Read Caroline’s Nissan Ariya review for everything you need to know about buying Nissan’s new electric SUV in Ireland.

It’s over 10 years since Nissan launched the Leaf in Ireland, the brand’s first mass market electric car. At the time, electric cars were still on the fringes. Today they account for just under 15% of the Irish new car market, and the tide has definitely turned in their favour.

In recent years Nissan has become synonymous with family crossovers and SUVS like the popular Nissan Qashqai and the X-Trail. Now they look to drive on the electric revolution with the arrival of the new Nissan Ariya, a new large electric SUV.

The new Nissan Ariya will be available in Ireland with the choice of a 63kWh battery (from €48,995) or 87kWh battery (from €66,995). The electric driving range varies from up to about 402 kilometres (WLTP) for the Ariya 63kWh and up to about 529 kilometres (WLTP) for the Ariya 87kWh, though in real world driving those figures will be somewhat ambitious.

All-wheel drive is also available, though standard versions are front wheel drive.

The Nissan Ariya on test for Changing Lanes
The Nissan Ariya on test for Changing Lanes

What’s so special about the Nissan Ariya?

Just look at it! The Ariya is one of the best-looking electric SUVs you can buy, offering a futuristic spin on Nissan’s latest design language.

Nissan bill the Ariya as a ‘coupé-crossover’ and there’s certainly elegance to how the roofline slopes off dramatically to the rear of the car. It’s an impressive vehicle from every angle.

In Ireland, the Ariya goes on sale in two trim levels, Advance and Evolve. 19-inch alloy wheels come as standard, while Evolve models get a larger 20-inch set.

There’s a range of colours available including two special paints developed just for Ariya – Akatsuki Copper and Aurora Green. There are some bi-tone options too with a contrasting black roof.

But it’s inside where the Ariya really shines. It has one of the most upmarket cabins we’ve seen to date from Nissan and easily surpasses the competition for style and quality.

The Ariya is longer, taller and wider than a Qashqai, so it feels bigger inside with generous space in the second row.

The Ariya has gorgeous coupé-inspired styling
The Ariya has gorgeous coupé-inspired styling

Inside the new Ariya

Built in Japan, the Ariya has one of Nissan’s best interiors to date. It feels more sophisticated than a Qashqai for example, with a stylish design and a stunning use of high-quality materials.

There’s a large touchscreen as standard with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless phone charger, intelligent personal assistance technology and a full digital instrument cluster – all which add to the high-tech ambience.

Ariya inside feels premium and well-appointed, which does elevate it above the likes of the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID.4. Neat features include a sliding centre console and a tray table that slips elegantly out of the dash at the push of a button.

Evolve models add more luxury features like part synthetic suede seats, digital rear view mirror, head-up display and ProPILOT Park. There’s also ventilated (heat and cooled) front seats, heated rear seats, power memory mirrors, power memory driver and passenger 8-way seats, Bose 10-speaker sound system and a panoramic sunroof.

Is it practical?

Built on a new EV platform, the interior of the Ariya has a lounge-like feel. Up front, you sit high with the classic driving position of an SUV. It feels very spacious and roomy, and rear legroom is excellent making it a great family car. The sloping roofline doesn’t impact rear headroom too much either.

Seating three across the rear bench is entirely possible thanks to the dedicated EV platform that sees a flat floor throughout, and no annoying transmission tunnel.

Boot space in front wheel drive Ariyas is 466 litres, which is a bit off the pace of a Volkswagen ID.4 but still usable. All wheel drive versions offer a more compact 408 litres of boot space. But unlike the Model Y, the Nissan Ariya does not have a frunk under the front bonnet.

A handy powered tailgate comes as standard on the Ariya Evolve.

The interior of the new Nissan Ariya
The interior of the new Nissan Ariya

Driving the Nissan Ariya

The Nissan Ariya is built on a new platform and was tuned for Europe. It offers a sublimely comfortable and refined drive from behind the wheel. It is easily more comfortable over the tarmac than a Tesla Model Y. While refinement is similar to the ID.4, the Ariya offers a better cabin experience overall making it a nicer place to spend time on longer journeys. It’s also agile for its size and easy to manoeuvre.

If there is one area where the Ariya could be better, that’s efficiency. Despite its sleek aerodynamic body and bespoke electric vehicle architecture, the consumption remained stubbornly above 20kWh per 100 kilometres during my time with the car. So the range quoted in the brochure may be a tad optimistic, yet there’s still plenty of driving to be had between charges.

And when it does come to charging, DC fast charging is available up to 130kW. There is a 7.4kW onboard AC charger, with the option of upgrading to a 22kW unit for faster AC charging.

There’s lots of safety equipment on board like a 360° Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Driver Alertness, Intelligent Cruise Control and Lane Intervention. There’s also Intelligent Emergency Braking (Pedestrian & Cyclist Detection, Junction Assist), Rear Emergency Braking and cross traffic alert technology.

Other standard features include ProPilot with Navi-Link, and the e-Pedal, which allows one pedal driving using only the accelerator.

The boot in the Nissan Ariya
The boot in the Nissan Ariya

Did you like it?

The Nissan Ariya is a remarkable comeback for Nissan, a brand which pioneered electric vehicles with the Leaf but failed to keep up when the market was hit with a slew of new electric vehicles from European and Korean car brands.

Until now. The Ariya hits the market just perfectly, with a large SUV that is an excellent alternative to the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Tesla Model Y. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it has one of the most comfortable and upmarket cabins in this company.

Crucially it’s desirable in a way the Leaf never quite reached. That’s kerb appeal for you. It could be more efficient but there’s still plenty of driving to be enjoyed between charges, along with silky refinement that makes it one of the best Nissans yet.

Model tested: Nissan Ariya 87kWh Evolve
Range: 529 km (WLTP)
Power: 242hp
Torque: 300Nm
Top speed: 160 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7.6 seconds
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

The Ariya is a stunning new electric crossover from Nissan
The Ariya is a stunning new electric crossover from Nissan


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year