2023 Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE turns up the power, but stays relaxed

2023 Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE turns up the power, but stays relaxed

For all-wheel drive, we’ve never been more enthusiastic about all-wheel drive. In our opinion, most vehicles are better off just driving two wheels, especially the rear—at least, that was the case before the proliferation of EVs. Since then, we’ve found ourselves more and more infatuated with EV models that have dual motors driving both axles. Why? Because they are often much more powerful and faster than their two-wheel-drive counterparts. One such example is this 2023 Ariya e-4ORCE, which is Nissan’s fun new nomenclature for its all-wheel-drive electric powertrain.

When we tested the front-wheel-drive Realme, we were disappointed with its acceleration performance. The regular Aria’s single electric motor drives the front wheels and makes 238 horsepower, but at 7.5 seconds to 60 mph, that model lacks the satisfying zip we enjoy in other EVs. That changes with the all-wheel-drive model, which adds a second electric motor that drives the rear wheels and boosts that to 335 horsepower in the base Engage guise and 389 horsepower in the Engage+, Evolve+ and Platinum+ trims . ,

2023 nissan aria e4orce


With two motors on board, the Aria is very fast. We estimate the high-powered 389-hp model will hit 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds. It’s not Ford Mustang Mach-E GT performance levels, but it’s a vast improvement and makes stop-light launches and highway passing maneuvers more satisfying.

However, adding more power doesn’t improve the Aria’s handling, as the all-wheel-drive model is just as soft as the front-wheel-drive. Quiet comfort best describes the Aria’s demeanor, which means for Nissan devotees coming out of the Murano and looking to go electric, the transition will be seamless.

There’s a Sport driving mode, but apart from an artificial whistling sound and subtly sharpening throttle response, it does little to enhance the EV crossover’s road manners. The Aria’s all-wheel-drive system occasionally applies brakes to the inside wheels during cornering to combat understeer, but This is more useful for having better control on low-friction surfaces than on hunting heads. Unseasonably heavy rainfall in northern California’s Sonoma County provided plenty of wet corners to test the system, and it works reassuringly well to maintain stability.

Some dual-motor all-wheel-drive electrics—such as early versions of the Tesla Model Y—have greater driving range than their two-wheel-drive counterparts due to careful calibration to use only one motor during the EPA’s test cycles. provide. but not here. Nissan offers the same two battery packs in the e-4ORCE as it does in the standard model, and range is slightly shorter for both with all-wheel drive.

The entry-level Engage trim gets a 63.0-kWh battery with a claimed driving range of just 205 miles per charge. The three more expensive trims—the Engage+, Evolve+ and Platinum+—all come with a larger 87.0-kWh battery pack. Driving range estimates for the Engage+ and Evolve+ trims are far more competitive at 272 miles, while the Platinum+ is estimated at 267.

The Aria’s inspired interior design is its main advantage over rival EV crossovers. Patterned panels on the doors and bulkheads under the dash are backlit with ambient lighting and look quite elegant, while thoughtful touches like the built-in smartphone charging-cord organizer are designed to reduce clutter. The cabin is spacious in both the front and rear seats, and the modern-looking dashboard houses a pair of curved 12.3-inch digital displays. A wood-trim piece that runs across the dash is also backlit and houses the SUV’s climate controls, which operate with just a light tap, but controls for other functions located on the center console require a hard push. Is required.

2023 nissan aria e4orce


All models are well equipped, but the loaded Platinum+ we sampled at $62,770 pushes the range into the luxury category, both in terms of price and features. That price tag nets you niceties like heated and ventilated rear seats, a 10-speaker Bose stereo, genuine leather upholstery, a self-parking feature, and navigation-enhanced adaptive cruise control. The addition of the rear motor has little effect on cargo room – total luggage space is the same as the FWD model, but the underfloor storage bin has been sacrificed.

As with all-wheel-drive variants of internal-combustion vehicles, all-wheel-drive EVs come with benefits as well as compromises, so one thing that hasn’t changed in this transition from gas to electric is caution. consider your needs. The slight sacrifice in range and the big improvement in acceleration offered by the Aria E-4Orce compared to the standard model seems like a good deal to us.

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2023 Nissan Aria e-4ORCE
Vehicle Type: Front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

Engage, $48,525; Engage+, $52,525; Evolve+, $55,525; Platinum+, $61,525

Front Motor: Current-Excited Synchronous AC
Rear Motor: Current-excited Synchronous AC
Combined power: 335 or 389 hp
Combined torque: 413 or 442 lb-ft
Battery pack: Liquid-cooled Lithium-Ion, 63.0 or 87.0 kWh
Onboard Charger: 7.2 kW
Peak DC fast-charge rate: 130 kW
Transmission, F/R: Direct-Drive

Wheelbase: 109.3 inches
Length: 182.9 inches
Width: 74.8 inches
Height: 65.4-65.7 inches
Passenger Volume, F/R: 53–55/44–46 ft3
Cargo Volume, Rear F/R: 60/23 ft.3
curb weight (CD Est): 4750–5650 lb

Display (CD EST)
60 mph: 5.0–5.9 seconds
1/4-mile: 13.7–14.5 seconds
Top Speed: 103 mph

EPA Fuel Economy
Combined/City/Highway: 90–95/93–101/86–89 MPGe
Range: 205–272 miles

Drew Dorian's headshot

Managing Editor, Buyer’s Guide

Drew Dorian is a lifelong car enthusiast who has held a variety of consumer-focused positions throughout his career, from financial advisor to auto salesman. dreamed of becoming car and driver Editor since the age of 11—a dream that came true when she joined the staff in April 2016. His automotive interests range from convertibles and camper vans to sports cars and luxury SUVs.

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