Top model with four-wheel drive: Nissan Ariya e-4orce - high current in Japanese

Nissan is rounding out its Ariya electric family with a top-of-the-line model.

Top model with four-wheel drive: Nissan Ariya e-4orce - high current in Japanese

Nissan is rounding out its Ariya electric family with a top-of-the-line model. In contrast to the basic models with front-wheel drive, the e-4orce has another electric motor above the rear axle. This ensures significantly more power and a powerful torque. An eye-catcher knocking on the door of the premium class.

In the small world of electric cars of yore, the Nissan Leaf was a big one, for a long time even number one among the few offers at the time. Even if it is still available, the compact and thus Nissan as an electric car brand as a whole fell out of focus due to long delivery times and many new competitors. But for a few months there has been the Ariya, another Nissan electric vehicle, albeit much larger and more expensive. Now comes the top model with two engines and all-wheel drive, which is aimed at a much more affluent clientele at prices starting at 66,490 euros.

From the outside, the Ariya e-4orce can hardly be distinguished from the already known front-wheel drive variants. Only those who look closely will discover the corresponding logo on the rear. Those who paid attention in English class have an advantage here and might be able to put the puzzle together correctly. A "4", i.e. "Four", transforms the enigmatic "orce" into "Force" (power), thus pointing to four-wheel drive. Other Nissan all-wheel drive vehicles will also receive this addition in the future, initially the X-Trail.

The dress of the Ariya has the typical style of a Japan crossover, i.e. a mixture of SUV and station wagon, the slightly sloping roof mixes a sporty dash of coupe with it. The front hood protrudes further up than usual, making for clumsy Kraftmeierei. A car that looks like an etch announcement in the direction of the many SUV critics. The designers, however, speak more of self-confident elegance.

Be that as it may, the essence of the new Nissan chief is hidden invisibly in the basement. In order to ensure the coveted all-wheel drive without a cardan shaft, there is a second electric motor in the rear, which is electronically connected to its colleague on the front axle. The wheels can be addressed in pairs by the on-board computer. Then the power of the double heart is directed to the axle that has the better grip on the ground.

Major Tom would feel right at home in the Ariya's cockpit. A wide front due to two nested monitors under a common chrome frame dominates the otherwise rather puristic impression. Classic switches, levers or buttons can only be found on or behind the steering wheel and on the central rotary wheel for the audio volume. The driver is in charge of navigation, the setting of the numerous assistance systems or the air conditioning. A command post that has hardly anything in common with the decades-old familiar look of the analog time.

Contemporaries with a thirst for performance will feel like they are in seventh heaven when it comes to the drive. Thanks to its 225 kW/306 hp and 600 Newtonmers of torque, the all-wheel drive Ariya really packs a punch, masters even mirror-smooth terrain during test drives in the Pyrenees in Andorra’s still sparse winter thanks to all-wheel drive, and can be maneuvered around corners with confidence. A 2.3 tonne drum with unexpected lightness. But that could also be experienced with the sister model, the Renault Megane e-Tech. After all, they both belong to one family.

Despite all-wheel drive, the Ariya is not an off-road vehicle, even if it can easily cope with lighter obstacles on the way. It is actually much too fine and much too expensive for that. Cruising on country roads or motorways, just as confidently as it is calm, is its thing and provides a perceived superiority, even if the heavy weight sometimes takes its toll. The Ariya certainly bumps holes in the surface but also audibly and sometimes sends their impacts to the intervertebral discs of its wards. But everything within the scope of the usual and yet a natural brake for daring romping around.

A different type of brake should also influence the purchase decision. The Japanese costs almost 66,500 euros and also has other expensive delicacies in the price list. Even the brave front-wheel drive with a 63 kWh battery is difficult to achieve for many at 47,500 euros So who wants to add almost 20,000 euros for an all-wheel drive vehicle? With all the fascination of all-wheel drive technology and everything else to do with electric driving: Perhaps the bosses of the car companies should finally get those who are switching to combustion engines with average incomes on board.

Nissan Ariya e-4orce - specifications