Nissan is expanding its line of electric vehicles with the 2023 Ariya SUV, which will go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2022. The Ariya will join the Leaf hatchback in the Nissan showroom and will offer up to 304 miles of driving range, which beats the Leaf’s maximum of 226. The Ariya’s design represents a shift from the current sharp, angular lines seen on many of Nissan’s vehicles. The low, wide stance of the Ariya differentiates it from the Rogue and gives it a sportier look. Two different battery sizes will be offered—a 63.0-kWh battery is standard, and a larger 87.0-kWh pack is optional—as well as either front- or all-wheel drive. A host of driver-assistance features, infotainment tech, and convenience items will be included here, helping the 2022 Ariya compete with similarly sized EV crossovers, such as the Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Kona Electric.
What’s New for 2023?
The Ariya is an all-new vehicle for Nissan. It features Nissan’s updated driver-assistance system (ProPilot 2.0), which debuted on the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline sedan. The Ariya is said to deliver up to 304 miles of driving range, but only when equipped with the front-wheel-drive configuration and the larger 87.0-kWh battery pack.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Ariya’s $44,485 starting price puts it above the Leaf and other affordable EVs but under the base price of the Model Y, but that entry-level Engage model comes with a smaller battery pack and a lower 216-mile estimated driving range. We’re of the mindset that to successfully switch from gasoline to electricity, range is key, so we’d go with the Venture+ trim which boasts the longest driving range among the Ariya’s four trim levels at 304 miles per charge.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
Unlike the Leaf, which comes only with front-wheel drive, Nissan is pulling from features developed in other cars, including the GT-R sports car’s torque-split system, to offer optional all-wheel drive via a dual-front/rear-electric-motor configuration. The front-wheel drive model we tested hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds but the more powerful e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive Ariya is significantly quicker. We estimate that model will zip from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, a feat that is similar to higher-end electric vehicles. From what we’ve experienced so far, the Ariya provides a calm, stable ride that should please most buyers, but it lacks the sporty nature we driving enthusiasts prefer.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Venture+ offers up to 304 miles of driving range per charge, which is quite a step up from the Leaf’s maximum range of 226 miles. Front-wheel drive Evolve+, Empower+, and Premiere models offer up to 289 miles per charge and the top-spec Platinum+ is supposedly good for up to 265. Going with the base Engage trim requires compromising on range due to that model’s smaller battery pack which is rated for only 216 miles per charge. With the optional dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain, the Ariya offers a maximum of 272 miles of driving range. When we tested a front-wheel-drive Empower+ model on our 75 mph highway fuel economy route, we recorded a 240-mile range. The Ariya will be capable of charging at home on 110- or 240-volt outlets as well as at public charging stations and even DC fast-charging ports.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
According to the EPA, the most efficient Ariya is the Venture+ model, which is rated for 111 MPGe city and 95 MPGe highway. On our 75-mph highway route, we recorded 84 MPGe in a front-wheel drive Empower+ model. For more information about the Ariya’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Ariya’s interior looks futuristic and minimal. Nissan has discarded every button possible in pursuit of a smooth dashboard that favors a sleek look to match the design of the exterior. Despite Nissan’s claim that the Ariya’s cabin is unlike a traditional automotive interior, its minimalistic theme appears to be its sole unique trait. Not that the cabin isn’t a nice place to spend time. A flat, low floor creates a spacious feeling inside, and Nissan has incorporated its comfy zero-gravity seats into the design. The rear seat space is noticeably less generous than the front, but a pair of adults will still find it comfortable and roomy enough even for long-distance travel.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
Dual 12.3-inch displays serve as both the digital gauge cluster and the infotainment screen. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and in-dash navigation are all standard features. Wireless smartphone charging and a head-up display are available as well. The infotainment system features both Amazon Alexa and a built-in voice assistant.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Ariya features ProPilot 2.0, Nissan’s second generation of the ProPilot driver-assistance technology, as an optional feature. The system allows drivers to remove their hands from the wheel in certain driving scenarios and in our experience it works quite well. For more information about the Ariya’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with a hands-free driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
We predict the Ariya will come with the same basic warranty package as the Leaf when it goes on sale. That warranty should include a competitive bumper-to-bumper policy as well as battery protection that stretches over eight years or 100,000 miles.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Battery warranty covers eight years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
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2023 Nissan Ariya Empower
Vehicle Type: front-motor, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $54,985/$57,850
Options: 19-inch wheels, $1900; two-tone paint, $350; garage door opener, $365; floor mats, $250.
Motor: current-excited synchronous AC
Power: 238 hp
Torque: 221 lb-ft
Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 87.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 7.2 kW
Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 130 kW
Transmission: single-speed direct-drive
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Dunlop Grandtrek PT21
235/55R-19 101V M+S
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length: 182.9 in
Width: 74.8 in
Height: 65.4 in
Passenger Volume: 96 ft3
Cargo Volume, F/R: 60/23 ft3
Curb Weight: 4726 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 7.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.9 sec @ 92 mph
100 mph: 19.0 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.5 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.7 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.8 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 103 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.85 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY AND CHARGING
Observed: 84 MPGe
75-mph Highway Range: 240 mi
Average DC Fast-Charge Rate, 10–90%: 99 kW
DC Fast-Charge Time, 10–90%: 40 min
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 98/105/91 MPGe
Range: 289 mi
C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specs