For many of us in the UK, Nissan Leaf was our first and only EV for a long time before Tesla became the top-selling EV. As a Leaf 40 owner myself, I had built a special relationship and bond with my car. The physical controls exactly did what they were supposed to do. The range offered by the vehicle for various weather conditions and battery percentage was entirely predictable, and one could plan long journies without much trouble.

When Nissan announced, Ariya as a successor and a crossover, thousands of Leaf owners, including myself, got excited, with many even placing a reservation. What makes Ariya unique worthy of a shortlist? Here is a list of things I love about this car.

Dual widescreen display

Dual widescreen display in Ariya

There are several creative thinking behind the display and the dashboard. Firstly, the dedicated displays for driving and one for media reduces distraction commonly associated with a Tesla. The proper physical controls with a subtle bump for standard functions such as heating and adaptive cruise control improve usability.

Physical controls in Ariya

We get a Head-up display, an Intelligent rearview mirror, and 10 Bose speakers with the optional Bose Tech Pack.

Ariya Head-up display

Thanks to the CMF-EV platform, the Air Conditioning unit is pushed into the motor room, thus making the dashboard thinner with improved front visibility.

Boot space

Spacious boot space of over 400 litres on offer, even with the e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive model, is fantastic. The rear seats also fold flat, making this a practical SUV for camping. There is also a rear well on single motor models offering additional space.

This amenity is possible thanks to the CMF-EV platform. The flat battery pack with front-mounted motors increases the available boot space.

CMF-EV platform

Aero covers

Tesla Model Y offers an average looking aero cover with the 19inch wheel models, and this is why we recommend Black Laminar Covers in our accessories list. In contrast, the aero covers offered by Nissan are gorgeous and efficient and therefore value for money.

The wheelbase is also longer to enhance the grip and comfort, similar to the Range Rover LWB models.

Ariya has a longer wheelbase.

Liquid-cooled battery

Nissan Leaf lacked active battery temperature management, so it suffered from Rapidgate problems. Ariya introduces the liquid-cooling technology commonly found in premium EV models such as Mercedes EQS and BMW iX, eliminating Rapidgating. DC Rapid charging capability is also improved to support up to 130 kW DC compared to 100 kW offered by Leaf e+ (Chademo) matching the Audi PPE platform at 400V performance.

The battery pack is arranged with a more prominent horizontal bump below the rear seats, increasing the usable battery to 87 kWh on the e-4ORCE models. In comparison, Tesla Model Y 2022 has just a 75 kWh usable battery on the long-range model.

Below are some real-world estimates as per the ev-database.

# Condition Range Estimate (miles)
1 Combined - Cold Weather 235
2 Combined - Mild Weather 315
3 City - Mild Weather 405

Turning circle

The turning circle of Ariya kerb to kerb is just 10.8 meters! In contrast, Tesla Model Y has a turning circle of 12.1 meters. Mercedes EQS, with a 10inch steering angle, comes close at 10.9 m.

A lower turning circle makes this SUV feel like a smaller car when driving around roundabouts and narrow lanes, improving the driving experience.

Closing thoughts

With 600 Nm Torque, 290 kW engine power, and a 22 kW onboard AC charger, Ariya beats even the latest Tesla Model Y on many key parameters. The OTR price and lack of any discount might make this car appear expensive. However, what is on offer is an exceptional SUV with renowned technology and design as standard making this a worthy alternative to Tesla and its German counterparts.