FIRST DRIVE | Finding electric zen with the new Nissan Ariya.

Nissan introduced the world’s first mass-market electric car to the local market in 2013. Driving the Leaf all those years ago left a lasting impression – it introduced me to a feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the time, which turned out to be “range anxiety”.

As technology improved to more efficient EV batteries across the board, it’s something I seldom think about. Fast forward to February 2023, I drove Nissan’s second EV in Europe, the compact crossover SUV Ariya and didn’t think about range anxiety once.

The Ariya has an 87kWh nett battery with a claimed 515km range from a single charge. By comparison, the first-gen Leaf had a 24kWh battery.

The Ariya is built on the new CMF-EV platform that houses Nissan’s e-4orce technology designed for its electrified and all-electric powertrains, including the X-Trail I sampled in France, Spain, and Andorra over two days.

It combines power from the electric motor, four-wheel drive system and chassis to deliver an all-round superior driving experience with better handling for any type of terrain. It includes a “snow mode” we tested at the world’s highest permanent track at Circuit Andorra.

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