Thursday, May 23, 2024
ReviewsTouring Europe, in Ontario, with the 2024 Nissan Ariya

Touring Europe, in Ontario, with the 2024 Nissan Ariya

From Cambridge to Paris in the 2024 Nissan Ariya... without leaving Ontario.

  • The 2024 Nissan Ariya is a spacious and comfortable electric SUV that is not the most technologically advanced in its category.

  • Nissan invited us to test it on a 300-kilometer trip that links cities in Ontario that have European names.

  • We’ve seen that the 2024 Nissan Ariya is an interesting EV in many respects, but it’s handicapped by a high price and longer charging times than its competitors.

Nissan Canada recently invited a dozen journalists and influencers to take the Ariya, its next-generation electric SUV, on a one-charge tour of Europe.

Of course, we’re not actually talking about Europe here, but rather a series of Ontario towns on the outskirts of Toronto whose names recall the great cities of the old continent.

This unusual route, just over 300 kilometers long, gave us the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the 2024 Nissan Ariya E-4ORCE Platinum+, the top-of-the-range version.

 

More details on the electric 2024 Nissan Ariya

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

The electric 2024 Nissan Ariya is not the latest arrival on the EV market, having been launched almost exactly a year ago. Nevertheless, it remains the only representative of the new electric wave at Nissan, which has fallen behind after pioneering the field with the Leaf.

The 2024 Ariya takes the form of a compact SUV with futuristic looks and exterior dimensions comparable to those of the Nissan Rogue. The manufacturer offers four distinct versions of this model, differentiated not only by their level of equipment, but also by their powertrain.

The entry-level Engage features a 66 kWh battery (63 kWh usable) and a front-axle motor that generates 214 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. This combination provides a range of 348 kilometers.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

The Evolve version adds a second motor to offer all-wheel drive and an increased power output of 335 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, in exchange for a reduced range of 330 kilometers.

For the best possible range in the 2024 Ariya, look at the front-wheel-drive Evolve+ version, which boasts a larger 91 kWh battery (87 kWh usable). This extra energy means more power (238 hp) and, above all, a range of 465 kilometers.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

Adding all-wheel drive (called E-4ORCE) to the Evolve+ model gives 389 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, but slightly reduces range to 438 kilometers. This version can be equipped with the Platinum+ package, which adds features such as ProPILOT Park parking assistance, a digital rearview mirror, ventilated front seats and power-adjustable steering column, among others, at a cost of $5,000. Range is once again reduced, to 428 kilometers.

Speaking of price, the 2024 Nissan Ariya goes from relatively affordable to rather expensive, with a price scale ranging from $52,998 to $69,998. It should be noted, however, that all versions are eligible for federal and provincial rebates of up to $5,000 and $7,000 respectively in Quebec, which was not the case in 2023.

 

The European tour

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

Having learned the basics about the 2024 Ariya, let’s return to our unusual journey. Nissan brought us to Cambridge, a suburb about an hour west of Toronto, to start this tour of Ontario’s Europe. Just before we got behind the wheel, the automaker challenged the seven pairs of journalists to achieve the lowest energy consumption throughout the day.

With that in mind, my colleague Benoit Charette and I set off after activating the E-Step mode and turning off the air-conditioning, taking advantage of the mild temperatures to maximize our fuel efficiency.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

About the E-Step mode: It maximizes regenerative braking to enable one-pedal driving, but curiously, the Ariya doesn’t come to a complete stop and you have to hit the brakes to slow down below 10 km/h.

On the other hand, this system works smoothly and only takes a few kilometers to get used to, allowing better management of the vehicle’s energy consumption and limiting use of the brake pedal, which is not the most pleasant because of its lack of feel and long travel.

 

The 2024 Nissan Ariya on the road: more comfort than sport

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

Smoothness is the keyword in the 2024 Ariya, which prefers comfort to sportiness, despite its more than adequate power.

Indeed, the steering is not as precise as that of some rivals, notably the Volkswagen ID.4 and Kia EV6, and cornering with too much enthusiasm results in significant body roll.

What’s more, the calibration of the powertrain results in accelerations more akin to gasoline-powered models than to other electric vehicles, since the Nissan Ariya doesn’t push you back into the seat when you step on the gas pedal, but it seems to gain strength as the pace increases, and doesn’t run out of steam at highway speeds.

On the country roads that took us from Cambridge to Hamburg, Lisbon and then Stratford, we were able to appreciate the comfort of Nissan’s Zero Gravity seats and the silence typical of electric vehicles.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

After a short break in Stratford and a change of driver, we continued on to London. A few minutes spent on gravel roads showed us that the Ariya does quite well on rough pavements too.

Although we wanted to reduce our energy consumption, we followed the speed limits (80-90 km/h) and arrived several minutes ahead of our colleagues at the assembly point for dinner. According to our vehicle’s on-board computer, average consumption was 17.8 kWh / 100 km at that point.

The journey from London was the longest of the day, with 84.4 kilometres to cover before reaching Vienna, via Sparta and Copenhagen. A stretch of city driving showed that the Nissan Ariya is quite maneuverable and easy to park, while the long country roads allowed us to familiarize ourselves with the interior.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

Nissan was able to highlight one of the advantages of electric vehicles, which is the possibility of having a completely flat floor, resulting in a very spacious interior. What’s more, the Ariya’s dashboard adopts a very modern, minimalist look, with two 12.3-inch screens perched atop a dashboard that couldn’t be simpler. The touch-sensitive controls are hard to find without taking your eyes off the road, but they provide good feedback when operated, and their installation on wood-finish appliques is original and nice to look at.

The sliding central armrest is also to be commended, enabling drivers of all sizes to find a comfortable position. However, this armrest doesn’t offer much in the way of storage, as the console tray is occupied almost entirely by the induction charger.

Before arriving in Vienna, a short detour to Port Bruce allowed us to take some photos along the shores of Lake Erie.

 

Actual range of around 470 kilometres

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

After another change of driver, our journey ended in a café in Paris, a pretty little historic town, with an average consumption of 15.6 kWh / 100 km for the afternoon, giving 16.6 kWh / 100 km for the day, the best score of the group!

Given that our vehicle’s estimated range was 170 km on arrival, we could theoretically have covered 470 km on one charge, some 40 km more than Nissan claims.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

It’s reassuring to note that light use of the air conditioner doesn’t spell disaster for energy efficiency, as colleagues who have used it have averaged 16.9 kWh / 100 km.

This also confirms that driving style is decisive for the range of electric vehicles since the team that finished at the back of the pack had only 55 kilometres of range left, the result of an average consumption of 20.4 kWh / 100 km in the same atmospheric conditions and on the same roads.

 

Conclusions

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

Our journey behind the wheel of the 2024 Nissan Ariya has enabled us to draw a number of conclusions about this Japanese electric SUV. In particular, the Ariya is pleasant to drive on a daily basis, thanks to its comfort and the simplicity of its controls. What’s more, the range of its large-battery versions is sufficient for most drivers, and it’s easy enough to beat the advertised figures – provided you don’t do too much highway driving, of course.

On the other hand, the Ariya continues to pale in comparison with some rivals because of the relatively high price of its most attractive versions and also its lower charging capacity, which is limited to 130 kW on Level 3 fast charging stations. Nissan estimates that it will take between 35 and 40 minutes to go from 10 to 80% charge in these situations, while a full charge at home should take between 10.5 and 14 hours.

2024 Nissan Ariya | Photo: Anthony Lemonde

By way of comparison, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 take only around 7 hours to reach full charge at home, and can accept fast charge rates of up to 350 kW, allowing a downtime of just 18 minutes to go from 10 to 80% charge.

The Volkswagen ID.4, which is probably the Nissan Ariya’s closest rival in terms of range, boasts a full charge between 8 and 11 hours, as well as a maximum fast charge rate of 140 kW or 175 kW, depending on the chosen battery, enabling all models to go from 10 to 80% in 28 minutes.

While the base versions of the 2024 Nissan Ariya are competitively priced ($52,998 vs. $51,220 for the ID.4), this is not true of the higher-end models, since the Platinum+ version we tested costs almost $10,000 more than an ID.4 Pro S AWD and over $4,000 more than an Ioniq 5 Ultimate AWD.

We can therefore agree that the 2024 Nissan Ariya, without being the most technological and modern option in its category, represents a good choice for those looking for a spacious, comfortable and uncomplicated vehicle to start their electric journey, provided they don’t pay too much.

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