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Nissan Ariya 87kWh Evolve.

Progress is sometimes dismissed as a myth. Nothing really gets better. We aren’t going anywhere really. A laconic ‘Oh! Yeah’ is the response best suited to that type of thinking. Like it or not, the wheels of progress are in perpetual motion. You simply can’t stop technology in its tracks. It’s always on the move, propelling us forward towards that better tomorrow we keep promising ourselves.

That’s why I was delighted to make the acquaintance of the Nissan Ariya. Here is a smart, up-to-the-minute modern SUV that makes electric motoring not just a sensible choice, but a stylish luxurious choice into the bargain. For the uninitiated it’s a treat in store. For those already sold on the progressive virtues of electric motoring it’s a ringing endorsement: a shining example of the very best money can buy in an increasingly competitive field.

Think luxury. Think up-market SUV. Think tomorrow today. That’s the Nissan Ariya. A bold, proud statement car. Shrinking violets need not apply. So, now approaching the third decade of the twenty-first century, what does Ariya have in store for us? Nothing short of a taste of cars of the future. And the future arrives not with a roaring engine and a fruity exhaust note, but rather with a whisper: an incantation almost that conjures up a silent spirit of swift satisfaction.

The sight of this imposingly styled Nissan offers instant promise of elevated spirits. Settle into the sumptuous leather upholstered, heated or cooled, driving seat, adjust everything electrically to fine tune your ergonomic requirements and feel the caressing cascade of privilege descend on your most worthy person. A cold morning is transformed into a dreamland of expectation.

It’s an accommodating package suited to all seasons and to all reasons within reason. As such it conforms to the practical paradines of today’s SUV configurations. But it looks that little bit more svelte than most: that bit more stylish and individualistic – inside and outside. Which is, I suggest – the twinkling dust that brings a smile to one’s lips. Yet it’s beneath the skin where the real magic works its spell, for this £52,140 Ariya is an up-to-the-minute 2 wheel drive (You can have a 4 wheel drive version) electrically propelled motor car with an 87kWh motor that – it is claimed – can give a 317 mile range in ideal conditions. Realistically the range is less when subservient systems like air conditioning and heated seats are brought into play. And as for Jack Frost…he will reduce your range still further.

A rapid charger, however, gives about 80% capacity in 30 mins. Just time they say in which to allow your coffee to cool in its eco-friendly insulated bio degradable beaker as you make use of the time to text your MP about the scandalous state of the roads. You can, of course, use a domestic three pin socket if in dire straits – but this is not recommended. (Unless, of course, you happen to be borrowing the socket of your neighbour Victor Frankenstein).

Up and running the Ariya is so smooth and silent. With an electric motor you get instant torque, making for swift getaways – and you can go as fast as 100 mph if you are a criminal. Enthusiastic whizzing through bends just underlines how safe and well-planted it is. Of course, there are lots of safety devices and driver aids like ‘intelligent driver alertness’ to remonstrate with you should your attention wander. Most useful because the silent running induced in me a state of calmness when my Neanderthal atavism had begun to fret without carbon energy to assist. It certainly didn’t help though that when stopping to access a rapid charge point shown on ‘Zap Map’ (You have to have a ‘smartphone’) an inconsiderate motorist had parked his gas guzzling Mustang in the charging bay.

My passenger ‘Steady’ Eddy Goer (For it was he) could not get over just how serene Ariya motoring is; likening the sensation to a magic carpet ride. He was tickled pink at the plethora of gadgets and concert hall quality sound system with Bose speakers, all effortlessly controlled via unseen connectivity as he relaxed behind the super UV and infrared cut glass windows. Any nervousness he might have felt about my driving soon gave way to a mood of transcendental calm – (surely induced by the ‘plasma cluster ion air purifier) – a sort of Nissan Nirvana, so to speak.

The Ariya is no pious pretender on a virtue signalling mission – but a beautifully engineered and in its way exciting example of the cutting edge electric vehicle. As such it stretches the horizon. As for the infrastructure for public charging – the chaos theory rules. You just wouldn’t have an electric car without a home charger.

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