First Drive: The 2023 Nissan ARIYA Entrance Wheel Drive



Nissan pushed boldly into electrical autos with the LEAF in 2010 again when electrical autos had been little greater than a novelty and a dream. The car set the bar for what a mainstream, reasonably priced electrical car of its time ought to feel and appear like, reducing the trail for others to comply with. It was a daring and expensive push into the early world of electrical autos and polarized firm management.

Within the ten years following the preliminary launch, Nissan continued to refine the LEAF, including extra vary and smoothing out among the extra controversial design traces on the bubbly first technology car. It discovered itself and advanced right into a mainstream car with loads of vary for the common driver. As battery prices got here down and extra quick charging infrastructure was put in all over the world, the LEAF emerged as a terrific match for a lot of drivers.

The Nissan ARIYA tapping into an Electrify America DC quick charger. Picture courtesy: Nissan

Nissan has been something however idle, mapping out plans to overtake the corporate with EVs on the core below the umbrella of the Nissan NEXT initiative (PPT). It can see 20 new merchandise launched over the subsequent 5 years, constructing the bridge to 2030, when the corporate expects 40% of gross sales to be pure electrical autos. Nearly all of the brand new autos should not electrical however the plan does embrace a deal with pure electrical autos in addition to Nissan’s hybrid e-Energy line. e-Energy autos make the most of a smaller battery to energy a totally electrical powertrain with a spread extender combustion motor to supply further vary and driver consolation for longer journeys.

A foundational pillar of the initiative is Nissan’s totally electrical ARIYA crossover that’s aimed straight on the coronary heart of the favored phase. Nissan invited CleanTechnica out to drive the ARIYAs and we eagerly headed out to Nashville, Tennessee to place some miles on the thrilling new market entrant.

Disclaimer: Nissan paid for the creator’s journey and lodging to attend this occasion.

Behind the Wheel

We got single motor, front-wheel drive configurations of the ARIYA as it’ll launch first. An all-wheel drive construct can be launched shortly after the preliminary launch. On the facility and efficiency aspect, acceleration is constant following a really linear curve up from a cease. It is a sharp distinction to some extra performance-oriented autos which actually lean into the moment torque supplied by electrical motors to supply a a lot punchier acceleration off the road. Whereas it’s much less thrilling off the road, the extra tame acceleration curve interprets to extra vary per cost.

That’s to not say that it isn’t peppy. The ARIYA packs a pleasant bump when accelerating, with a 0-60 time of seven.2 seconds, with the all wheel drive model boasting a extra respectable time of 4.8 seconds. Larger velocity torque had much less high finish, however there nonetheless wasn’t any level in our almost 4 hours of driving the ARIYA on freeways, highways, metropolis streets, and heavy visitors the place it felt prefer it wanted extra punch.

Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Letting up on the accelerator within the ARIYA summons Nissan’s non-compulsory e-Step system to interact the electrical motor to gradual the car with regeneration. This makes for a extra pure, environment friendly drive because the motor pulls energy from the shifting car, pushing it again into the battery. It supplies a close to excellent one-pedal driving expertise, although it is not going to deliver the car to an entire cease. Regen isn’t as robust as we’ve got seen in different electrical autos, however undoubtedly supplies a noticeable deceleration. This makes informal driving far more relaxed with simply the accelerator pedal getting used for the overwhelming majority of cases.

If it’s worthwhile to decelerate quicker, the brake pedal can nonetheless be used to interact the friction brakes. We stomped the brakes in our testing and the friction brakes clamp introduced the car to a cease rapidly and in a managed method, slowing the velocity of the car as my adrenaline spiked in response. The ARIYA’s brake system retains the brakes engaged for 1 / 4 second or so after releasing the pedal, leading to a lot much less physique sway entrance to again when releasing the brake pedal. It’s a pleasant impact that contributed to a extra premium driving expertise.

We ran Nissan’s ProPILOT 2 by way of the gamut and located it to be helpful, however not excellent. We wrote a devoted piece up on that, so head over there to unpack the complete ProPILOT 2 expertise from the Nissan ARIYA.

A Refined Design

The appear and feel of the cabin is extra trendy than most of Nissan’s lineup, due to a totally reimagined inside. A flat flooring sits on the large battery pack and Nissan was very intentional about maximizing the open areas it allowed. Tasteful Kumiko-style accents alongside the inside doorways and alongside the entrance corners of the car carry the standard Japan’s woodworking design all through the car.

The middle tunnel is gone and Nissan’s engineers set to work imagineering a totally new heart console idea. They landed on a shifting heart console that enables the driving force to, on the push of a button, transfer the middle console from a traditional place in the direction of the rear a full 8 inches. This opens up the entrance of the automotive and actually makes it really feel extra relaxed, with an ethereal zen like really feel.

The ethereal, trendy inside of the Nissan ARIYA is punctuated by a handful of built-in haptic buttons. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Complementing the brand new heart console is a equally motorized entrance tray that opens up from the middle of the sprint and pushes out in the direction of the middle console. The tray has room for storage and a flat lid that may make a spot for a laptop computer or pill to sit down on whereas charging. It’s an attention-grabbing thought, but it surely feels half baked. The drawer mechanism is painfully gradual and feels overly sophisticated for one thing so simple as a drawer. I can’t assist however marvel why they didn’t simply put one other display screen optimized for media when parked.

All through the inside, Nissan opted for built-in haptic buttons for the handful of options that should be frequently accessed. These buttons might be engaged with only a contact of the floor. Utilizing haptic buttons let Nissan add buttons with out having to disrupt the sleek circulate of the floor. The commerce off is in seems. A smooth darkish gray wooden look sprint soothes the eyes as you enter, with the daring colours of the flush buttons coming out unnaturally into the expertise. The presence of the buttons makes it apparent that a lot of the inside finishes are little greater than plastic, diminishing the in any other case premium expertise.

The spacious rear seats of the Nissan ARIYA. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

Fortunately, the haptic buttons themselves work extraordinarily nicely. A lightweight contact on the button adjusts issues like temperature, defrost entrance and rear fan velocity up and down, and the opposite primary local weather controls you’d anticipate finding in a contemporary car. Again on the middle console, the auto park button finds a house in addition to the drive mode selector swap which allows the driving force to change between sport, customary, and eco modes within the car relying on driver choice.

We discovered eco mode to be understandably tame, very similar to a Toyota Prius in its best setting. It’s far more stress-free and environment friendly and helps keep away from pointless dashing tickets. For extra spirited driving, Sport mode summons the complete energy of the motor and is a ton of enjoyable when launching onto a freeway onramp or to have a little bit of enjoyable when taking off at a inexperienced gentle.

The slick heads up show projected present velocity, velocity restrict, and data from the ADAS system onto the windshield for straightforward viewing with out having to look away. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The Nissan e-Step button additionally lives on the middle console, permitting the driving force to activate and off Nissan’s one pedal driving system. Lastly, the haptic swap permitting the driving force to open and shut the middle console drawer can also be on high of the excessive tech console. Apart from a number of rigorously positioned buttons within the car, the overwhelming majority of the controls are both built-in into the contact display screen system.

Overhead, an expansive panoramic glass roof supplies an open really feel to the highest and supplies a bit extra headroom. In contrast to the glass rooftops utilized in many different electrical autos, Nissan gives a canopy motorized cowl that slides over the glass. This enables house owners dwelling in hotter climates or who’re delicate to the solar to mute the expertise and provides a complete new layer of consolation with out having to sacrifice the choice of the panoramic glass roof. Closing the glass ceiling cowl does make the inside really feel smaller and extra cozy, however is a welcome addition for these delicate to the solar like myself.

Don’t search for. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The entrance part of the dual pane panoramic glass roof additionally opens. It’s a pleasant addition for air flow and simply to really feel a wind blowing by way of your hair or the solar shining straight in your pores and skin. It’s a pleasant contact and actually contributes to the premium inside of the Nissan ARIYA, particularly contemplating what number of in any other case lovely panoramic glass roofs don’t open up.

Nissan selected to make use of the house below the hood of the car for the HVAC and thermal administration methods for the car. They did this to open up extra cabin house and legroom for the driving force to supply a extra open ethereal setting contained in the car. The commerce off right here is that you don’t get a frunk within the ARIYA. Frunks are tremendous cool however so is an open cabin. It’s neat to see Nissan exploring the potential of electrical autos with out simply hopping blindly onto each trade design pattern.

The rear trunk of the ARIYA incorporates a sub trunk for straightforward storage of things you don’t want on a regular basis. Picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica

The infotainment system within the ARIYA boasts each Apple play and Android Auto. In our testing, we linked a Google Pixel 6 to the automotive’s Android Auto  system and used it for navigation by way of Google maps and music by way of Spotify. The core capabilities and integration with the car carried out flawlessly within the ARIYA. The middle 12-inch touchscreen show within the ARIYA is responsive and makes for an attractive navigation expertise by way of Android Auto.


It’s thrilling seeing Nissan deliver its years of expertise with the LEAF to bear on the favored crossover phase. Its clear, trendy design will enchantment to mainstream patrons all over the world and the seamless integration of know-how solely serves to amplify the electrical car expertise. ARIYA’s worth ranges from $47,190 as much as $60,190, positioning it proper across the post-COVID common new car promoting worth right here within the US of over $50k. The ARIYA is priced for western markets and may give Nissan a pleasant entry level into excessive quantity, international electrical autos with their increased price of products bought as the corporate works to ramp up electrification efforts.


  • MSRP: $47,190 for the ENGAGE AWD w/Commonplace battery as much as $60,190 for the Platinum+ AWD with Lengthy Vary pack
  • Battery Capability (Commonplace Vary Pack): 66 kWh (63 kWh usable) liquid-cooled lithium-ion pack
  • Battery Capability (non-compulsory Lengthy Vary Pack): 91kWh (87 kWh usable) liquid-cooled lithium-ion pack
  • AC Charging: 7.2 kW on board charger
  • DC Quick Charging: As much as 130 kW CCS1 customary
  • Vary (63 kWh FWD Interact trim): 216 miles / 348 kilometers EPA
  • Vary (87 kWh FWD Enterprise+ trim): 304 miles / 489 kilometers EPA
  • Vary (87 kWh FWD Evolve+, Empower+, Premiere rim): 289 miles / 465 kilometers EPA
  • Motor (63 kWh FWD): 160 kW / 214 hp single externally excited synchronous motor w/ 221 lb-ft torque
  • Motor (87 kWh FWD): 178 kW / 238 hp single externally excited synchronous motor w/ 221 lb-ft torque

Take a look at the complete spec sheet for the 2023 Nissan ARIYA FWD for all of the juicy particulars.

Featured picture credit score: Kyle Subject, CleanTechnica


Recognize CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech information protection? Contemplate turning into a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.


Do not wish to miss a cleantech story? Join day by day information updates from CleanTechnica on e-mail. Or comply with us on Google Information!


Have a tip for CleanTechnica, wish to promote, or wish to recommend a visitor for our CleanTech Speak podcast? Contact us right here.