There are so many new options when it comes to EV’s, but not all of them come from a manufacturer with this much experience in electric batteries.
Recently, I’ve been test driving the 2023 Nissan Ariya, an all-electric crossover that I wasn’t even aware existed until I started researching the latest Nissan Leaf.
Now that I’ve discovered the Ariya, I’m surprised I didn’t notice it sooner on city streets. Perhaps that’d due to its resemblance of the Rogue. But Ariya kicks it up a notch with slick, futuristic styling both inside and out.
Nissan has been making electric vehicles for over a decade thanks to the success of the Leaf, so they have plenty of expertise when it comes to battery technology. The Ariya has a range of about 300 miles on a full charge. In my testing, I found this to be a sweet spot for EV’s.
The interior is nice and roomy, with a minimalist cabin. Immediately, you notice two wide horizonal digital displays. They work wirelessly with CarPlay, wired with Android Auto.
There are also some Japanese-inspired design touches, including a rustic wood panel running along the bottom of the dashboard. It has haptic buttons integrated into it, but I found them a bit tricky to navigate.
The Ariya drives smooth and quiet. Nissan’s automated driving system, which they call ProPilot Assist, is standard. This is automated cruise control. It will keep you in your lane and a distance from the car in front of you.
You can upgrade to get niceties like hands free highway driving and self-parking technology. The car can also change lanes on its own, too. I found this system to be good once you get the hang of it, but there seems to be a lot of controls and icons and colors to learn.
Speaking of colors, I did like the colorful and big heads-up display, which projects helpful information like the speed and speed limit onto the windshield.
Other neat details include a power-sliding center console, wireless phone charging, and mirrors that fold closed when you walk away from the car. Helpful with EV’s since they’re so quiet, I tend to forget to turn them off.
On a full charge, I got about 320 miles of range and never felt any range anxiety while test driving the Ariya. However, non-Tesla EV’s can still be tricky when it comes to out of home charging. Sometimes fast charging stations can be tough to come by, they are all filled when you arrive or are simply out of order.
We almost didn’t take this ride up the coast to Santa Barbara out of fear of finding a charging station, however, there happened to be one at the hotel we stayed at, which is always a good feeling (and not necessarily always advertised.) Waking up to full (and in this case, free!) tank of electricity is always a nice thing.
At a starting price around $43,000, the 2023 Nissan Ariya is a practical and fun all-electric SUV from a company with a proven record in EV technology. If you’re planning on charging at home and or work, non-Tesla’s can still work, but keep in mind a large portion of the industry is moving towards adopting Tesla’s charging technology and stations.