Driving report: Nissan Ariya e-4orce Evolve: front runner

To start with a little knowledge of English: “to evolve” means “to develop further” in German.

Driving report: Nissan Ariya e-4orce Evolve: front runner

To start with a little knowledge of English: “to evolve” means “to develop further” in German. This actually describes this equipment line of the Nissan Ariya well. The only question is what to call a new top model. In the English language there is nothing more than just further development. So the Japanese car manufacturer's sales experts reach into the tried and tested drawer and simply add a plus sign. Evolve becomes Evolve. This is mainly about more power, i.e. 290 kW / 394 HP.

This makes this electric crossover the front runner among Nissans. Of course, with 225 kW / 306 HP you are more than adequately motorized, but the extra power gives your progress a touch of additional confidence. With a price of 65,490 euros, the Nissan Ariya e-4orce Evolve is not a special offer and is exactly 5,000 euros more expensive than the all-wheel drive version with the Evolve Pack and 225 kW / 306 hp. The 5,000 euros are not a randomly chosen surcharge. With the Evolve, the buyer gets full hats, which amounts to 2,500 euros. The rest goes for the additional power of 65 kW / 88 HP.

Even in the most powerful Ariya, we are pleased with details such as the center console, which can be electrically moved longitudinally at the push of a button, so that every driver can reach the embedded pressure fields easily and relaxed. As attractive as these controls are, when selecting the driving modes (Snow, Eco, Normal and Sport) you have to press precisely and decisively to trigger the action. The differences between the individual settings are clearly noticeable. With this performance from the Ariya, Eco is easily sufficient for most routes. With Normal, things are much more ambitious and overtaking is easy. The best choice for us, among other things because sports are accompanied by an artificial sound.

There is enough traction thanks to the all-wheel drive, which has two electric motors that distribute the power flexibly depending on the driving situation. The Power Ariya shows no weaknesses. Things are different with the rather callous steering and the chassis, which handles post-severe frost potholes in a rather wooden way. The seats also offer little lateral support. That's bearable, but we don't really get used to the e-pedal. As soon as you activate it, the pedal retracts slightly and the braking feeling becomes harder or the resistance of the pedal increases when decelerating. One-pedal driving is not possible because the e-pedal function only brakes the 2,315 kilogram e-crossover to a speed of five km/h. We decide to take the braking skills into our own hands, as energy is wasted during recuperation and are pleased to see how light-footed the Nissan Ariya rolls.

As soon as you pull the reins back, the Nissan Ariya e-4orce Evolve sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds (0.6 seconds faster than without plus) and, like its weaker brother, can reach 200 km/h fast. Nissan states a standard consumption of 20.4 kWh/100 km, we drove lightly on country roads and towns, occasionally choosing a more vigorous pace and, according to the on-board computer, we achieved 18.8 kWh/100 km. The battery has a capacity of 87 kWh, which should be enough for 498 kilometers. In our case, the system reported a range of 353 kilometers at a temperature of 13 degrees plus and a charge level of 91 percent. However, it must be noted that this value depends on the consumption of the previous driver. The Ariya earns good marks for AC charging, which is possible with a maximum of 22 kW. Things look a little different when it comes to DC power charging, where it is 130 KW. This is average at best. The batteries are filled from 20 to 80 percent within around 40 minutes.

The interior is unchanged compared to the other Ariya models. We feel comfortable because of the light that comes in through the standard glass panoramic roof. But also take note of the old-fashioned graphics on the 12.3-inch display and between the digital round instruments. This has to be more modern for a car in 2024. The space available is convincing. There is enough space in the rear despite the coupe-like roofline. Even if you are 1.85 meters tall, it won't be tight around your head. The trunk volume is sufficient at 415 liters to 1,280 liters with the back seat backs folded down. The fact that the loading area is flat helps when buying in bulk.