Speaker 1: It wasn't that long ago that Nissan was the global leader in EV sales, thanks to the leaf. But that model came out over 10 years ago and it's been a heck of a long wait for a follow up this, however, is the new aria, that second vehicle that we've been waiting for for so long. It's a compact crossover with mid-size interior. We're gonna hop in here in Spain, in the rain and see how it goes.
Speaker 1: [00:00:30] So we traveled all the way out here to Madrid. This is the Hiam circuit, uh, just a stones throw outside of that major city. And this has been a long time coming. And I don't just mean since the leaf, this vehicle was supposed to be out last year, but due to the pandemic and various shortages, it's a little bit behind schedule, but at first blush, it seems like it's worth the wait. Why Spain? Well, this is the location of [00:01:00] the early drive of this 2023 aria. And in fact, we're driving a Euro spec version. So not everything is exactly the way it'll be when it comes to the us things like the tire selection I'm on summers right now. And the SU suspension calibration will be a little bit different, but by and large, it's gonna feel exactly the same. And that includes this power train, which this is the low price single motor model.
Speaker 1: So you got 215 horsepower, 221 foot pounds of torque, not a [00:01:30] ton in the realm of what's possible with today's EVs, but it still feels pretty spritely zero to 60 in about seven seconds. So that sounds a little slow, but because of the nature of electric power delivery and that zero to 30 quickness, it actually feels much more powerful than that. And you don't really want for a lot more. This is a front wheel drive model with a, the smaller 63 kilowat hour battery pack. This model is gonna start somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000, which undercuts [00:02:00] the Tesla model Y by about 10 or 12 grand. And yet it has similar range. Nissan is saying about 300 miles a range for this model, which is similar to the Tesla model, Y long range. The other most obvious competitors are the Volkswagen ID four and the Mustang mock E.
Speaker 1: This one is front wheel drive. And I can definitely feel that when I put the power down too early, because it's got all that torque down low, you can get some wheels spin happening, [00:02:30] but it picks it up really quickly. And then it just goes, you can see a little bit of the, uh, traction control, light dither on if you try and get on the power too early, but you barely notice it all. You would notice it a lot more in a gas car where it might, uh, intervene more with the brakes or cut the power a little bit more abruptly. This is just very smooth. It's very simple. It's very friendly. I like that. Now they've got us set up here on the full road course, but there are a bunch of cones to mimic different [00:03:00] driving conditions. You've got some sort of emergency lane change things happening.
Speaker 1: You've got a B road section. You've got a freeway section, so it's not full on speed, but honestly, that's not what this SUV is about. I think the primary remit for a vehicle like this is comfort, surreal serenity. You know, you got a, a busy day, you got a tough work and family life, and you just want a little bit of an escape pot. And this, this vehicle is more about serenity first and that electric [00:03:30] power train underpins that it's very smooth. Even with relatively limited power, it's comfortable. You feel confident. You've got the power you need. You've got the wheels at the corner. So even though this thing is about the size of a Nissan rogue, you've got a wheel base that's quite a bit bigger. That's probably more like a Murano. So you get a lot of good space inside. Nissan has done a good job here, updating a lot of the switch gear and the materials to elevate it, to feel quite [00:04:00] a bit nicer than, uh, even recent models like the rogue and the updated Pathfinder.
Speaker 1: They haven't gotten to the point where they've reduced the switch gear so much that you can't figure out how to operate things. You don't need to go riling through some manual or watching a bunch of YouTube videos to figure it out. It's all pretty intuitive. There are a bunch of things that are handled through the screen, um, but are real switches here where I have normal drive stocks. I've got steering wheel controls and the H V a C controls here are clearly marked. The difference is that they are haptic [00:04:30] feedback switches. There's no actual like rocker switch gear. There's, you know, you push basically on a, a flat plane and you feel a little feedback underneath. So it looks sleek. There'll be no fingerprints here, which is great, but, uh, it also makes you take your eyes off the road for a split second Nissan of infotainment over the years.
Speaker 1: Hasn't been so great here. I think that this is a little bit better. The system is snappier. You can actually swipe directions from the middle screen onto the main screen, uh, in front of the gauge cluster. [00:05:00] I'm looking at the navigation graphics. There's still a bit on the dated side, but the system here seems snappier. I've got a nice 12 inch display here, and also a 12 inch gauge cluster. This is a fully modern setup. And, uh, there's some nice little party tricks in here that I'll, I'll show you in a breakout, including a, uh, a power center console and a power glove box. Just some nifty little details. If there's a party trick with this interior, it's this center console, it's got one of those mono stable shifters, similar to what is in the [00:05:30] Nissan rogue, which I don't really care for in that vehicle.
Speaker 1: This one feels a bit better. It's got dual cup holders. Uh, there is, uh, wireless charging there and a little receptacle for cards or what have you. Uh, and then there's more of these buttons, including eed, which we all know that that's, uh, adjustable region at this point and a self park button. Uh, there's a drive mode selector here, uh, again, capacitive touch, uh, but also this close and open thing. So if I click on open and I [00:06:00] look over here, Ooh, nice little Swan movement to this power center, kind of a glove box deal. Let's say it's pretty deep. See how far end goes in there. It's nicely flocked. And there is a lit cover cover, honestly feels a little bit on the cheap side. So I'm hopeful that that might be a pre-production part. Cause I could see that, uh, becoming a problem down the road in [00:06:30] lower trims that this whole thing is not power operated.
Speaker 1: There's a manual close and open version, but a nice to there and you still get a pretty decent sized glove box. So there's a lot of space here. Um, they move the H V a C components, uh, that are normally back here up more under the hood and that freed that space to do that along with, uh, this flat center floor. And then the other thing that's interesting about this center console, uh, beyond the fact that you've got S B a and USBC down there, and [00:07:00] a cord wrap feature here to wrap your cords around and a power outlet, uh, is this check that out? Nah, that's right. It's power. So you can get a little bit of adjustment to your armrest or have your cupholder a little bit closer to you. So it's kind of a novelty thing. Um, but it's actually fairly comfortable to have your hand here.
Speaker 1: Um, and you can kind of adjust it depending on how tall or short you are. It's kind of nice. So Nissan has really kind of felt maybe [00:07:30] a little bit behind the curve lately, uh, with EVs, which is odd considering they were the first to come out with a, a mass market EV and the leaf, they saw squandered that leadership. And to be honest with you, I've been wondering if they could recover that. I'm not sure that it'll happen all at once with this area, but this is definitely a very big step at the right direction. Uh, they've announced a slew of additional models coming right now. This one will be built in Japan, but shortly it'll be built in Canton, Mississippi. And, uh, you know, that's [00:08:00] a nice commitment to the us and to our market and our interest in EVs. We've been going around here on this circuit now for the last half hour or so. And I think I just got the wave down and unfortunately, I'm not gonna get to take this on the street. We're gonna need a much fuller test drive of this vehicle to really get a for it. And I'm gonna wait for the full us spec model to really decide how I feel about this area. But as an initial first impression, I'm quite impressed. I think they've [00:08:30] done a lot right here. And I think if they can get their supply chain together, they're probably gonna sell a whole bunch of these things.