The Nissan Ariya is coming to the U.S., and it seems it's sights are set on competing with the Tesla Model Y. We've now seen the U.S. production model of Nissan's first electric SUV, and i9t is certainly a sight to behold.
The Ariya first arrived in concept form back in 2019, with the production version showcased last summer. Now we've also seen the U.S. model of this fully electric SUV, which is expected to launch towards the end of 2021. Here's everything you need to know about the Nissan Ariya.
Release Date: Early 2022
Price: Around $40,000
Power: 2 motor, AWD
Battery Range: 310 miles
0 to 62 mph: 5.1 seconds
Smarts: ProPilot Driver assistance, new voice command tech, e-Pedal, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay
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Nissan Ariya 2022: Release date and pricing
The Nissan Ariya will start at around $40,000 when it arrives later this year. That's in line with the Tesla Model Y's starting price of $41,190, for the Standard Range model — though note that Tesla has currently removed that variant from its online store.
It's due to be released in Japan this summer, and while a U.S. release had been confirmed for a late 2021 launch it now won't be arriving until early 2022. Evidentially Nissan is supplying supply chain issues thanks to the ongoing global chip shortage.
Nissan Ariya 2022: Design and interior
The Ariya's styling is relatively unchanged since the concept car that broke cover at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019, and that's just fine with us.
It's a futuristic-looking thing, with slim LED lights, an angular front end, large grille and a gently sloping roofline that gives it an almost coupe-like feel. A single horizontal brake light gives the rear a similarly sci-fi vibe, and we're big fans of the Akatsuki Copper color. Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the Ariya.
On the inside it's clear that Nissan has made big changes from the current Leaf hatchback electric car. It has a larger 12-inch infotainment display, a digital gauge cluster, and a very modern-looking interior you'd expect from any premium electric car. But this time it's in a Nissan.
Nissan also hasn't followed the trend of adding all controls to the touchscreen, which can be difficult to use while keeping your attention on the road. So there's also a touch-sensitive pad on the dashboard for climate control, and while not as tactile as buttons it's better than the alternative.
Naturally the wheel also has a number of key controls built in, so you should be able to alter settings without flailing at flat screens and panels.
Nissan Ariya 2022: Performance
Performance will depend on which of the five models you drive.
The entry-level two-wheel-drive version has a 63 kWh motor that supplies 215 bhp and can go from 0-62 mph in 7.5 sec, while the all-wheel-drive, 87 kWh model has 239 bhp and covers the same distance in 7.6 seconds.
Both of those models are also available with Nissan’s new e-4orce four-wheel drive system, which is good for 278hp and 306hp, respectively. Acceleration is faster here: you'll hit 62 mph in a speedy 5.9 or 5.7 seconds.
Finally, there's the top-of-the-line Ariya e-4orce 87kWh Performance model. This offers up 389 bhp and can sprint to 62mph in 5.1 seconds — making it faster than a Porsche Macan.
Nissan Ariya 2022: Range and charging
The Nissan Ariya's range is also determined by which model you drive. The entry-level two-wheel-drive Ariya is good for 223 miles, while the the all-wheel-drive variant manages 310 miles. In contrast, the Tesla Model Y can go for 244 miles in Standard guide and 326 in Long Range form.
The e-4orce four-wheel drive Ariyas lose a little range: 211 miles for the smaller motor and 285 for the larger, 85 kWh model. Finally, the Performance Ariya will go for 248 miles; the Tesla Model Y Performance beats it here, with a 303-mile range.
The 63 kWh cars will come with a 7.4 kW home charger, with the 87 kWh models getting a faster 22 kW charger — however Nissan hasn't yet revealed just how speedy that charging will be for any of the models.
Nissan Ariya 2022: ProPilot and Intelligent Integration
In keeping with its looks, the Ariya is loaded with technology. The electric SUV features Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving system, complete with freeway driving aids and guided parking. You also get automatic emergency braking (at the front and rear) plus a 360-degree camera system.
Inside, it's all about Nissan's Intelligent Integration concept. The dashboard contains dual 12.3-inch displays — one for driver info and one for infotainment — plus a color head-up display.
The dual screens are particularly cool. Because they're linked, content on one display can be sent to the other with a swipe — for instance, the passenger might find a location on the route and send it to the driver screen for navigation. On the center stack, there are haptic controls that only reveal themselves when the car is running.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are both on board, too, and you can use either Amazon Alexa or Nissan's own voice-control system. Updates for all of this tech can be delivered wirelessly using a built-in 4G connection.
Nissan Ariya 2022: e-Pedal
One of the more interesting features from recent Nissan Leaf models is the e-Pedal, and that will be coming to the Ariya at launch.
e-Pedal is essentially regenerative braking on steroids, and can allow for single pedal driving once you learn how to time it right. Just release the gas pedal and the car will automatically come to a stop and won't start up again until you press down on the gas again.
e-Pedal isn't as sudden as the brakes, and can't replace them completely (especially in an emergency), but it is a very convenient feature that is so-far exclusive to Nissan.
Nissan Ariya 2022: Outlook
Nissan is no stranger to the electric car market, and it seems it's taking a lot of the lessons it's learned from previous efforts and adding them to the Ariya. ProPilot, e-Pedal and all the other things its been perfecting over the past decade.
Crucially we're looking at a car that offers performance to better compete with other electric car makers. But with the electric SUV market becoming increasingly crowded, there's going to be a lot of competition to deal with. Let's just hope the Ariya will be able to survive on more than just brand awareness and its existing reputation as a solid electric automaker.