Nissan Ariya review: interior, dashboard & infotainment
Nissan’s first electric SUV isn’t the cheapest on sale today, but is priced competitively against its premium-feeling rivals
Like the majority of modern electric SUVs, including a lot of the Ariya’s key rivals, Nissan has adopted a very minimalist approach to the cabin design. But, at least Nissan has gone to the effect of adding a few unique flourishes like a wood-effect panel for the touch-sensitive climate controls, and even some copper accents in our test car. On top of all that, material quality is great.
Nissan Ariya dashboard
As soon as you open the door, you immediately notice the vast amount of space in the cabin. There’s a flat floor all the way across the front from the driver’s to the passenger’s side, and the dashboard is quite slim and set-back, too, thanks to a lot of heating and ventilation parts being moved under the bonnet.
Located just below the central infotainment screen and slim, full-width vent is a wood-effect panel. This is where you’ll find the haptic climate-control buttons, which we found work well and look very smart. The two-spoke steering wheel is nice and chunky, incorporating infotainment and adaptive cruise control buttons, plus we like the driving position. Seat adjustment and visibility – particularly out back – both impress, too. The wide rear windows make shoulder-checks when changing lanes easy.
Equipment, options & accessories
Prices for the Ariya currently start from just over £46,000, with two trim levels to choose from: Advance and Evolve. For the money, the base Advance specification gets you generous amount of standard kit, including wireless phone charging, a dual-screen infotainment system, a heat pump, LED headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, heated seats, a powered tailgate, a 360-degree camera setup and a plethora of safety and driver-assistance systems, including lane-keeping and blind-spot assistance, automatic emergency braking (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alerts and collision warnings.
Upgrading to the 87kWh battery brings the price tag up to around £52,000, while dual-motor e-4ORCE models are priced at close to £55,000 at the moment. Advance-spec models are also available with an openable panoramic sunroof as part of the ‘sky pack’, as well as the ‘Bose tech pack’ that includes a 10-speaker sound system, head-up display and digital rear-view mirror.
You get all of these features if you step up to Evolve trim, on top of adaptive high beams, ventilated front and heated rear seats, different upholstery, Nissan's ProPilot Park system and the sliding centre console. That upgrade does cost a little under £4,000, though, so we’d save some money and stick with the regular Advance trim.
There are several paint options to choose from, including our test car’s copper and black contrasting roof , plus a light grey interior scheme over the standard black. Meanwhile, the ‘sports pack’ adds 20-inch alloy wheels and blue nappa leather upholstery.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
All Ariyas come with a pair of 12.3-inch screens under a single glass panel. The driver’s digital instruments are customisable and the central screen operates the majority of infotainment systems. The graphics could be slightly sharper compared to the setups in the Nissan’s rivals from Toyota and VW, and responsiveness could be improved, too, but functionality is good at least.
Over-the-air (OTA) software upgrades, Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay are all present and correct, as are ‘Hello, Nissan’ voice commands and Amazon Alexa integration. Other features in the Ariya’s system include sat nav that can select the most energy-efficient route and suggest charging stops along your journey, plus a function to thermally condition the battery ahead of time for the most effective recharging.
In This Review
- 1VerdictComfortable, refined and striking, Nissan’s follow-up to the pioneering Leaf is a strong contender in the electric family-car class
- 2Range, battery & chargingReal-world range and rapid-charging speeds are both decent, but could be better
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Ariya should be reasonably cheap to run and maintain, not to mention a very tempting company-car option
- 4Performance, motor & driveThe Nissan Ariya is a refined and comfortable family SUV, with plenty of poke even in front-wheel drive form
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainment - currently readingNissan’s first electric SUV isn’t the cheapest on sale today, but is priced competitively against its premium-feeling rivals
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe Ariya’s cabin is more spacious than its rakish roofline might suggest, but rivals offer significantly more boot space
- 7Reliability & safety ratingA lengthy list of driver assistance systems and brand-new EV platform suggests safety shouldn’t be a concern with the Nissan Ariya