New Nissan Ariya vs Kia EV6: interiors

Nissan’s first electric SUV really is in at the deep end as it goes head to head with its most formidable rival, our reigning Car of the Year. Will it sink or swim?...

Nissan Ariya 2023 dashboard

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

Both cars offer comfortable driving positions with plenty of (electric) seating adjustment. The front seats in the Kia EV6 are firmer and provide greater long distance comfort, though, plus its larger side bolsters do a better job of holding you in place when cornering.

However, those looking for a loftier and more commanding driving position will prefer the Nissan Ariya. In the EV6, you only sit slightly higher than you would in a regular hatchback. Rear visibility isn’t as good in the EV6, either, due to its thick rear pillars and rising window line. And, while the EV6 has a rear-view camera to help, the Ariya goes even further, with full 360-degree coverage and a bird’s eye view. Both cars, meanwhile, come with front and rear parking sensors as standard.

The dashboard layouts are similar, employing a 12.3in digital instrument panel that adjoins a 12.3in infotainment touchscreen to form a single unit that spans more than half the car’s width.

Kia EV6 2023 dashboard

Neither dashboard is cluttered with buttons, but while the touch-sensitive controls (with haptic feedback) that are integrated into sections of wood trim in the Ariya’s look slick, they can be tricky to see in bright sunlight; the EV6’s more conventional controls are more user-friendly and demand less of your attention to use while driving.

You’ll find plenty of soft-touch materials and smart trims in both cars; the EV6 feels sturdier inside, but the margins aren’t huge; only a slightly wobbly centre console and cheap-feeling steering wheel buttons let the Ariya down.

Both cars come with rather dark interior colour schemes, although the Ariya can be had with a more uplifting interior for an extra £495, endowing it with light grey fabric seats and matching panels on the doors and dashboard. You can also add a Sky Pack (£1295) that brings an opening panoramic glass roof to let more light in, and it does so with little impact on head room.

Infotainment systems

Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya 2023 touchscreen

Despite the Ariya being brand new to the showroom, its 12.3in touchscreen infotainment system already feels dated. Its menus are fairly simple, but the system is slow to boot up and hesitant to respond, and its pixelated graphics are mediocre at best. It proved glitchy on test, too, with the Media function failing to load a couple of times. The standard audio system could
do with more punch, and the speakers sound muffled.

Kia EV6

Kia EV6 2023 touchscreen

The EV6’s 12.3in touchscreen infotainment system is more satisfying to use than the Ariya’s, with crisp graphics, quicker response times and more intuitive menus. Some of the icons could be bigger to make them easier to aim for, though. The standard six-speaker sound system sounds much better than the Ariya’s, but audiophiles will have to upgrade to top-spec GT-Line S trim to get the 14-speaker Meridian premium system.

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