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  • Writer's pictureMarc Gonzalez

Nissan ARIYA Platinum+: Is It Truly an Infiniti in Disguise?

Updated: Mar 11

A second electric vehicle was long overdue for Nissan after introducing the compact hatchback Leaf in 2011; the Japanese automaker needed an SUV to garner more consumer interest. Nissan presented the concept car in Tokyo in 2019, and the production version released in 2021 kept nearly the design. Our test model was the Nissan ARIYA Platinum+ e-4ORCE with an MSRP of $73,067, and it was built at the Tochigi, JPN plant. 


Nissan Ariya
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

It is surprising how long it took Nissan to release a new electric vehicle catering to the SUV wave. We thought it was a bit late, but now that we got up close, we are more convinced of the final product. Starting with a fresh new design, especially in front, thanks to its LED running lights and closed-off front grille. You will also find some design patterns that give the grille an attractive close-up. A feature that is only available on electric vehicles right now is that the Nissan badge is lit up, which is pretty cool. The egg-like shape of the car makes for an interesting comparison, especially in this colour, officially called Sunrise CopperPearl. 


Nissan Ariya
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Nonetheless, it makes for a spacious interior; more on that later. In the back, you can find a light bar stretching from one end to the other, a rear spoiler on the top, and a black bumper with some aerodynamic traits. Overall, the exterior design is comparable to that of many other electric vehicles, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y. However, this colour is quite unique compared to the competition's offerings.




Stepping inside the Nissan Ariya, the cabin differs from the rest of the automaker's lineup. For example, there's no separation at foot level between the driver and the passenger in front. It provides an open cabin that has not been matched in the past 15 years; the large panoramic sunroof also helps. The gauge cluster and infotainment system are also different. Nissan showcases the next generation with this dual-screen connected seamlessly. With the climate controls integrated into the dashboard, it looks smooth and offers a great vibe to the ensemble. The steering wheel is a little different on the driver's side, nothing out of the ordinary like a yoke, but the difference is still noticeable. The 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is large and displays all the needed information, with even the possibility of having a full-screen map. The materials used look and feel premium: you will find a leather-suede combination that improves the overall feeling. Nissan also improved soundproofing thanks to the Active Sound Control; this vehicle has a substantially quieter cabin than the less-expensive Leaf. The Zero Gravity seats are also comfortable; we've tried them in other models, and the Ariya is no different. 


Nissan Ariya interior
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Before expanding on infotainment, we need to address the backseat situation; it is roomy, thanks to the Ariya's dimensions. This new vehicle is 375 mm (14.9 in) shorter than the midsize Nissan Pathfinder but is 194 mm (7.6 in) wider, thus improving room for second-row passengers, and it makes a difference while limiting the impact on cargo space, which is still a decent 646 L (22.9 cu. ft.). The outer seats are heated for cold winter days. The ISOFIX ports are on the seat cushions; you have to lift the leather cover, and they're easy to use, while the rear anchors are easily accessible in the trunk. The Nissan Ariya carries five passengers without compromise, a significant advantage over rivals with a smaller second-row. A minor downside is the high trunk lip, which can be challenging to put heavy large boxes in if you are a small person. 


Nissan Ariya Infotainment
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

The Nissan Ariya has a new 12.3-inch touchscreen compatible with wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The screen is wide and bright, but there is some delay when switching between menus, which can be annoying if you select the wrong item. You can get a heated steering wheel and heated or ventilated front seats, but you have to turn them on directly on the screen, which is also a missed opportunity since they should've put it next to the haptic touch climate controls. These controls look great, especially on this wood panel, enhancing the premium feeling of the vehicle. The center console can open the Power Centre storage with a tray table, which is weird because the control isn't next to this item on the dashboard. You can open it and have hidden storage for valuables, or use it like a tray table if you're charging the vehicle and want to send some emails on your laptop or read other articles on the Driving Fun and Family website. Thanks to the arrows on the side, you can slide the center console forward or backward to get the best driving position possible. Finally, here's a quick word on the 10-speaker Bose Premium Sound System: nothing major except the great sound you can get at this price tag.


Bose sound system Nissan Ariya
Photo by Alain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

Driving-wise, the Ariya is available with two battery packs. The standard 66 kWh lithium-ion battery coupled to an electric motor delivers 214 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque in an FWD configuration, the base model (Engage). We had the Platinum+ version, equipped with the larger 91 kWh battery, which, thanks once again to the electric motor, delivers 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque in an AWD configuration. The range extends from 348 km to 465 km, with the Platinum trim rated at 428 km. Nissan's engineers emphasized smoothness; even in sport mode, you don't feel the strong "I'm going to tear up the asphalt" acceleration found in certain EVs. With a 5.1 second time to 0-100 kph, it's not groundbreaking either. Much like a traditional gasoline vehicle, it is progressive, and you don't feel thrown back into your seat but still have plenty of power to get on a highway ramp. That said, the Ariya handling is weighted nicely; the large battery pack placed lower to the ground keeps the car in sharp turns, and you won't feel like sliding out of your seat in a corner. The steering is precise enough to make parking easy yet manageable for daily use. The suspension is quite good; it helps mitigate road imperfections adequately. Finally, braking is about what you can expect for such a vehicle, not too short or long. 


Nissan Ariya rear 3/4
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

There is work left on the electric side of things. As mentioned earlier, the official range figure of the Nissan Ariya Platinum is 428 km (268 mi); we averaged about 390 km, going as low as 347 km on the highway only. It is important to note that we drove the Ariya at the end of summer and the beginning of fall and drove it more on the highway than in the city; nonetheless, we were moderately enthusiastic about the range in near-optimal conditions. Also, we were disappointed with the fast charging speeds. We used a 100kW charger and couldn't get over 64 kW of speed. The vehicle should take on a level 2 charger; it will take about 14 hours if the battery is entirely dead or about 12 hours at 10%. A software update may help mitigate the range problem, but a 22 kWh/100km energy consumption is higher than the competition. One advantage is the towing capacity; some versions of the Ariya, like this one, can tow up to 1,500 lbs, enough for a small trailer or an ATV. 



The Nissan Ariya Platinum is a good vehicle. Whether you like the look is personal, but the cabin is large and open, the seats are comfortable, and you can expect a range of about 400 km (250 mi) on the combined city/highway driving. Even though it has qualities, it isn't easy to justify its $73,067 price tag. You would be better off with the Evolve trim, which has AWD, a slightly smaller range, and costs nearly $10,000 less for most features found on the Platinum trim. Is it a good choice? Yes, it has many qualities that families will appreciate from a midsize electric SUV. 


Nissan Ariya
Photo by Vince P. Szigeti

Nissan has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Nissan Canada. The above reflects our personal opinion of the car referred to above.

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