Niss' of life | 

All-electric Nissan Ariya is a joy to drive and should upset the established models

In a very successful and claustrophobic market this new Ariya should be on everyone’s radar

Both Motormouths think this Ariya should disrupt the more established EVs

The interior is luxurious, spacious and rammed full of tech and gadgets

Daragh Keany and Robbie FarrellSunday World

Please consider this an important public service announcement…we are here today to tell you about a car that only a lucky few of you have sitting in your driveway.

It is a car that goes directly up against the heavyweights of the EV world like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, VW ID.4, Kia EV6 and the Skoda Enyaq but still trails behind in the sales. Okay, so it is the new kid on the block so it was always going to be playing catch up.

But the Nissan Ariya is easily one of our favourite cars of the year and can easily hold its own against the other three high-selling behemoths.

Their experience in EVs thanks to the Leaf, means Nissan is coming in hot in a claustrophobic market and has created a work of art. We now know why the Leaf has fallen behind in recent years and it is because the Japanese company have been channelling all of their attention and firepower into the brand new 500km+ range Ariya.

Described as a coupe-crossover means you could be forgiven for assuming that headroom and space may be at a premium inside this car, but the truth is that this car is far bigger than it looks and expected.

Think of it as a Qashqai-sized full electric SUV; designed with high-end premium materials and loaded up with some really good user-friendly tech.

The minimalist design inside is created in an upmarket fashion giving you a sense that you are in something special and, in truth, normally associated with German premium-badged cars. Even the seats are gorgeous with bucket loads of comfort and support.

There are two large screens on the dashboard sitting behind a deliciously unique layout that thrusts touch-sensitive surfaces into the panels like we haven’t seen before.

The interior is luxurious, spacious and rammed full of tech and gadgets

The interior’s big USP here though is the electronically adjustable gigantic centre console which slides back and forth to create a high-set armrest, or you can move it back to leave a clear floor between driver and passenger.

There’s actually another tray too that emerges from the dash hidden the tough of one of the Ariya’s hidden buttons which offers extra storage for the front two in the car.

You also get all the usual wireless charging, cup holders, USB charging ports and glovebox options too meaning nothing has been left out to create the apparent extra space.

The lack of transmission tunnel in this EV means row two is completely flat bottomed creating more space (do you see the theme here?) for the passengers. And while most of our driving was done with kids varying in age from nine up to 19, you could easily fit three adults in the rear.

It even feels spacious thanks to the car's panoramic glass roof. Features in the back include air conditioning, USB ports, two ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats (there’s a third in the front passenger seat too by the way) and soft white ambient lighting features in the doors and floor.

The boot is probably the one glaring box that doesn’t get ticked when compared to the other big names in the market. The Ariya comes with a 466-ltr boot which is 25 litres smaller than the EV6 and nearly 120litres smaller than the Enyaq.

Opting for the company’s e-4orce four-wheel drive version also reduces that space to 408 litres so be warned. Luckily for both Motormouth reviewers, neither of us require a large boot for buggies and golf clubs so it wasn’t a problem at all. But it may be a deal breaker for some.

It really is the only minor flaw in what is a ridiculously fun car to drive.

With over a decade of experience in the Leaf, Nissan can instantly boast a safe and firm driving experience with easy cornering that grips to the road.

It is almost completely silent (they have installed double-glazed side glass) when sauntering along on urban commutes and school runs but isn’t afraid to travel quickly when you floor it.

The front-wheeled drive taps into the 242hp (there is a smaller 217hp available too) easily and traction is not a problem on this gem.

The e-Pedal option allows you to drive using one pedal but neither of us are huge fans of this driving mode. There's also an enhanced brake energy regeneration mode which makes for a smoother drive and adds to the vehicles already-impressive economy numbers.

Pricing starts at €48,995, and the model line-up comprises Advance and Evolve trim levels, with a choice of 63kWh and 87kWh batteries. At a rapid DC charger (you’ll be lucky to find one to be honest), the 63kWh battery can be charged to 80pc in just 30 minutes.

The full range at purchase is claimed to be 535km but you can take it from both of us that it is below 500km. But not by much and don’t let that put you off as proposed ranges rarely get achieved in any EV and a lot of the Ariya’s competitors cannot compete with this number.

This is an absolute beauty of a thing that should be on everyone’s wish list. We can be very boring when it comes to car buying here in Ireland.

The best cars are rarely the best-selling ones. Nissan is an established brand with an established track record in the EV market so this car should fly for them.


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