Ariya pushes the technology boundaries
It is perhaps fitting that the manufacturer that provided the first fully electric family car in the UK, should produce a second model that once again pushes the technology boundaries.
The Nissan Ariya is sleek, stylish, and packed full of advanced technology. It features a streamlined design and a claimed range of up to 330 miles on a single charge, depending on the model. It is not cheap by any means, starting at nearly £44k, but it is competitive in price when you look at the specification.
This all wheel drive version with the optional sport pack comes in at nearly £60k.
There are two trim levels, Advance and Evolve and a choice of two battery sizes, 63kWh and 87kWh and an all-wheel drive e-4orce.
A medium-sized crossover or SUV it has striking looks, with a coupe-like profile.
But this is offset by the smart, slim headlights and deep daytime running lights which double up as sweeping indicators, privacy glass and 20-inch alloys with aero covers.
It also features a rear roof spoiler and hands-free powered tailgate.
It looks good from the outside, but the interior is a quantum leap forward with innovative design, clever practical additions and oceans of room.
This model features heated and cooled front seats with Nappa leather upholstery, heated steering and wheel and unusually, heated rear seats.
The powered centre console is a clever and practical addition, opening up more space as it moves backwards. At the touch of a button, there is also a concealed oddments tray that springs from the dash.
The panoramic roof also allows more light to enhance the feeling of spaciousness. Even the rear headroom is good despite the slightly sloping roofline. The design is minimalist but still has a classy feel with twin 12.3 inch digital displays dominating.
One controls infotainment which on this model includes a high-end sound system, smartphone connectivity and navigation while the other gives real time driver information, including how the power is being consumed. It is one of the best for connecting my Android phone, connecting within seconds and many of the controls can be voice operated.
Another clever innovation are the controls which appear to be part of the faux wooden dash. They are push buttons with a haptic touch feedback and add to the elegance.
On the road, as you would expect with EVs, it is rapid off the mark, the car hits 60mph in just under six seconds and while the twin motors provide the all-wheel capability, it is more for traction in poor road conditions than actually going off-road.
It’s an SUV, so there will be some body roll if you take the corners too quickly, but the central battery position ensures near-equal weight distribution, front and rear. Otherwise, it feels sure-footed and stable and offers a comfortable enough ride.
In practical terms, the boot offers a reduced 408 litres of space on this model losing a full 50 litres to accommodate the all wheel drive, but it can be increased with folding the split car seats.
It's not cheap, but is literally packed with high-end equipment to give it that premium feel.
Mechanical: 301bhp, dual electric motors driving all wheels via a single speed automatic transmission
Max speed: 125mph
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Range: 309 (WLTP combined cycle)