This, however, is the new aria that second vehicle that weve been waiting for for so long. Its a compact crossover with midsize interior were gon na hop in here in spain in the rain and see how it goes Music, so weve traveled all the way out here to madrid. This is the harama circuit, just a stones, throw outside of that major city, and this has been a long time coming and i dont just mean since the leaf this vehicle was supposed to be out last year, but due to the pandemic and various shortages, its a Little bit behind schedule, but at first blush it seems like its worth. The wait why spain well? This is the location of the early drive of this 2023 aria and, in fact, were driving a euro spec version. So not everything is exactly the way itll be when it comes to the us things like the tire selection im on summers right now, and this suspension calibration will be a little bit different, but by and large its going to feel exactly the same. And that includes this powertrain, which this is the low price single motor model. So you got 215 horsepower 221 foot pounds of torque, not a ton in the realm of whats possible with todays evs, but it still feels pretty sprightly 0 60 in about seven seconds. So that sounds a little slow, but because of the nature of electric power delivery and that zero to 30 quickness, it actually feels much more powerful than that and you dont really want for a lot more.

This is a front wheel, drive model with this, the smaller 63 kilowatt hour battery pack. This model is going to start somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 thousand dollars, which undercuts the tesla model y by about 10 or 12 grand, and yet it has similar range. Nissan is saying about 300 miles of range for this model, which is similar to the tesla model y long range, the other most obvious competitors are the volkswagen id4 and the mustang mach e. This one is front wheel drive, and i can definitely feel that when i put the power down too early because its got all that torque down low, you can get some wheel spin happening, but it picks it up really quickly and then it just goes. You can see a little bit of the traction control light dither on if you try and get on the power too early, but you barely notice at all. You would notice it a lot more in a gas car where it might intervene more with the brakes or cut the power a little bit more abruptly. This is just very smooth, its very simple, its very friendly. I like that now theyve got us set up here on the full road course, but there are a bunch of cones to mimic different driving conditions. Youve got some sort of emergency lane change things happening, youve got a b road section, youve got a freeway section, so its not full on speed but honestly thats, not what this suv is about.

I think the primary remit for a vehicle like this is comfort serenity. You know you got a busy day, you got a tough work and family life and you just want a little bit of an escape pod, and this this vehicle is more about serenity first and that electric powertrain underpins that its very smooth, even with relatively limited power. Its comfortable, you feel confident, youve got the passing power. You need youve got the wheels at the corner. So even though this thing is about the size of a nissan, rogue youve got a wheelbase thats, quite a bit, bigger thats, probably more like a murano. So you get a lot of good space inside nissan, has done a good job here, updating a lot of the switch gear and the materials to elevate it to feel quite a bit nicer than even recent models like the rogue and the updated pathfinder they havent gotten To the point where theyve reduced the switch gear, so much that you cant figure out how to operate things, you dont need to go rifling through some manual or watching a bunch of youtube videos to figure it out its all pretty intuitive. There are a bunch of things that are handled through the screen, but there are real switches here. I have normal drive stocks, ive got steering wheel controls and the hvac controls here are clearly marked. The difference is that they are haptic feedback switches, theres no actual, like rocker switch gear theres.

You know you push basically on a flat plane and you feel a little feedback underneath. So it looks. Sleek therell be no fingerprints here, which is great but uh. It also makes you take your eyes off the road for a split second nissan infotainment over the years, hasnt been so great here. I think that this is a little bit better. The system is snappier. You can actually swipe directions from the middle screen onto the main screen in front of the gauge cluster im. Looking at the navigation, graphics, theyre still a bit on the dated side, but the system here seems snappier. Ive got a nice 12 inch display here and also a 12 inch gauge cluster. This is a fully modern setup and theres some nice little party tricks in here that ill show you in a breakout, including a a power center console and a power glove box. Just some nifty little details if theres a party trick with this interior, its this center console its got one of those monostable shifters similar to what is in the nissan rogue, which i dont really care for in that vehicle. This one feels a bit better. Its got dual cup holders uh. There is uh wireless charging there and a little receptacle there for cards or what have you uh and then theres more of these buttons, including e pedal, which we all know that thats uh adjustable regen at this point and a self park button uh theres a drive Mode selector here uh again, capacitive touch uh, but also this close and open thing.

So if i click on open – and i look over here – nice little swan movement to this power center kind of a glove box deal lets say its pretty deep see how far my hand goes in there. Its nicely flocked. There is a little cover cover honestly feels a little a bit on the cheap side, so im hopeful that that might be a pre production part, because i could see that uh becoming a problem down the road in lower trims. That this whole thing is not power. Operated theres a manual close and open version, but a nice touch there and you still get a pretty decent sized glove box. So theres a lot of space here they move the hvac components that are normally back here up more under the hood and that freed that space to do that. Along with this flat center floor, and then the other thing thats interesting about this center console beyond the fact that youve got usba and usbc down there and a cord wrap feature here to wrap your cords around and a power outlet. Is this check that out thats right its power, so you can get a little bit of adjustment to your arm rest or have your cup holder a little bit closer to you, so its kind of a novelty thing, but its actually fairly comfortable? To have your hand here, and you can kind of adjust it depending on how tall or short you are its kind of nice.

So nissan has really kind of felt maybe a little bit behind the curve lately with evs, which is odd, considering they were the first to come out with a mass market ev in the leaf. They sort of squandered that leadership and, to be honest with you, ive, been wondering if they could recover that im, not sure that itll happen all at once with this aria. But this is definitely a very big step in the right direction. Theyve announced a slew of additional models coming right now. This one will be built in japan, but shortly itll be built in canton, mississippi and uh. You know thats a nice commitment to the us and to our market and our interest in evs weve been going around here on this circuit now for the last half hour or so, and i think i just got the wave down. Unfortunately, im not going to get to take this on the street were going to need a much fuller test drive of this vehicle to really get a sense for it and im going to wait for the full u.s spec model to really decide how i feel about This aria, but as an initial first impression, im quite impressed.