Evaluations of Ariya appreciated from owners who also have had Leafs.

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Well-known member
Jan 16, 2017
Colorado Springs, CO
This owner of a 2015 Nissan S is considering the base Nissan Ariya (FWD and 63 kWh battery). The year-end incentives seem impressive, but I'm not unhappy with my Leaf.

More info:
* 78,000 miles
* still looks and drives almost like new ... no wrecks, dings, or mechanical problems
* baby'ed battery still has 11 of 12 health bars
* works fine as a "town car"
* 2004 Dodge Dakota pickup with only 48,000 miles is backup
* easy access to 4+ free chargers (2 Nissan dealers and multiple ChargePoints) so I rarely need to charge at home
What prices are you seeing ?
Does the Ariya have a federal tax credit now, or in 2024 ?

I recently leased a Tesla Model Y. The costs were no higher than the competitors so it was an easy choice for me.
After finally selling our 2012 LEAF SL in September 2023, we considered an Ariya, liked what the marketing materials said, and let our local dealer know of our interest. Also checked dealers up to about 50 miles away. Not one of them had any intention of getting any Ariyas, at least not near term. Even though we ordered our 2012 LEAF sight-unseen back in 2010, almost a full two years before delivery, and similarly our Tesla Model 3 many moons before delivery, we were frankly tired of that pre-ordering process and started looking at Ariya alternatives. We found, test drove, and fell in love with the Hyundai Ioniq5 Limited and took delivery in October 2022. It has exceeded all our expectations and we haven’t looked back.

Our now 5½-year-old Tesla Model 3 will be up for replacement most likely at the 8 year mark when the battery warranty expires although that’s only a minor reason for replacement. We’re just getting tired of the constant deprecation/kneecapping of our car with OTA software updates. The Ariya at that time in the future could be a viable contender for us.
SageBrush said:
Does the Ariya have a federal tax credit now, or in 2024 ?
No, not for purchase. It's not at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax2023.shtml. It seems unlikely it would anyway as it's not assembled in the North America and hadn't heard of any change to make that way yet. One would think Nissan would want to move production to NA...

For me, tax credit for purchasing new or used EVs is irrelevant now, unfortunately. My income is well above the caps.
SageBrush said:
What prices are you seeing ?
The dealership where I purchased the lease-turn-in 2015 Leaf S is offering essentially all incentives as if the Ariya qualified for the federal and state tax credits. That came to about $10,750, I don't have to mess with tax credits to get that amount.

I'm retired with not that much in federal taxes for the $7500 of credit (moot since Ariya built in Japan), and almost no state taxes for that $3000 to $5000 credit. The only incentive I didn't get was being a retired or active military.

Seems too good to be true, but I'm tempted. The incentives for the now-cancelled Leaf aren't nearly as good.

But without looking too hard, I'm seeing recent Leaf lease turn-ins and fleet turn-ins ... 2021 models ... for well under $20,000. Winter depreciation in freezing weather is my friend, even in Colorado at 6500'.

To this fan of my goofy-looking bright blue Leaf, the additional stuff on the Ariya seems mostly to be foo-foo, but I haven't done that much research yet. I'm about half-way thru skimming the 600+ page Ariya owner's manual, and most of it is quite familiar.

Confirmation bias on my part?
ldallan said:
Seems too good to be true, but I'm tempted.

I looked at one dealership in your area. Before tax credits they published $50k for the 200 mile range version and $56k for the 260 mile range version. I don' t know how that can be viewed as a good deal.

I understand the point that your current tax liability is less than $7,500 but in 2024 dealerships and Tesla will be able to offer POS tax credits. I'm not positive whether a taxpayer with under $7,500 tax liability would be expected to return an ineligible amount. The most recent IRS proposed rule published in the Federal Register says that in general excess tax credits related to tax liability do not have to be returned. For some reason I am unable to quote the passage. It is at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/10/10/2023-22353/transfer-of-clean-vehicle-credits-under-section-25e-and-section-30d in section C
An opportunity surfaced at my preferred dealer to purchase a lightly used '23 Ariya Engage (63KWh FWD) at a really good price, so traded my '19 LEAF.

First impressions:
1). LEAF e-Pedal - Nissan nailed it... Ariya e-Step, not so much. Think they took a step backwards. e-Step works similar my friends KIA Niro hybrid where under 5 mph it totally disengages, then find myself stomping the brake pedal to fully stop the car. Very odd adjustment
2). Engage package tech level is a step down from a LEAF SL in some ways. Not by much but it's the little things that are noticed...no 360-view, no homelink remote, etc... However, getting a Heads-up-display projected on the windshield is a slick addition, and some little touches like the power driver's seat automatically moves rearward when the door is opened and senses the key fob & unlocks automatically when approaching the car. Not sure I'm liking the heavy emphasis on touch screen controls (example... no physical switches for heated seats or steering wheel, it's in the touch screen menus).
3). Ariya is crazy quiet and smooth compared to the LEAF.
4). Seats are significantly more comfortable and no center console to encroach on knee room.
5). Ariya Engage has ProPilot 1 system, works identical to LEAF except the steering wheel switches are in a slightly different location (just enough to be annoying). ProPilot graphics project in the HUD which is a nice touch.
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Any comment on CCS and "cooled battery" on the Ariya vs LEAF? Does the Ariya have an in-car SOC limiter?
A few observations from mine over the past few days in cold weather.

1). Have not attempted any CCS sessions, only charged L2 at home. I’ve sensed a parasitic draw to maintain stable battery temps in cold weather. The GOM range estimates seem more realistic and predictable than LEAF. However, whatever the BMS is doing seemingly in the background takes extra power.

2). Ariya does not have a SOC limiter and have not been able to duplicate LEAF’s capability to begin charging based upon departure time. I’m still messing with timer settings so maybe I can get that to work. I’ve also not confirmed if factual, but reading where the charge timer functionality is likely based off clock settings from the Sirius satellite data feed. Supposedly if loose the data connection the charge time won’t work and will leave you with a morning surprise.
Until the Ariya gets one pedal driving, I won’t consider it as a potential replacement for my Leaf.
Ariya has very effective 1-pedal driving. It just disengages below 5 mph. A smoothness trick I discovered is to cover the brake pedal a moment sooner and start applying brake very lightly before e-step disengages. Once that habit was learned the braking feel is closer to that of an ICE vehicle and stopping smoothness is not compromised.
The Ariya looks great and, judging from all the reviews I've seen, drives smooth and handles fantastically. However, the missing one-pedal driving and - even worse - the fact that the brake pedal depresses all by itself make it a no go for me. If Nissan doesn't rectify those things with the next revision or an entirely new model, I'm definitely gonna look somewhere else when my 2022 62 kWh Leaf SV+ is dead. I enjoy driving this car so much that if the battery holds up to at least 50% capacity over the next 15-20 years (I only drive ca. 8000 km per year and never fast-charge) and it doesn't require any major, prohibitively expensive repairs, I'm gonna keep it until the range goes below 150 km (that's all I need, basically). Maybe even I'm dead before my car is, who knows. :-D
I've driven about 1,200 miles on the Ariya over the past 2 weeks including a 160 mile road trip on mostly interstate. Also retrieved a 6' tall furniture hutch for my niece. Was amazed how well the cargo hatch area swallowed up that hutch (72"x 34"x19"). The road trip was more interesting and revealed some concerns:

1). Start with the base map in the NAV, which is on Nissan's latest update but is still over 3 years old. Think about that logic in any "connected" vehicle which has built-in tech dependencies on the NAV system working correctly. I know from experience owning Garmin products (which get frequent updates several times per year) Nissan has set-up Ariya for failure. The NAV live directions appear to be up-to-date and the system gets really confused when layered over that stale map.

2). Ariya comes with built-in range anxiety. If using the NAV system and run below 20% remaining SOC the system looses its mind. On the return leg of that 160 mile road trip the NAV prioritized finding DCFC opportunities over just completing the trip home (last 20 miles) that was easily within range of it's known home charging location. I had to stop the NAV route to stop its silliness. Then, when within about 10 miles from home I reenabled the NAV. It calculated and displayed the correct route home but kept displaying an error message "could not find route". So pretty much a useless tool.

3). The car is receiving severe weather alerts through the NAV system for areas that are nowhere close. Example, it states a message such as "Winter storm alert 34.6 miles from current location". Then, selecting the "Details" button is listing counties in eastern Tennessee (I'm in NE Ohio). Today I got a similar alert listing 2 counties in Colorado and stating it's 24 miles away. Obvious that Ariya isn't getting a passing grade in geography.

Other annoyances that I'm hoping are fixable software quirks:

4). Climate Control timer works fine but fails to start a charging session to draw power from the house. So forget about a warmed up interior with 100% full battery off that overnight charging session, currently isn't happening. That pre-warm cycle burns @ 2-3% of the 63KWh battery, and that's parked inside a garage with air temps above freezing.

5). The driver's display is showing common alert complaints. The rear seats have seatbelt sensors that show alerts unless all 3 seatbelts are buckled and that's with the rear seat completely empty. ProPilot will randomly flash erroneous "Hands on the steering wheel" alerts to the point of being annoying. ProPilot just seemed to work more seamlessly in the LEAF.

Overall the Ariya rides and drives really well and definitely a step up in refinement from the LEAF for those comfort attributes. However, the built-in technology is disappointing at best. In many ways I'm missing my trusty LEAF. If considering an Ariya, get it if the priority is extra refinement & roominess and not if perfect technology is a priority.
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We waited and waited for the Ariya to come out, gave up and got a 2022 Leaf. My wife wanted an AWD car to replace her Subaru Cross-trek (that we gave to our son). I took a look at the Ariya while in the dealer the other day, and thought it was too big, and the dash just wasn't my thing - with all the touch controls. So glad we went with the Leaf instead - much cheaper as well.

Thanks Roger for the write-up. Sounds like the Nissan NAV and software quirks that I find so annoying on the Leaf are even worse for Aryia. I gave up even trying to use the Leaf's charging-station location/map - and just use plug-share. And I turned off the bogus weather alert stuff. I just wish I could turn off the "unpaved road" and "toll station" alerts. Both of which are not even correct - the toll road hasn't had toll stations on it for like 5 years now. We turn those alert's volume down as low as they go - but after a few weeks they just turn themselves back up. The roads I live on have been paved for at least 10 years... It really seams like Nissan has no desire to update their firmware to be competitive.

Does the Ariya do any better regarding using the WiFi when parked in the garage? I almost can never get the EV services app to connect to the Leaf when it is in the garage... I configured WiFi on the car... but not sure what they heck it uses it for - certainly not for communication to the app. And apparently not for doing any OTA firmware updates to fix these issues.
Does the Ariya do any better regarding using the WiFi when parked in the garage? I almost can never get the EV services app to connect to the Leaf when it is in the garage... I configured WiFi on the car... but not sure what they heck it uses it for - certainly not for communication to the app. And apparently not for doing any OTA firmware updates to fix these issues.
My former '19 LEAF SL had the older style NAV without WiFi capability so don't have a point of reference. I did connect Ariya to my WiFi and that process was easy. Then, manually checked for software and map updates so know it's functioning. Both my vehicle and map software were already up-to-date (I'm assuming my dealer recently flashed everything to a fix for a software recall). Supposedly Ariya will update without intervention if set to automatic in the setup menu. My only perspective of WiFi OTA updates is a Garmin Zumo-XT I purchased for my motorcycles. That unit checks in every time it hooks up to WiFi in the garage and posts a notice when updates are available. Zumo also uses my cell phone data signal and think it checks if updates are available while in use.

One thing you mentioned was the size difference vs a LEAF. Ariya is noticeably larger & heavier and consumes marginally more electricity. For my own stats, my 40KWh LEAF SL was averaging 4.0-4.1 miles/KWh long-term. My average in Ariya seems closer to 3.5 miles/KWh but has been cold enough to affect range. This Ariya had not been driven for several weeks and was buried in a snow pile when I stopped for a test drive. It was throughly cold-soaked and chewed through power at a quick rate until the battery pack was rewarmed.
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I test drove an ARIYA with FWD in 2023. The suspension seemed stiffer than my 2012 Leaf and the test drive felt quite bumpy. The local Nissan dealership did not have an AWD ARIYA at the time. Supposedly the suspension is improved in the AWD version.
I haven’t test driven an Ariya, but I’ve read everything I can about it, and I'm very disappointed. First off, the lack of 'one pedal' driving is a turn off. Second, the low distance on a full battery is not attractive.
Third, Chademo is dead. Either CCS or NACS would be a better choice.
Finally, reading the criticisms of people who have test-driven the Ariya completes the turn off.
Sorry Nissan. Try harder.