As the fully electric Nissan Leaf reaches the end of its cord, the new Ariya plugs in. The Ariya is vastly superior to the outgoing Leaf in terms of space, range, power, and style. For starters, the Ariya is available in front- and all-wheel drive flavors, with an EPA-estimated range between 265 and 304 miles. Offered with either of two battery packs, the Ariya is a smooth operator whose feistiest output maxes out at 389 horsepower. While its interior is arguably Nissan’s most elegant to date, complete with wood-trim pieces and haptic buttons on the dashboard, the Ariya doesn’t offer much in terms of excitement. Plus, its maximum DC-fast charging rate of 130 kW is lame compared to rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and KIa EV6 which can recharge much quicker at up to 230 kW.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Unlike the soon-to-be discontinued Leaf, which comes only with front-wheel drive, Nissan is pulling from features developed in other cars, including the GT-R sports car’s torque-split system, to offer optional all-wheel drive via a dual-front/rear-electric-motor configuration. The front-wheel drive model we tested hit 60 mph in 7.5 seconds but the more powerful e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive Ariya is significantly quicker. At our test track, the e-4ORCE Platinum+ zipped from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds, a feat that is similar to higher-end electric vehicles. From what we’ve experienced so far, the Ariya provides a calm, stable ride that should please most buyers, but it lacks the sporty nature driving enthusiasts prefer.

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