With a choice between 63-kwh and 87-kwh battery packs and single or dual electric motors, the Nissan Ariya spreads out its electric car abilities across a wide price and performance spectrum. All versions have able manners, but the dual-motor’s agile responses and outright speed would get our nod. We give the Ariya a 7 for performance.
Nissan now offers front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive editions. The AWD model’s dubbed the e-4orce, which is why we’ll refer to it as the AWD model as we shake our heads.
How fast is the Nissan Ariya?
Single-motor versions make either 214 hp or 238 hp, depending on whether they have the smaller battery pack of theEngage or the larger, longer-range pack in otherversions. Both generate 221 lb-ft of torque. More silent than swift by electric-car standards, this Ariya can hustle to 60 mph in a Nissan-promised 7.2 seconds. It’s modest performance compared with the top-like Mach-E and Model Y crossovers, but Nissan says it’s tuned this Ariya intentionally to mimic gas-crossover performance.
The Ariya weighs from about 4,300 to about 4,600 pounds—about a thousand pounds more than a Rogue–and it is not rated for towing. Battery range rises as high as 304 miles on the Venture+ with the larger battery, and dips as low as 216 miles with the smaller-battery Engage.
With dual motors, the Ariya springs to life. Depending again on the battery pack, the dual-motor Ariya’s power outputs range from 335 hp and 413 lb-ft to 389 hp and 442 lb-ft. Nissan pegs this version at 4.8 seconds from 0-60 mph—and rates it for a low 1,500 pounds of towing.
Drive modes can tailor power delivery, but the Ariya lacks full one-pedal driving. It gets an e-Step button that opens up a brake-regen mode that gets close to that holy Grail, but requires pedal braking for the few final feet. Regen can also be applied with a “B” drive mode.
With a conventional front-strut and rear-multilink suspension, base Ariyas have a springy state of tune that’s meant to absorb the car’s heft. It responds softly to changes in steering, too. In all, it feels dialed in for comfort—at the expense of all other senses.
The dual-motor Ariya fixes all those sensory shortcomings. It uses its motors not just for traction or acceleration; Nissan deploys them to balance the vehicle’s stability as it tackles curves and corners, much in the same way that Nissan’s AWD system functions in its GT-R supercar. As it squeezes individual brakes and diverts power between the motors, it can correct some pitching and lean, giving the Ariya an uncommonly smooth ride and more crisp handling than the single-motor edition. All it needs is better brake feel: the pedal’s too soft until it grabs the friction brakes.