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In-depth reviews

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

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, dashboard & infotainment rating

4.0 out of 5

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 effort 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. 

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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 could be a little finicky to operate. Regardless, they still look rather smart and disappear whenever the car is turned off. 

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 around £40,000, with four trim levels to choose from: Engage, Advance, Evolve and Evolve+. For the money, the base Engage specification gets you a generous amount of standard equipment including LED headlights, a dual-screen infotainment system with built-in sat nav, dual-zone climate control, a suite of safety aids including blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control, plus front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

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Advance trim was once the entry point into the Ariya lineup and adds tinted rear windows, heated part-synthetic leather seats, a wireless phone charger, a powered bootlid, and a 360-degree camera setup. The Evolve trim is rather expensive but adds luxuries like heated and cooled synthetic leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, a head-up display, a digital rear-view mirror, and a Bose sound system.

New for 2023 is the top-of-the-range Evolve+ model which gets its own 388bhp high-performance powertrain and starts from around £60,000. This can be identified by its 20-inch wheels and blue Nappa leather upholstery, but it’s rather expensive and we recommend sticking with either the Engage or Advance specifications.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

All Ariyas come with a pair of 12.3-inch screens behind a single glass panel. The driver’s digital instruments are customisable and the central screen operates the majority of infotainment systems. We feel the central display could do with a bit of an upgrade, though; the graphics aren’t that sharp and it would benefit from being a little brighter in direct sunlight. Overall responsiveness isn’t a patch on the systems you’ll find in a Tesla Model Y or Kia EV6 either, but the Nissan’s touchscreen is easy to operate regardless.

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.

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Welcome one and all, I’m Ellis the news reporter on Auto Express, the brand’s former online reviews editor and contributor to DrivingElectric. I’m proud to say I cut my teeth reporting and reviewing all things EV as the content editor on DrivingElectric. I joined the team while completing my master’s degree in automotive journalism at Coventry University and since then I’ve driven just about every electric car and hybrid I could get my hands on.

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