2023 10 Best Interiors & UX

Nissan Ariya Electrifying

Little touches put the Ariya over the top, including the cabin’s light show at night, the geometric-patterned carpeting and the brilliant, copper-like trim that splits the dash adds a dose of color and shine.

David Zoia, Senior Director-Content

May 22, 2023

2 Min Read
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Nissan calls its new design language in the Ariya ‘Timeless Japanese Futurism.’

The Nissan Ariya is electric – and we don’t mean just the powertrain. Inside the cabin, the Ariya provides more than a few sparks as well.

Our test car’s interior pops with its white/dark gray color scheme; minimalist, multitiered linear dashboard; and expansive instrumentation/infotainment screen that extends beyond the center console and bends slightly toward the driver.

Nissan designers say they were going for the futuristic look of a sleek, starship café, and we believe they hit their mark. They call Ariya’s new design language Timeless Japanese Futurism, but we like to think of it as simply a better idea.

“A very distinct and original look in the cabin,” notes judge Drew Winter. “Kudos to Nissan designers for coming up with new ideas besides standard Tesla/EV minimalism.”

It’s the little touches that put the Ariya over the top, including the branding embedded into the sill plates and the geometric-patterned carpeting and the brilliant copper-like trim that splits the dash adds a touch of color and shine.

The use of smart materials to house the touch-sensitive climate controls and to select drive modes, engage one-pedal driving and operate the expansive sunroof is among the first we’ve seen of this technology in a mainstream vehicle.

Press the start button and the Ariya comes to life with a flashy, folding-squares start-up animation and soothing sound effects. But things really get dramatic at night: There’s lighting underneath the entire vehicle that serves as a beacon guiding you to the car, a “Nissan” puddle lamp to greet the driver and a cabin that is artistically lit through the trim on the doors.

Screens are well laid out with big icons, making it easy to navigate. There are apps for weather and traffic, a new SiriusXM/Pandora satellite-streaming hybrid service called SiriusXM 360L and an Alexa-based AI assistant that comes to life via a “Hey Nissan” prompt. We were impressed when the traffic app popped up a warning that someone was driving the wrong way on Detroit’s Lodge Freeway one Sunday night.

Clever features such as the electrically powered center console that can be moved forward or back and the hidden drawer that pops out below the infotainment screen at the touch of a button add to the vehicle’s surprise and delight elements.

Even the cargo area received some attention, with its sectioned compartment below the floor that helps keep boxes and bags from rolling around the back.

Our sub-$60,000 tester also came equipped with a full set of ADAS features, including Nissan Safety Shield 360 that incorporates automatic braking and pedestrian protection and allows hands-free cruising on some roads.

The battery-electric-vehicle market is becoming more and more crowded, and it’s going to take more than a plug-in powertrain to separate from the pack. With the Ariya, Nissan has created a new eye-catching design language and personality worthy of attention.

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arriya exterior 10biux crop

About the Author(s)

David Zoia

Senior Director-Content, WardsAuto

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