Nissan Ariya review

Nissan Ariya

We road test the distinctive Nissan Ariya mid-sized electric SUV…

It’s taken Nissan more than 10 years to follow-up the game-changing Leaf with a brand new EV model. So, is the Ariya as good as it looks?

Let’s start by going back to basics. The Ariya (we think it’s pronounced ‘Arr-Ee-Yah’) is a mid-sized five-door SUV, so its rivals include the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Skoda Enyaq, Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y.

First impressions count and two things stand out. Its futuristic looks are like nothing else on the road, while its plush interior is a real step-up for Nissan.

Nissan Ariya

There’s a choice of two battery sizes- a standard 63kWh unit or the ‘extended range’ 87kWh, which Nissan claims can travel 250 miles and 329 miles respectively from a full charge.

Starting at £46,145, entry-level models use a single electric motor to power the front wheels, producing 214bhp (63kWh) and 239bhp (87kWh).

All-wheel drive versions (marketed as ‘e-4ORCE’) get the larger 87kWh battery and an extra electric motor, delivering a total of 302bhp. However, range takes a hit, resulting in a claimed 285 miles.

Nissan Ariya

The front-wheel drive 63kWh is capable of a 0-62mph sprint in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 100mph, while the all-wheel-drive 87kWh has a 5.7-second 0-62mph time and can go on to 124mph.

Standard equipment is generous and there are just two trim levels to choose from – Advance and Evolve.

Entry-level Advance is fitted with full LED lighting, a heated windscreen, climate control, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, 360-degree cameras and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Nissan Ariya

Evolve adds a panoramic sunroof, a video-based rear-view mirror, ventilated seats, heated rear seats and a Bose sound system, among other features.

The extensive list of safety and driver assistance aids standard on all grades includes Intelligent Driver Alertness, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Pilot, Blind Spot Intervention, Intelligent Cruise Control, Full Auto Park and a 360-degree Around View Monitor. Extra goodies on the Evolve spec include Pro-Pilot Park and a Head-up Display.

The Ariya can be charged at speeds of up to 130kW (slower than some rivals such as the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5), meaning you can top up from 10-80% in around 30 minutes, while an overnight charge from a 7.4kW wallbox will take 10 hours.

Nissan Ariya

Our 63kWh Advance test car looked stunning in Akatsuki Copper with a pearl-black roof. Somewhere between a traditional and coupe-styled SUV, it’s no shrinking violet and is on the tall side.

Up front, the large closed-off grille is flanked by sharp LED daytime running lights and headlights, while the swooping roofline leads to a full-width LED light bar at the rear of the car.

Inside, it’s smart and minimalist. Stylish wood-grained trim spans the width of the dashboard and it has a premium feel.

Nissan Ariya

Touch-sensitive controls with haptic feedback are hidden within the trim, illuminating when the car is switched on. More of these ‘buttons’ are conveniently placed on the sliding centre armrest, which can be moved via the press of a button to provide additional foot space in the front or the rear.

The Ariya’s infotainment system consists of two 12.3-inch screens, mounted side-by-side – a driver’s digital instrument cluster, plus a main infotainment interface complete with sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.

The cabin is spacious and light with plenty of room in the back for rear passengers to travel in comfort.

Nissan Ariya

Single motor models get a decent 466-litre boot capacity (1,348 litres with the back seats down), reducing to 408 litres if all-wheel drive is chosen.

The overwhelming sensation on the road is of a relaxing driving experience. Not only is it comfortable and well insulted inside the cabin, it’s been well put together and the delivery of all that instant torque is smooth and quiet.

There are three driving modes (Eco, Sport and Normal), though we found the latter will do just fine. As you’d expect from Nissan, there’s also an e-pedal option, which winds up the regenerative braking and can bring the car to a halt simply by lifting off the accelerator.

It feels planted at high speed and on flowing country roads, but try to hustle in more challenging corners and its weight and height become more obvious. There’s a bit of body lean and 2.2 tonnes to slow down, which tends to blunt the driving engagement.

Nissan Ariya

That said, grip levels are good, though as we found with our front-wheel drive test car, it is possible to spin the front wheels when setting off on loose surfaces and in the wet if you’re too heavy on the accelerator.

Otherwise, the steering feels nicely judged, and the commanding driving position offers good visibility (plus there’s a rear wiper, unlike some rivals!).

We haven’t tried the 87kWh all-wheel drive e-4ORCE model yet, but we suspect the increased grip, power and range (we’d estimate the real-world range in our 63kWh test car is closer to 200 miles) might be worth the extra expense.

Verdict: Safe, spacious and surprisingly classy, the Nissan Ariya family SUV boasts serious kerb appeal. Easy to drive and comfortable, it’s at its best cruising along stylishly and smoothly.

Nissan UK

Nissan Ariya

Revealed: The soaring cost of rapid charging an electric car

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Electric car charging bay

The cost of rapid charging an electric car up has shot up by a staggering 50% in eight months, according to new data from RAC Charge Watch.

It now costs an average of 70.32p per kilowatt hour to rapid charge on a pay-as-you-go basis – up from 44.55p (58%) last May and from 63.29p (11%) last September.

The rises, driven by further increases in the wholesale cost of electricity, mean that drivers now pay £36 to charge a typical family-sized electric car with a 64kWh battery to its 80% rapid or ultra-rapid limit – enough to cover around 188 miles.

Volvo C40 Recharge

This is more than twice the cost of charging the same car at home, something which many EV drivers are unable to do, with the price of such a charge coming in at just £17.87 – despite the record high domestic energy prices.

The price of using the fastest ultra-rapid chargers, which have power outputs of over 100kW and can charge many cars in a matter of minutes, now stands at 74.79p per kilowatt hour, up from 50.97p in May 2022 (47%) and 63.94p in September.

Drivers relying on these chargers pay £38.29 today for an 80% charge, a huge £20.42 more than those fortunate enough to do all their charging at home.

In other words, drivers who use the rapid public charging network – typically because they need to recharge on a longer journey or are trying to charge up time-efficiently as they can’t do so at home or work – currently pay a huge premium over those using slower chargers.

Filling up with petrol

Indeed, it can be more expensive for an EV driver to recharge quickly on a longer journey than it is for a petrol and diesel drivers to refuel.

Drivers using rapid chargers now pay 20p per mile for their electricity, only a penny less than those using less common ultra-rapid chargers who pay 21p per mile.

These costs are higher than the equivalent per-mile rate for a petrol car that achieves an economy of 40 miles to the gallon (17p per mile) and are on a par with a diesel car achieving the same economy (20p per mile).

“For drivers to switch to electric cars en masse, it’s vital that the numbers stack up. In time, the list price of new electric models will come down but charging quickly has also got to be as affordable as possible,” said RAC EV spokesperson Simon Williams.

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Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Luxury London hotel treat for electric car drivers

We put the Royal Lancaster’s ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’ package to the test… …

All-Electric Audi eQ5 Coming by End of Decade, Along With Changes for ICE Q5

2021 Audi Q5

As Audi moves toward a total electric transformation, we have new details on the Audi eQ5, as well as when the existing ICE models may disappear.

Change is inevitable, as they say, and that applies to not only our personal lives, but the automotive world as well. Even as new models are introduced, their replacements are being planned in what is a perpetual product cycle of sorts. On the Audi side of the equation, there’s a lot of change coming over the next few years in terms of its lineup as the luxury brand prepares to go all-electric by the early 2030s, and will stop developing new ICE models by the end of 2026 as it launches EVs such as the new Audi eQ5.

There are still a lot of unknowns in terms of when specific Audi models will be discontinued and when new ones will be introduced, but AutoForecast Solutions recently released a future product roadmap that gives us a glimpse at a couple of them, at least. That list starts with the Q5, which has been around since 2009 and entered its second generation back in 2018. Production of the current model is slated to end on 4/30/2024 at the San Jose Chiapa, Mexico plant, while next-gen production will reportedly follow and run through 9/28/2029.

Audi Q5 Sportback TFSI e in Navarra BlueQ5 Sportback, it’s a fairly new product after having debuted in 2021, capitalizing on the surging “coupe” SUV/crossover trend with its sloping rear roofline. Production of the current-gen Q5 Sportback is slated to run through 6/28/2024, while the next-gen model enters production on 7/1/2024 and is scheduled to run through 6/28/2030, giving ICE fans a few more years to purchase this particular combination.

Finally, we have the Audi eQ5, which seems as if it’s a version of the new Q5 e-tron being sold in China – an all-electric variant of the popular crossover. Given the fact that it’s slated to enter production on 10/1/2029 and continue through 9/28/2035, this makes a lot of sense, as it fits perfectly within Audi’s all-electric transition timeline. It’s unclear if the brand will be ditching its e-tron nameplate for the simpler “e” nomenclature, but that’s what it’s being called for now.

Audi Q5 PHEV

As for the rest of the Audi lineup, well, that remains a bit of a mystery. The brand’s parent company, Volkswagen, is one of the more aggressive at the moment when it comes to transitioning to electrification, but it also seems as if it’s leaving itself bit of an out over the next few years in the event that technology doesn’t progress the way most expect it to.

Photos: Audi

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‘Dual fuel’ owners opt for electric over ICE for most journeys

Home / Auto News / ‘Dual fuel’ owners opt for electric over ICE for most journeys

Gareth Herincx

2 days ago
Auto News

Volvo C40 Recharge

Around a third of electric vehicle drivers run a petrol or diesel vehicle too, according to new research.

What’s more, the research from leading EV charge point mapping service Zap-Map, suggests that electric is chosen for the vast majority of journeys by ‘dual fuel’ drivers.

The type of journey electric is most likely to be favoured for is a local daily trip such as going shopping, the school run or eating out, for which 85% of the time dual fuel drivers will take the EV.

For commutes, 71% these drivers use their EV, and even for journeys of over 100 miles 67% will stick with electric.

Even for UK based holidays, likely to involve long cross-country journeys reliant on the public charging network, a majority of 55% will leave the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car at home.

The annual Zap-Map EV Charging Survey showed that most EV owners only own electric, with 49% driving just one fully electric vehicle, 8% two or more, while 2% own or regularly use one battery electric and one plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.

In addition, 25% drive one battery-electric car and one ICE vehicle, while the remainder drive a mixture of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and/or ICE vehicles.

Satisfaction levels for electric vehicles remain higher than for petrol and diesel. Less than 2% of EV drivers want to return to petrol or diesel compared to 9 out of 10 who would not consider trading for a conventional car.

The report shows 89% satisfaction for battery-electric vehicles and 83% for plug-in hybrid electric — both higher than 71% for petrol and diesel.

‘Our survey has shown for several years now that once you go electric, you don’t go back,” said Melanie Shufflebotham, COO & Co-Founder of Zap-Map.

“This year we’ve gone further to show that drivers who haven’t quite let their conventional car go yet still choose to drive their electric. Even for those long cross-country journeys where a charge stop is likely to be necessary.”

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Luxury London hotel treat for electric car drivers

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

We put the Royal Lancaster’s ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’ package to the test…

If you’re planning a trip to the capital and you drive an electric vehicle, there’s a new way to make your stay greener and more restful.

The iconic Royal Lancaster London, which overlooks Hyde Park and is a short walk from Marble Arch and Oxford Street, has launched a new package called ‘Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge’.

The overnight stay with breakfast includes free car parking, free EV charging and complimentary access to the hotel’s bicycles to explore the city.

Royal Lancaster London reception

What’s more, the Royal Lancaster London will plant one tree for each night of your stay through the Hotels for Trees initiative to compensate for any CO2 impact of your journey.

We tried out the package for ourselves, driving up from Somerset in Ford’s flagship electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E GT.

Not only did we arrive in style, but we avoided paying the £15 per day London Congestion Charge because the zero emissions Mach-E is exempt.

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

After a greeting from the smart doorman (complete with bowler hat), we were ushered up to the towering 5-star hotel’s secure, private car park. There we connected the car to one of the free chargers available.

The 411 guest rooms and suites at Royal Lancaster London offer classic style and spectacular panoramic views of Hyde Park and the City skyline, making it the perfect place to relax – and recharge your batteries too.

Since opening its doors in 1967, the Royal Lancaster remained mostly unchanged until 2015, when the prestigious family-run property underwent a two-year, head-to-toe, £83 million renovation.

It reopened in 2017 and everything from the modern open-plan lobby area to the redesigned, redecorated rooms and suites have been finished to a high standard.

Royal Lancaster London -Park Suite

We stayed in a Park Suite, on the 14th floor, which included a spacious living area with sumptuous velvet sofas, a lavish marble bathroom with twin sinks, shower and bathtub, plus a separate bedroom with king-size bed.

Despite the luxury, it was the 180-degree vista of London’s famous skyline that was the biggest treat – especially a night.

Frankly, it was hard to fault our stay – from the superb service levels via the friendly staff, the attention to detail and overall cleanliness, to the excellent breakfast quality and choice.

Royal Lancaster London -Park Suite Bedroom

After checkout the following morning we returned to our car with zero range anxiety for the journey ahead because the Mustang Mach-E GT was fully charged.

Not that range is a huge issue when the battery pack of the Mach-E GT has been topped up.

Like most EVs, it may fall short of its claimed range (up to 304 miles), but 250 miles upwards is more than enough for most getaways. If you do have to stop off, a rapid 150kW public charger can deliver around 73 miles in just 10 minutes.

Royal Lancaster London -Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

We took a more scenic route home, turning off the A303 before Stonehenge and heading over Salisbury Plain – the perfect place to let a thoroughbred like the Mach-E GT stretch its legs.

Blisteringly fast in a straight line (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds), it’s also a refined cruiser and delivers an engaging ride.

Not quite as dynamic to drive as its looks suggest, the Mach-E GT has a couple of party pieces. First, it’s fitted with a noise generator which simulates a combustion engine. Second, more spirited drivers will enjoy unleashing the GT’s more playful side, because the rear-biased all-wheel-drive system allows you to kick out the tail, should you so wish.

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

The entry-level Mustang Mach-E is priced from £50,830. However, a GT will set you back £74,540. For that, you get a second 240bhp electric motor installed up front. Combined, the two motors deliver a whopping 480bhp of power and an equally beefy 860Nm of torque.

With room for five, plus a decent 402-litre boot capacity and space under the bonnet for cables, the Mach-E GT is one of the performance EVs on the market.

Did you know? Key scenes of the classic British crime caper, The Italian Job, were filmed at the Royal Lancaster in 1968 – not long after the hotel opened. Also, The Beatles held their Yellow Submarine film premiere after-party at the venue in the same year.

Get the lowdown on the Royal Lancaster London hotel’s Plug In, Switch Off & Recharge package.