Bold new Nissan Ariya is pivotal electric SUV with 310-mile range

The new Nissan Ariya electric SUV features bold styling, a range of up to 310 miles and a 389bhp performance variant – and Nissan claims it will “mark a new era for electric vehicles” by combining high levels of tech with “exciting” handling.

The crucial new model is set to go on sale next year as a rival to the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID 4 and will sit above the successful Leaf in the Japanese firm’s EV line-up.

The Ariya retains the bold styling of the concept unveiled at last year’s Tokyo motor show and showcases Nissan’s new brand identity with “seamless, elegant and fresh” styling. It’s the first model built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-EV electric architecture, with Nissan operating chief Ashwani Gupta saying it represents the start of “a new chapter for Nissan”. He said the firm has “strived to amplify the fun-to-drive aspect of electric mobility,” adding: “It’s not just a great EV crossover, but also a great vehicle – a true force of wonder that will take us into the future.”

The Ariya will be sold in five versions in the UK, with single-motor rear-wheel-drive and twin-motor four-wheel-drive powertrains and a choice of 63kWh and 87kWh batteries.

The 63kWh single-motor model will offer 215bhp and a range of 223 miles, while it’s 239bhp and a 310-mile range for the 87kWh car. Both rear-drive versions will produce 221lb ft, enabling a 0-62mph time of around 7.5sec and a top speed of 99mph.

The twin-motor powertrain uses Nissan’s new e-4orce four-wheel drive system, which the firm calls the “spiritual offspring” of the system used in the GT-R supercar. It employs a regenerative rear-motor braking system to minimise vehicle pitch and smooth the ride.

The 63kWh Ariya e-4orce will produce 275bhp and 413lb ft and have a range of 211 miles. The standard 87kWh version will offer 302bhp, 442lb ft and a 285-mile range.

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The Ariya has a new voice control system and owners can use a Nissan smartphone app to check battery status and set climate controls remotely. Built-in 4G connectivity allows over-the-air updates, too.

The 63kWh cars will get a 7.4kW home charger, with 87kWh cars featuring a 22kW three-phase charger. There’s also a 130kW rapid-charger.

The Ariya is expected to go on sale in the UK early next year. Trim levels and pricing are yet to be finalised.