The 2023 Nissan Ariya Electric Car Review: A Modern Five Star Hotel on Wheels

The Nissan Ariya transported me physically and mentally - to my destination and to a state of bliss and serenity. This electric SUV sets a high bar.

2023 Nissan Ariya Review
We got so many compliments on this color, especially driving it July 4th weekend! - Photo by Erica Mueller

Step into the Nissan Ariya, and Step into the Electric Luxury

Impressive views, glimmering metallic accents, invigorating color palettes, and elegant simplicity. These are the things I enjoy when I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a luxury hotel. And when I am immersed in all of those elements, it transports me to an inspiring, peaceful place.

Interestingly enough, I wasn’t expecting my time with the Nissan Ariya to compare to such a place. But it does.  

My first experience with the 2023 Nissan Ariya was when I drove it for a few minutes at the Texas Auto Roundup. When I got in, I felt instantly transported by the spacious interior with its white seats and dash – it was like stepping into a modern luxury hotel and being welcomed by clean lines and sleek textures. I immediately knew I would like this electric SUV with its sleek and modern design. Spending a week with the Nissan Ariya spoiled me.

Related: 8 Reasons an Electric Car Can Fit Your Lifestyle

2023 Nissan Ariya Charging

The Nissan Ariya was easy to charge both at home and on my brother’s level-2 charger. Photo: Erica Mueller

The Nissan Ariya Has a Range to Beat

One of the highlights of the Nissan Ariya is its impressive range. It can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge, making it a great choice for long-distance trips. With the ability to charge up to 80% in just 30 minutes using a DC fast charger, the Ariya is also very convenient for everyday use. This is on paper, of course; the speed of charging depends on how much power the charger can deliver.

The week I had the Ariya, we experienced a heat wave with heat indexes over 110 degrees, meaning the AC ran non-stop as the sun attempted to melt all of Texas. While I never drove the car from full to empty (or close to it) for a good test, I did feel like I needed to charge more often and noticed the range dropping faster than I expected or had experienced with other electric vehicles. I don’t blame the Ariya a bit, though – the weather sapped the energy from us all.

Related: The Messy State of Electric Car Charging: What You Need to Know

2023 Nissan Ariya Interior

The moving center console adjusts to your perfect position in the sharp interior of the Nissan Ariya. Photo: Erica Mueller

Driving the 2023 Nissan Ariya

The Ariya is a lot of fun to drive. With a dual electric motor providing instant torque and acceleration, this EV can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. That’s incredibly fast for an electric SUV, and it made me smile every time I pulled out of the driveway and onto the straight stretch of highway in front of my house.

But I think what impressed me most about the 2023 Nissan Ariya was the level of comfort. For a vehicle that isn’t from a known luxury brand, the Ariya is surprisingly plush. My body didn’t complain once about the seats, which is a big deal for me, and the rear seats seemed as nice as the front, which made my kids feel really special all week. I used to think light-colored seats would be a bad idea with kids, but we found these cleaned easily, didn’t get as hot as our truck’s darker-colored seats, and I especially liked that the front half of the seats are covered in a suede-like material that doesn’t burn your skin when you’re wearing shorts. That’s a big deal in the South!

The seamless dash, with its long screen stretching from the driver’s display to the center of the vehicle, and the vents that continue from one side of the car to the other add to the sleek, uncluttered interior feel. The touch buttons embedded in the woodgrain accents on the center console are really cool, too.

This little SUV is definitely bigger on the inside than you might think judging from the outside. That’s because in order to accommodate the battery pack, which sits under the passenger compartment between the wheels, the Ariya needs a bit more space than the average mid-size SUV. The result is a larger rear seat, a welcome by-product. We found the Ariya to be spacious and comfortable, providing plenty of room for passengers and cargo. 

Related: First Drive: Pampered in the Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE All-Wheel Drive Fully Electric SUV

2023 Nissan Ariya Cargo Space

The massive cargo area in the Ariya and its convenient cover made fireworks show tailgating easy and fun. Photo: Erica Mueller

How Much Does the 2023 Nissan Ariya Cost?

The 2023 Nissan Ariya is available in four different trim levels, each with its own set of features and upgrades: S, SV, SL, and Platinum. The starting price for the S trim level is $40,000, the SV starts at $43,000, the SL starts at $50,000, and the Platinum starts at $58,000.

The Ariya is offered in two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions to meet the driving needs of a wide range of customers. The model we drove was the AWD model and is what I would choose for our area and our daily driving needs since we live in the country and have quite a winding commute to town.

Both Ariya front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models offer a choice of 63 kWh or 87 kWh of usable battery capacity, so you can choose your range.

Does Nissan Ariya Qualify for the Federal EV Tax Credit?

One big question everyone has is this: Does the Ariya qualify for the federal electric car tax credit? Unfortunately, for now, no. It’s built in Japan so the credit is off the table. However, the Nissan has announced plans to build more electric car assembly plants in the US, so hopefully this ones and future Nissan electric cars, will qualify. Fingers crossed. 

Heads Turned All Week. Especially Mine

The compliments hardly stopped during my week-long test drive in the 2023 Nissan Ariya. But that’s no surprise; it’s an exceptional electric car. The battery range, performance, and comfort make the Ariya a great choice for anyone who wants to drive a luxury electric car without the luxury price tag.

And getting that serene feeling from all the thoughtful design details that are included, inside and out? Well, that’s the best part.

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A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller