the car to retain 57 per cent of its value over three years and 30,000 miles. The Ariya can also be ordered on a PCP scheme, with monthly payments starting from £629 for the Evolve model with 5.81 per cent APR and a £6,616 deposit. This offer is over a 37-month contract, with an annual mileage limit of 10,000.

What do you think of the Nissan Ariya? Let us know in the comments below...

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