We’ve seen and even driven the Nissan Ariya before, so at first glance it’s nothing new. But what is new to us and this all-electric crossover is e-4ORCE all-wheel drive.

This dual-motor system can put up to 389 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque down to the pavement when equipped with the 87kWh extended range battery. Our PLATINUM+ tester with said extended battery is estimated up to about 265 miles of range.

Honestly, these stats aren’t bad, just not jaw-dropping. But what really impressed me was the e-4ORCE’s abilities, be it on Northern Cali highways or a Sonoma Raceway agility courses.

“I’ve been driving this Ariya all day and I’ve gotta say this e-4ORCE all-wheel drive has really impressed me. Uh– the most obvious benefit, of course, is that we’re doubling the torque that you get in a front-wheel drive version; which is– it’s really cool, it’s a lot of fun. But that being said, it is something that your average consumer probably isn’t gonna use every single day. But that’s also okay because the e-4ORCE brings a lot to the table you probably will use every day, especially in the realms of stability and agility, and even comfort.

We had a short little pit stop over at Sonoma Raceway where we ran through a little agility course. You know, a slalom, a late braking test, uh– a wet hairpin and I was just impressed at how well the e-4ORCE could mitigate road conditions, driver input, and kind of fuse it all together to make sure I was carving the line I intended to take. It was really cool.”

Beneficial to all occupants is the spacious interior, made possible by the BEV’s structure. It features up to 59.0-cubic-feet of storage and a few nifty features, like this electronic glovebox which doubles as a table. A moving center console provides a little more wiggle room and makes it even easier to get comfortable.

Buyers can anticipate a lot of standard features which only get sweeter as they climb the trim ladder.

“As one could infer or– well, you’ve probably already seen it– the new Ariya has a healthy injection of tech in it. And that’s not just because it’s a BEV. Uh– really it’s because it’s a vehicle being made in the year 2023 and, you know, they all have tech in ‘em.

Uh– but that being said, the Ariya is not intimidating. So, you have these two screens in front of you; they’re both 12-inches and they’re both housed in this monolithic unit. In practice I love it. These screens are top-notch. And speaking to the infotainment: Of course, smartphone integration is present. I’ve been rockin’ Android Auto all day and it’s working seamlessly; but, you can use Nissan’s built-in system if you want.

You also have a head-u display which, of course, shows your speed and the speed limit, but it’ll also show you the ProPilot Assist– uh, the suite. Like, all the things that are active; and it’s color-coded to let you know what level you’re at– be it hands-free or not.”

The Nissan Ariya equipped e-4ORCE all-wheel drive and a standard range battery starts around $48,000 with delivery. Our PLATINUM+ tester starts just over 60K, though there are other trims in between these two extremes. With healthy standard features, a comfortable interior and a drive-system up to the task, I’d say the Ariya is poised to compete in the eyes of prospective-BEV buyers.

And whether you’re one of them or not, drive safe and stay tuned to MotorWeek.