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The 2023 Nissan Ariya Empower+ Review: Nissan's Big and Cozy EV Crossover SUV

Launched last year, the 2023 Ariya has put Nissan and its electric know-how back in an increasingly competitive market. I test-drove it for a week and in this review, I am going to tell you about my experience of how well thought and well-made is Ariya.


In 2012, by launching the Leaf, Nissan laid the first stone of a building... which remained for more than ten years at the level of the foundations.

The Japanese manufacturer may have been a pioneer in the electric car, but it was quickly overtaken by the competition, paying in particular for the strategic procrastination on the part of its former management.

To catch up, which partially succeeded with the Ariya, Nissan, therefore, had to go into overdrive. A first step since it is the first 100% electric model of a future range that will include 23 electrified vehicles by 2030, including 15 electric vehicles.

Trim Levels and Pricing

The Nissan Ariya is an all-new electric SUV that offers a range of up to 304 miles on a single charge. It is available in four trim levels: Engage, Venture+, Evolve+, and Platinum+.

The Engage is the base trim level and starts at $44,525. It comes standard with a 63.0-kWh battery pack and front-wheel drive. The Venture+ is the next trim level up and starts at $48,525. It comes with the same battery pack as the Engage, but it has an all-wheel drive.

2023 Nissan Ariya rear view exterior

The Evolve+ is the third trim level and starts at $51,525. It comes with a larger 87.0-kWh battery pack and an all-wheel drive. The Platinum+ is the top-of-the-line trim level and starts at $61,525. It comes with the same battery pack and all-wheel drive as the Evolve+, but it has a more luxurious interior and exterior.

If you are looking for the longest driving range, the Venture+ is the best trim level for you. It offers up to 304 miles of range on a single charge. However, if you are looking for the most luxurious trim level, Platinum+ is the best choice. It comes with a variety of features that make it a more comfortable and enjoyable ride.

Ultimately, the best trim level for you will depend on your individual needs and budget. If you are looking for the longest driving range, the Venture+ is the best choice. If you are looking for the most luxurious trim level, Platinum+ is the best choice.

Exterior Design of The 2023 Nissan Ariya

The Arya is an elegant electric SUV. It features a sleek and modern exterior design. It is based on Nissan's new "Timeless Japanese Futurism" design language, which combines traditional Japanese elements with a futuristic sensibility.

The front end of the Ariya is dominated by a large V-shaped grille that is inspired by the Japanese kumiko pattern. The grille is flanked by slim LED headlights and a wide lower bumper. The sides of the Ariya are smooth and flowing, with a character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear taillights. The rear end of the Ariya is characterized by its slim LED taillights and a sloping roofline.

2023 Nissan Ariya side exterior

The Ariya is available in a variety of colors, including Pearl White, Gun Metallic, Storm Blue, and Magnetic Black. It is also available with a variety of wheel options, including 19-inch and 20-inch wheels.

Here are some of the features that contribute to the Ariya's sleek and modern exterior design:

  1. The V-shaped grille is inspired by the Japanese kumiko pattern.
  2. The slim LED headlights and taillights give the Ariya a futuristic look.
  3. The sloping roofline gives the Ariya a sporty appearance.
  4. The variety of available colors and wheel options allow Ariya buyers to customize the Ariya's exterior to their liking.

The Empower+ variant comes with 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and integrated power-adjustable, power-folding, heated mirrors. It also features a panoramic moonroof with a power sunshade and one-touch open/close for an enhanced cabin experience.

2023 Nissan Ariya front exterior

In terms of safety, the Ariya Empower+ is equipped with various advanced driver-assistance systems, including Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Intelligent Cruise Control with Distance Control Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Lane Intervention, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These features contribute to a safer driving experience and help prevent potential collisions.


The dashboard offers a fairly original design, with flattering materials that are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the touch. It has sensitive controls that allow you to easily adjust the air conditioning (heat pump) while the central console moves forwards or backwards electrically without there being any separation at the level of the legs between the front occupants, like many American cars in 1970s.

2023 Nissan Ariya interior dashboard

Inside the Nissan Ariya Empower+, passengers can enjoy leatherette or optional Nappa leather seating surfaces. The vehicle boasts a high-tech cabin with a 12.3-inch Advanced Drive-Assist® meter display digital dashboard, NissanConnect® EV with wireless Apple CarPlay® and wired Android Auto™ integration, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, and more. It also features a head-up display, voice recognition, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The Ariya Empower+ aims to offer a comfortable and connected driving experience, combining modern technology with electric performance.

Empower+ Powertrain
The Empower+ variant comes with a dual-motor setup, featuring externally excited synchronous motors (EESM) that deliver a combined output of 290 kW (equivalent to 389 horsepower) and a substantial torque of 442 lb-ft.

2023 Nissan Ariya motor

With the e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system, this configuration promises enhanced traction and stability on various road conditions.

Battery and Charging
The Nissan Ariya Empower+ is equipped with a 91 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, providing a usable capacity of 87 kWh. This larger battery capacity enables the vehicle to achieve an impressive range of 304 miles on a full charge, making it suitable for longer journeys.

Charging the Empower+ trim is convenient, with both a 7.2-kW onboard charger and a 130-kW DC fast charger available. Utilizing the quick charge port and a 130 kW charger, the Ariya can achieve a 10-80% charge in approximately 40 minutes. Level 2 charging (0-100%) using the onboard charger takes around 14 hours.

Drive System and Brakes
The Ariya Empower+ features an advanced e-4ORCE all-wheel drive system, providing power to all four wheels for improved handling and traction. The transmission is a single-speed unit, operated through a shift-by-wire drive selector.

To manage braking and energy regeneration, the Empower+ utilizes a regenerative braking system with e-Step mode. This system helps to recharge the battery while decelerating the vehicle, enhancing overall efficiency.

Steering and Suspension
The steering system of the Nissan Ariya Empower+ is electric power-assisted, offering a vehicle-speed variable assist for a more responsive and customizable driving experience. The suspension setup includes an independent strut with coil springs at the front and an independent multi-link with hollow stabilizer bars at the rear, enhancing ride comfort and handling.

How Nissan Ariya Drives

Comfort is essential, if not a suspension that is a little too firm, especially on the speed bumps. But, we must not forget that the Ariya easily exceeds two tons, which requires appropriate damping to avoid drifts.

The Ariya is also a car that handles well The steering is precise and the braking perfectly balanced between the regenerative and mechanical system. This electric SUV feels planted on the road, which makes the Ariya a fun car to drive, even on winding roads. Note that the e-Pedal function which allowed the vehicle to come to a complete stop has disappeared. On the Ariya, as on the Qashqai for that matter, it only slows the vehicle down to 3 mph. Finally, another quality to its credit, its soundproofing, perfectly mastered.

2023 Nissan Ariya rear seat

Many reviewers have commented on Ariya's smooth and quiet ride. The car's electric powertrain is very quiet, and the suspension does a good job of absorbing road imperfections. This makes the Ariya a very comfortable car to drive, even on long trips.

The Ariya is also a car that accelerates quickly. The base model with front-wheel drive can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, and the all-wheel-drive model can do it in about 6.3 seconds. This makes the Ariya a quick car for passing and merging on the highway.

2023 Nissan Ariya cargo space in the trunk

Overall, other reviewers have been very positive about the driving experience of the 2023 Nissan Ariya. They have particularly praised the car's smooth and quiet ride, its responsive handling, and its powerful acceleration. If you are looking for an electric SUV that is fun to drive, the Ariya is a great option.

Here are some specific reviews of the 2023 Nissan Ariya's driving experience:

  • Car and Driver gave the Ariya an overall score of 8 out of 10, and they said that the car "delivers a smooth, quiet, and engaging driving experience."
  • MotorTrend gave the Ariya an overall score of 4.5 out of 5, and they said that the car "is a joy to drive, with responsive handling and plenty of power."
  • Edmunds gave the Ariya an overall score of 8.5 out of 10, and they said that the car "is a well-rounded EV that offers a comfortable ride, plenty of power, and a long range."

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News TwitterFacebokLinkedin, and Youtube.