It’s taken Nissan so long to bring out Ariya, the market is already loaded with electric SUVs

BEING late to the party only works if you walk in with some top-shelf tequila.

Everyone wants you to be there. It’s like: “Waheeeey! Get the shots in. “

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The Nissan Ariya is new in a market already loaded with electric SUVsCredit: simon thompson

Turn up late and empty-handed and no one notices you’ve come through the door. That’s my problem with this car.

It has taken Nissan so long to bring out Ariya, the market is already loaded with electric SUVs.

And Ariya doesn’t move the game on. Not even a little bit.

It’s no better than anything that’s already been out there for a while, like a Ford Mustang Mach-E or a Tesla Model Y or a Volvo XC40. And the Korean EVs trump it in every single way.

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The Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5 have rapid 800V charging and car-to-car charging. Ariya doesn’t.

Ariya has a so-so charging set-up, not a great range, doesn’t look particularly handsome and they want £ 42k for it. Base model.

It’s especially annoying because the first affordable mainstream EV was a Nissan Leaf. That was a decade ago.

Yes, it looked like an orthopedic shoe but, fair play to Nissan, it was a solid, reliable electric hatchback years before Volkswagen had even conceived of the ID range. Now Nissan is playing catch-up.

There are numerous electric SUVs out there, even from budget brands like MG, and Ariya is a bit of a dry hump.

We tried a prototype of the base powertrain: 63kWh battery, 217hp, front-wheel drive, 1.9 tons, up to 223 miles of range.

Positive pants on

You’ll be lucky to get 180 miles in the real world but Nissan expects the official WLTP figure to be closer to 250 miles after homologation. I know a smidge over 200 miles, then.

The bigger 87kWh battery promises up to 310 miles and costs £ 51k.

Exactly what I thought. “£ 51k for a Nissan?” But I’m not even done yet.

The 87kWh battery with 4WD is nudging £ 54k and there’s an 87kWh 4WD Performance version to come at £ 58k.

That’s a stonking 394hp, 600Nm of torque (not far off a GT-R) and will box off the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.1 seconds.

Too spicy and too pricey for a Nissan family crossover, if you ask me.

Right, now I’ve got my positive pants on. I like the interior. It’s fresh and modern and there’s lots of space everywhere.

The seats are squishy. The back-lit haptic controls under the wooden trim look mint. When the car is sleeping, you only see the wood.

Plus, the sliding center console is motorized (like an Ioniq 5). The rear doors open 85 degrees. The boot will swallow all the usual family debris.

Other observations: The 4WD version will tow things up to 1.5 tons.

The one free paint job, called Aurora Green, changes color like a TVR in the Nineties. And you can pretend those quad lights were nicked off a Bugatti Chiron. But will Ariya sell?

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Nissan is trusted for its reliability. The residual values ​​look strong. And there’s no denying Ariya is a jump over a Leaf.

It would have been right in the mix 18 months ago. But now your money is better spent elsewhere.

Nissan Ariya

Key facts

Price: £ 41,845

Battery: 63kWh

Power: 217hp, 300Nm

0-62mph: 7.5 secs

Top speed: 99mph

Range: 223 miles

CO2: 0 g / km

The electric SUV comes in at an expensive price

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The electric SUV comes in at an expensive priceCredit: simon thompson
There is good boot space on offer and the Ariya comes with Nissan's usual reliability

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There is good boot space on offer and the Ariya comes with Nissan’s usual reliabilityCredit: simon thompson
The Ariya's interior is one of the reasons to be positive about the car

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The Ariya’s interior is one of the reasons to be positive about the carCredit: simon thompson

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