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Driven: 2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh. Image by Nissan.

Driven: 2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh
Is this 87kWh version of Nissan’s electric family SUV the one you should go for?


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2022 Nissan Ariya Evolve 87kWh

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

We've already tested Nissan's electric family SUV, the Ariya, and we came away impressed, but then we drove a car fitted with the smaller 63kWh battery on smooth European roads. This time, we've got our hands on a UK-spec car on UK roads, and we're playing with the larger 87kWh battery pack. Will that make an already solid electric car even more appealing?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve
Price: Ariya from £43,845, Evolve from £47,840
Engine: 178kW electric motor
Transmission: single-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Battery: 87kWh lithium-ion
Power: 242hp
Torque: 300Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 329 miles
0-62mph: 7.6 seconds
Top speed: 100mph
Boot space: 466 litres


Spotting the difference between the 63kWh Ariya and its 87kWh brethren is a tough ask, but there's nothing wrong with the way either car looks. The front-end design is growing on us, and the rest looks smart and premium with just the right level of futurism. It isn't exactly sexy, but then it's a family SUV and they aren't known for their stunning good looks. The Ariya is eye-catching and it certainly won't put any prospective customers off, and that's all it needs to do.


We were impressed with the Ariya’s cabin on our first drive, and nothing has really changed since. The cleaner, minimalist look suits the car and its character, and while we’ve decided the sliding centre console is a gimmick, the digital instrument cluster and head-up display remain strong additions. We’re less convinced by the touchscreen, though, which still has a whiff of olde-worlde about it – particularly in the navigation system. That said, it’s logically laid out and easy enough to use. And build quality remains a strong point, with every component feeling securely connected to its neighbours. There are some iffy plastics around the door handles, though, and we’re yet to be convinced by the buttons that are all part of the wood-effect trim.


Happily, the larger battery has had no impact on the Ariya's practicality, which means you still get ample space for four adults. There's more than enough headroom and legroom in the back is ample, but interior storage isn't all that brilliant. Yes, you get a few cubbies, but the open-plan nature of the footwell means you can't store items in the passenger side lest they shift across to the pedals while driving. Fortunately, the 466-litre boot means you shouldn't have too much trouble fitting everything in there.


Those who choose this larger 87kWh battery get a choice of two powertrains: the single motor, front-wheel-drive version we tested, or the twin-motor e-4orce all-wheel-drive version. Surprisingly, the difference in power isn't that great, with the former offering an ample 242hp while the latter offers 306hp. However, the trade-off for that extra power is range, and while the official figures suggest the standard 242hp model will cover 329 miles on a single charge, that falls to 310 for the e-4orce. In the real world, we doubt you'd get that much from either car, but our test suggested 200 miles should be easily achievable and those driving almost exclusively around town might even get close to 300 miles.

Ride & Handling

It seems our original verdict on the Ariya was slightly coloured by the smooth European roads on which we drove. Here, in the UK, the Ariya feels a little firmer and more unsettled by our notoriously severe potholes. Admittedly, it has a bigger battery and that might have an effect, but it feels stiff and uncompromising at just the wrong moments. That said, on a smooth motorway it's pretty good and the ride is always just on the right side of acceptable. And while the handling isn't especially lively, the Ariya still feels easy to drive both in town and on a country road, where its stability and predictability still allows a little driver enjoyment.


Ariya prices start at £43,845, which is more than you'll pay for a basic Skoda Enyaq, but it isn't too much of an issue. The problem is that upgrading to the 87kWh battery pack adds almost £6,000 to the price. Admittedly, you get a real-world range of over 200 miles as a result, and that's undoubtedly very useful, but some would prefer to spend £4,000 on the more upmarket Evolve trim level tested here.


We already knew the Ariya was a strong contender in this class, but a lovely interior and ample space is not enough to take the lead. This 87kWh version commands a hefty premium but it is naturally more usable than the standard 63kWh option, and that makes it well worth considering for UK customers. It turns an already likeable and pleasant family car into an even more useful one.

James Fossdyke - 14 Dec 2022    - Nissan road tests
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2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.

2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.2022 Nissan Ariya 87kWh FWD Evolve. Image by Nissan.


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