Nissan Ariya 87kWh e-4orce first drive | A car

When we first met in July, we felt like the sweet spot of Nissan Aria the scope was quickly discovered. The base front-wheel-drive version of this new electric crossover seemed well-equipped with 215 hp. and a 250-mile range, bolstered by a very attractive curb and decent dynamics.

The modularity of electric car architectures has allowed Nissan to quickly add new models to the range in time for its UK launch, which is now underway, including the range-topper.

The base car’s 63kWh battery has been swapped for an 87kWh version here, and a second electric motor has been added to the rear to give the car four-wheel drive (called the e-4orce, spellcheck’s worst nightmare) and 302bhp. You can also have the larger battery without the e-4orce system, giving a range of 331 miles, while the e-4orce car here gets 311 miles. On our test route in cooler conditions, we saw 230 miles indicated.

We were able to drive front and four wheel drive cars back to back and it was night and day. The extra power and torque (which has been doubled to 443lb ft) offered by the rear motor is noticeable, but still restrained in delivery.

Grip is improved but again subtle, even on the wet roads of our Danish test route. After that, minor improvements to the drivetrain and excellent refinement of the standard car are retained after the addition of extra power and battery capacity. One-pedal driving is well appreciated with the e-Pedal enabled.

This extra capacity has also resulted in extra weight and this has an impact on handling. It’s stable and secure, but rather dull and unengaging, let down even more by the rather springy handling. Press the Sport button to sharpen the responses and you’ll immediately reach to turn it off again as it makes the car emit a grating high-pitched whine. The journey is also not the most comfortable.

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