2024 Nissan Ariya Review: Lower price makes for a more compelling EV


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Pros: Functional, stylish and well-made cabin; reasonable prices; various performance, range and trim combos; standard front-wheel drive

Cons: No one-pedal driving and weird e-Step functionality; comparatively slow charging

The 2024 Nissan Ariya hasn’t changed a bit for its second model year, and yet it’s now a lot more appealing and competitive. Why? As a philosopher once said, “it’s all about the Benjamins.” The price of most Ariya trim levels plunged by $6,000 for 2024 (the base trim is down just $3,600), bringing all but the range-topping Platinum within the $40,000 range. This lower price means that the Ariya now undercuts similarly sized competitors, while offering more space and a high-quality cabin than those with a similar price. It also makes it a bit easier to overlook the Ariya’s main flaw: slow charging speeds.

There are other ways the Ariya provides compelling value for an EV. It comes standard with front-wheel drive, meaning those in the Snow Belt should feel less compelled to get all-wheel drive, which in EVs means paying a lot more than you would with a gas engine because it also adds a lot more power (that’s the case with the Ariya’s e-4ORCE dual-motor that uniquely adds handling-enhancing torque vectoring). There’s also loads of standard equipment included in the base trim level that comes with a smaller, short-range battery – if you’re just looking for an EV as a city car, why pay for range you don’t need?

All this talk of value loses sight of the many ways the Ariya is a compelling EV. It really isn’t all about the Benjamins (or six Grover Clevelands). The cabin really is special in terms of appearance, materials and functionality – that’s even the case with lower trim levels. The difference between the Ariya and a VW ID.4, Honda Prologue or Tesla Model Y really is stark. Range, performance and interior space certainly aren’t class leading, but they’re also fully competitive. In other words, if you’re looking for a more affordable electric car, the Ariya should be on your list.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2024?




As mentioned above, the Ariya carries over unchanged, but its prices were slashed for 2024. You can see prices for each trim level here.

Clockwise from top: Interiors of the Empower+, Platinum+ and Evolve+

What are the Ariya interior and in-car technology like?

In short, the Ariya cabin is special. Unlike many other EVs, the Ariya manages to offer style, functionality and quality. It looks terrific with the sort of minimalist aesthetic seemingly expected of an EV, but there are still stalks on the wheel and buttons to press (even if many are touch-sensitive haptic “buttons” that thankfully do work). The touchscreen infotainment system is required to operate a few too many functions, such as the heated seats, but in general, it’s one of the easiest systems to use whether you’re a technophile or just want to use the darn radio. As with many new cars, that widescreen infotainment display is paired with a similarly sized instrument panel display that can be configured to show different types and amounts of information right in front of the driver. There’s also a head-up display above it that is standard, which is unusual.

The Ariya takes advantage of its electric architecture to provide a flat, open floor in not only the back seat, but the front as well. Not only does this provide a visual sense of openness and space, but owners of larger purses will probably appreciate the vast area to stash it without stealing front passenger legroom. Now, should you want a less open, cockpit-like feeling, the center console motors forward by quite a lot. This also allows the electronic shifter, cupholders and armrest to be placed just-right for drivers of different heights, though the power operation is slower than just pulling it forward with a lever would be.

In terms of quality, the Ariya can be considered a genuine rival for luxury-branded EVs. The beautifully patterned real leather found in the Platinum trim level is an icy shade of blue and pairs with a rich, faux suede on the dash and doors in the same color. The wood dash trim found on every Ariya really completes the premium vibe. That said, even lower trim levels like the Ariya Empower we tested benefit from fashionable rose gold accents and padded leatherette trim on the dash and doors. We also love the “Kumiko” patterned pieces throughout the cabin, including the carpets, speaker grilles and ambient lighting fixtures.

How big is the Ariya?

The Ariya is basically the same length and width as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and awfully similar to the Kia EV6 as well, but it’s a few inches taller than both (especially the Kia), resulting in a more SUV-like appearance. You also feel like you’re sitting higher in it. It doesn’t have quite as much sprawl-out space in the back seat as the Hyundai, Kia or Ford Mustang Mach-E, but that’s OK – 6-footers can still fit front-and-back, and there’s plenty of space for someone to sit in front of a rear-facing child seat. There’s also sufficient rear headroom, although the high seating position and available panoramic sunroof may make the roof feel uncomfortably close to the heads of those up front.

Cargo space with the back seat up is an unremarkable 22.8 cubic feet, a figure considerably less than the competition. We’ve seen surprisingly inconsistent real-world cargo space performance with the EV6, Ioniq 5, Mach-E and Toyota bZ4X (click to see their luggage tests), however, so we wouldn’t automatically write off the Ariya. Don’t count on a front trunk bolstering its capacity, though, as there isn’t one. Considering how tiny most frunks are, it’s not that big of a deal, but even tiny ones provide space for a charge cord or other for-emergencies-only items that would otherwise take up space in the cargo area.

What are the Ariya range, charging and performance specs?

There is a wide variety of power, range and drivetrain offerings in the Ariya lineup. Let’s dig in.

The Engage trim has a single motor on the front axle that produces 214 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. It has a 66-kilowatt-hour battery and a range of 216 miles. Thankfully, this base trim level is generously equipped, meaning those with more realistic range needs won’t necessarily need to pay for extra battery capacity just to get unrelated comfort/convenience items.

The Venture+, Evolve+ and Empower+ get a 238-hp motor with the same 221 lb-ft. They also have a 91-kWh battery pack good for either 304 miles (Venture+) or 289 miles (all others). Nissan says this version will go from 0-60 mph in a quick 7.2 seconds.

The Engage e-4ORCE adds a second motor, this time on the rear axle. This results in all-wheel drive as well as considerably more performance: 335 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. It also has the 66-kW battery, which means its range drops to 205 miles.

All other trim levels with e-4ORCE have a bit more power: 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This would be the quickest Ariya with an estimated 0-60-mph time of 4.8 seconds. Range stands at 272 miles (Engage+ and Evolve+) or 267 miles (Platinum+).

Charging is not the Ariya’s strong suit. It maxes out at 130 kW at a public DC fast charger (the Mach-E and ID.4 are good for 150 kW, while the Ioniq 5 and EV6 can utilize ultra-fast 350-kW chargers thanks to their 240-kW max). You’ll be waiting around to charge longer with an Ariya. Its onboard charger can also only manage 7.2 kW, meaning it won’t be able to charge quite as quickly at home, either. This would only come into play, however, if you have a home charging station versus simply plugging into a 120- or 240-volt outlet.


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What's the Ariya like to drive?

The Ariya offers an impressively refined driving experience. It is quiet thanks to both its electric motor and abundant sound-deadening materials, and its ride is nicely damped. We’d probably skip the big 20-inch wheels on the Platinum since they add a touch of firmness and reduce range. The steering is also precise with natural, consistent weighting. There is a Sport mode, but we didn’t notice much of a difference in steering or throttle response (unlike those of many rivals). The most obvious change is the whirring Jetsons noise that plays over the sound system when accelerating. Our main dynamic complaint is the lack of one-pedal driving. There is a B mode that slightly increases regenerative braking and a weird feature dubbed “e-Step” that significantly increases regen, but does so while moving the brake pedal as if a ghost was suddenly driving. No thanks. It makes for awkward stops when you have to take over for the last 5-10 mph of braking.

As with most other electric cars, opting for all-wheel drive doesn’t just improve poor-weather traction, it significantly increases performance due to the added motor. The e-4ORCE Ariya models are in fact considerably quicker, with a solid snap off the line and abundant passing power. You’ll never get tired of charging up highway on-ramps. Furthermore, the system doesn’t just proportion power front and back, it can differ the amount of power between the left and right wheels. This is called torque vectoring and it’s beneficial in both wet and dry conditions. Don’t expect Acura SH-AWD levels of handling acumen as a result, but it is one more benefit to opting for e-4ORCE.

That said, the fact that the two-wheel-drive Ariya is front-wheel-drive can be seen as an advantage – the Ioniq 5, EV6, Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 are all rear-wheel-drive. While driving enthusiasts may lament this because of RWD’s handling advantage, front-wheel drive is far superior in poor weather. Those in snowy climates therefore don’t have to opt for all-wheel drive and pay considerably more for added performance they don’t want or need. Now, acceleration in the front-drive Empower+ we tested was gentle off the line before picking up speed, sort of like a big jet airplane. This likely has to do with Nissan programming the car not to overwhelm the front wheels with the motor’s instant torque. It doesn’t feel especially quick as a result, especially by EV standards, though if you’re most concerned with range or are comparing with lower priced EVs like the Kia Niro EV or Hyundai Kona EV, it should be more than sufficient.

What other Nissan Ariya reviews can I read?

2023 Nissan Ariya Empower+ FWD Road Test

Our first drive of the front-wheel drive Empower+ shows you don't have to get the top of the line to get a rather nice Ariya.

 

2023 Nissan Ariya First Drive Review

First impressions of the Ariya, including more details about its design, engineering and driving impressions of the front-wheel-drive/large battery version.


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Nissan Ariya Interior Preview

Our first glimpse of the Ariya interior happened way back in 2021, but it thankfully got even more impressive since then.

What is the 2024 Ariya price?

Here’s something we don’t write very often: Prices went down for the 2024 Nissan Ariya. By a lot. The 63-kilowatt-hour front-wheel-drive Ariya Engage base trim will now start at $40,980, which includes a $1,390 destination charge. All other trim levels get a price cut of $6,000.

Equipment levels did not change. Standard equipment on the base Engage still includes front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, proximity entry on all four doors, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front and rear seats, driver memory functions, leatherette upholstery, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, two rear USB ports, twin 12.3-inch instrument and infotainment displays, a head-up display, satellite radio, wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, the unique power-sliding center console and a full complement of safety technology features detailed below. That’s more than even the famously generous Hyundai and Kia offer.

The upper Venture, Evolve, Empower and Platinum trim levels add the usual increasing levels of equipment, but there are functional/mechanical elements to consider. Trims with + in their names have a bigger battery. Add e-4ORCE and you have two motors and all-wheel drive.

Prices for 2024 Ariya trim levels are as follows (including destination charge):

  • Engage FWD, 63 kWh battery: $40,980

  • Venture+ FWD, 87 kWh battery: $42,580

  • Evolve+ FWD, 87 kWh battery: $45,580

  • Empower+ FWD, 87 kWh battery: $49,080

  • Engage e-4ORCE, 63 kWh battery: $44,980

  • Engage+ e-4ORCE, 87 kWh battery: $46,580

  • Evolve+ e-4ORCE, 87 kWh battery: $49,580

  • Platinum+ e-4ORCE, 87 kWh battery: $55,580

Platinum+ e-4ORCE and Empower+ FWD

What are the Ariya safety ratings and driver assistance features?

The NHTSA gave the Ariya five out of five stars for overall and side crash protection, plus a four-star rating for frontal crash protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Ariya a 2024 Top Safety Pick for its top “Good” ratings in crash testing and for its front crash prevention: pedestrian systems. Its headlights got a sufficient high “Acceptable” rating.

Every Ariya comes standard with more driver assistance features than its rivals. This includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic front and rear emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning and active mitigation, rear cross-traffic warning, and a driver inattention warning system. Standard on the Empower+ and Platinum+ trim levels is the ProPark automated parking system and the ProPilot Assist 2.0 that allows for hands-free driving on most controlled access highways.

We found that ProPilot Assist 2.0 works very well, both in full hands-free and token-hand-on-the-wheel modes (like what you get with Hyundai/Kia and many other brands), and like that it will warn and then disengage if it detects the driver is not looking at the road ahead.

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