It pioneered the mainstream electric car with the nissan leaf more than a decade ago, but as it felt like nissan, has perhaps become complacent and been leapfrogged by some of the new arrivals in the last few years. Well, maybe yes, but not anymore! This is the nissan aria or, to be more precise, it is a nissan aria prototype which weve been given early access to in order to have a little look around and post around the test track. Here it is, as you can see, a very sleek coupe crossover. Now it is 4.6 meters long which, for some context, means that its a little bit bigger than nissans very popular qashqai, but a little bit shorter than the ford mustang mackie. That will be one of its chief rivals now before we do get on and have a look inside the car and find out what its like to drive. Dont forget to like this video subscribe to the cargurus uk youtube channel and turn on your notifications. So you dont miss any of our videos. The aria is offered with two batteries: a 63 kilowatt hour or an 87 kilowatt hour. The smaller battery will deliver a wltp range of up to 223 miles and his front wheel drive only while the bigger one will do up to 310 miles or a bit less than that. If you go for one of the more powerful four wheel, drive variants, which include an e force performance version, thatll do 62 miles per hour in just over five seconds.

The aria is on sale now, with deliveries starting in summer 2022 for the front wheel, drive models and four wheel drive versions arriving a bit later, prices run from just under 42 000 pounds up to nearly 60 000 pounds for the aria performance model. It looks really cool as well. I think the nissan aria theres something very concept car like about it with this very smooth surfacing everywhere. I like the shield here. The pattern on this is inspired by a japanese wood. Apparently – and you see that echoed throughout the rest of the car as well, i just think it looks great. I, like the slim headlights, too theres loads of good good details on this car and that concept car feel does kind of echo inside as well. Its definitely a theme with most modern cars that you have quite a minimalist interior and i think nissan has pretty much nailed it in here. I like this very simple, two horizontal structures across the dash with events going across there, simple, but really effective. I think it looks good. There are some nice touches, the materials are lovely. I love this wood finish, touch sensitive buttons, haptic buttons for your climate control, here drive modes and things down here. It all looks really smart. I like the fact that this moves forward. So you can use it as a knee rest. If you want its quite a nice touch, it all just feels really nice.

I really like this uh suede finish as well. Its very cool you can even get it in blue, which i particularly like the idea of a blue suede interior really does appeal to me very smart, two spoked steering wheel. I just think all of it looks smart, modern and actually quite functional, which is kind of the point isnt it. You do get, of course, touchscreen as standard with all of your functions in there that you would expect, and you can also connect it to your alexa at home and tell the car to turn your heating on at home and all of that sort of stuff. If you wish, it is probably not the best graphics ive ever seen on a touchscreen, it has to be said, but it does seem to respond quite quickly and, like i said, the functionality is there. So i think its going to do everything that you want it to. Practicality is also a strong point with the aria, as youd expect of a big coupe like family suv like this, those in the back get a flat floor and loads more legroom than you get in a nissan qashqai, for instance, roughly the same amount, if not slightly More than you get in a ford mustang mackie and volkswagen id4. As for the boot front, wheel, drive aria versions, get a really decent load space with 466 litre capacity. Four wheel, drive versions lose a little bit of that space and get 408 liters.

Both have the split underfloor storage, thats, really useful for stowing your cables. But it is a shame that theres no storage in the nose of the car as you get with a tesla model y charging is via the type 2 and ccs sockets on the front wing of the car, with speeds up to 130 kilowatts offering a 100 mile Top up in around about 15 minutes plug into a seven kilowatt home war box and youll, have a full charge in around about nine hours for the smaller battery car or about 13 hours for the big battery. So how does the nissan aria drive? Well, we have got a two wheel: drive small battery version here, its on 20 inch wheels, although interestingly, it does actually have quite chunky. Sidewalls youve got 45 section tyres and its really its pretty good. You know, i think its got a really nice sort of confident sure footed feel to it. Steering response is very nice in normal, so youve got your sports, normal and eco, which you shuffle, through with your nice touch sensitive button down here. Stick it in sport and the steering gets bit heavier its fine, but i just think that uh, its almost just feels a bit artificial when you put it in sport mode. It reminds me a little bit of a sort of mini esque, really keen turn into a corner, quite weighty and its not bad. It balances up quite nicely in a fast corner, but i still prefer it in normal.

I just think it feels a bit more natural than organic, really and thats all well and good, so nice handling, i think it does bode well for the performance model, well, have to see what thats, like its quite a drastically different thing to this uh. This two wheel drive small battery version, so well uh, look forward to that one for sure um when it comes to ride comfort. I think thats, where my only kind of fairly big concern is with the aria, because its not bad high speed stuff is really quite nice and really nice control through you know good compressions on this test track, um really nice, but when you hit high frequency uh Bumps in the road, the kind of stuff that youre going to find around town in the uk basically does feel quite brittle uh. I wonder whether the 19 inch wheels might make quite a big difference to that. So im going to reserve judgment until ive actually had to go in the area on a proper uk road and around town and stuff. But for now it feels to me, like the suspensions, quite noisy and perhaps a little bit unsettled by those kind of high frequency. Scruffy, you know sort of thing you get in uk towns where the tarmacs worn away a bit, and you get that kind of sharp edge stuff that feels to me. It could be a bit of an issue so well see how it does on that.

One and well certainly get it up against his rivals when we can get this car on the road which hopefully wont be too long other than that performance. Absolutely fine feels really nippy away from standstill its not going to blow your mind. You know its not going to its not got stratospheric performance, even if you do go for the um for the top range e force performance aria when that comes out, thats got naught to 62 more like five seconds, so you know thats up there with the with The faster mac ease, but youre not talking about tesla performance here, even so, absolutely fine for uh your everyday stuff, more than fast enough for merging onto fast motorways. That kind of thing no problem at all now nissan kind of pioneered the e power thing, which is one pedal driving the leaf, was one of the first to come to market with it, and what it means is that you can drive around town without using the Actual brake pedal because, as you lift off the throttle, the regenerative braking which you have in every ev kicks in really strongly. So you can activate it down here and i have to say, theyve improved it for the aria over the leaf, because sometimes mostly its sort of parking maneuvering speeds in the leaf. If youve got any power can feel a bit unpredictable. You get sort of slight changes in how the pedal responds in the aria.

It seems to be quite a lot better, its really nice and smooth and predictable, and if you turn e pedal off, then you get standard quite mild regen, which doesnt really feel much different to the standard kind of engine. Braking you get in a petrol or diesel car, so this does feel like a very unintimidating, very confident car. If this were your first ev, i dont think youd be in any way kind of surprised by how it drives, in fact, its really lovely and smooth and very intuitive. Generally, i think um. So there you have it. I think the aria is exactly what people are going to be wanting from this sort of semi sporting family suv crossover. It is a really nice package, its got really like, i said its just short, footed and confident and nice and you can get in it and it instantly is actually very easy to drive so thats all well and good um its also well equipped. So you get your pro pilot, semi autonomous drive mode, so your adaptive crews, your lane, keep and also traffic stop and go as standard on every aria, which is great because i used to commute into london quite often and if youre, in that kind of you know, 20 mile, an hour really sticky traffic that ability to stop when the car in front stops with you stay in a lane. This kind of thing actually does take a lot of the stress out of it and im, not a huge fan of semi autonomous drive modes.

Generally ill be completely honest about that, i can see their purpose and i think theyre getting better, but at the moment i do think that sort of slow speed, traffic stuff thats, where it really comes in into play, so its great that thats standard. If you go for the navi upgrade, then it will also follow your speed limits and it will slow down if it knows that theres a sharp corner coming up and this kind of thing so nissans doing really well for the amount of standard safety kit and driver Aids, its pretty much up there, i think, probably class, leading you also get a heat pump as standard which lets face it doesnt sound exciting, but what it means is that the aria will be fairly efficient in cold weather, more so than an ev that doesnt have A heat pump generally youve also got water called battery, which means that the battery should rapid charge quite quickly and you should be able to rapid charge consecutively on a longer journey and it shouldnt be a problem. So this is all good to know about the aria. I mean the thing is: nissan is pretty much the godfather of the mainstream ev. It launched the leaf which started it all and its got more of a history and more experience with mainstream evs than just about anybody else. The nissan leaf is still one of the biggest selling evs in the world, and i think that experience does show in the aria.

It is genuinely a really nice really likable and very effective package, well have to drive it in the uk a bit more before we can come to a final conclusion on whether that ride comfort is a bit of a problem. I fear it might be, and i also want to spend a lot more time in the car before i can give a proper real world range estimate. According to our experience of the car. Judging by what nissan says about the battery wltp range. Well, i think youre going to be looking at about 150 to 200 for the smaller battery and more like 250 to 300 for the bigger battery, but thats. Very rough estimates again well come back to all of that when weve driven it more on uk roads and back to back with its rivals, speaking of which one of the bigger problems that the aria might face is the skoda enyak iv, which does a very similar Job for quite a bit less money, even if its not as well equipped as standard as the nissan well have to get both on the road back to back, to find out, which one is best in the meantime, head to cargurus.