Nissan Debuts All-New Ariya Electric Crossover

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - July 15, 2020

Nissan was one of the first to market with an electric vehicle with the Leaf. Since then, things have changed quite a bit, as newcomers and traditional automakers have both leapfrogged the Japanese automaker with newer, more high-tech EVs that have more range. When Nissan unveiled the Ariya concept last year, it was a crucial vehicle for the brand, as it previewed a future where Nissan has a competitive electric car. Now, Nissan’s taken the wraps off of the production-ready Ariya and the crossover’s just as impressive as the concept.

In addition to the Ariya’s sharp design, the electric crossover also has some impressive numbers. At the time of launch, the EV will be available with two battery sizes. The base one is a 63-kWh unit, while the larger one is an 87-kWh pack. Nissan will offer both one-motor and two-motor configurations, which means the Ariya will offer both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Power for crossovers with the single motor is rated at 215 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. The dual-motor setup raises power to 389 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque and brings Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system.

If the Ariya’s standard battery pack and single-motor layout sound familiar, it’s because they are. The Leaf Plus comes with a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 215-hp electric motor. The dual-motor setup and larger 87-kWh battery pack sound like they’re all-new. Nissan only provided an estimated range figure for the larger battery pack, claiming that it will be good for 300 miles on the EPA’s cycle. As for the standard 63-kWh battery, there’s no word on range, but the Leaf Plus is rated at up to 226 miles of range. Being a larger vehicle, we expect a figure that’s slightly lower.

Nissan Ariya

While it sounds like the Ariya possibly uses the same battery pack and electric motor from the Leaf Plus, the electric crossover has a unique look that’s all it's own. The EV may be as long as the Rogue, but it’s wider, lower, and far sharper. The front end features a grille that’s in the shape of a shield and the automaker’s new logo. The rest of the body is just as futuristic, blending sharp edges and deep creases. If the Ariya is a look into what’s in Nissan’s future, we’re huge fans of what lies ahead.

The electric crossover’s interior is miles ahead of the Leaf when it comes to technology and the way it looks. The dashboard is simple and houses two 12.3-inch screens – one that acts as the infotainment screen and the other that replaces a traditional instrument cluster. Nissan also did something innovative with the buttons for the climate control system, which are now touch-capacitive and integrated directly into a piece of wood trim that sits immediately below the dash.

In addition to ensuring the Ariya’s design impresses passengers, Nissan also made sure that is was useable. The automaker’s engineers found a way to stuff the battery low into the crossover’s body to ensure the vehicle has a flat floor for more interior space. At the moment, all we know is that the Ariya can seat up to five and has between 14.6 and 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Interestingly, those figures are drastically lower than the Leaf, which has 23.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 30 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

Tech will be another one of the Ariya’s highlights with the electric vehicle as the SUV will come with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced safety features. ProPilot Assist 2.0, which is a hands-off, semi-autonomous system that can be used on the highway will be offered on the Ariya. It’s a more advanced version of the current ProPilot Assist system that’s found on a few of Nissan’s current models.

Japan will be the first country to get the Ariya next year. The electric crossover should arrive in America before the end of 2021. Pricing for the vehicle will start at around $40,000.

Compared to the Leaf Plus, the Ariya will probably be more expensive, come with more technology, and have more range, at least with the larger battery pack. Electric crossovers are still relatively new, so the Ariya won’t face a whole lot of competition when it arrives. The Kona Electric has a range of 258 miles and costs $37,190, the Audi e-tron starts at $75,795 and has a range of 204 miles, and the Jaguar I-Pace has a range of 234 miles and costs $70,875. The Ariya’s main competitor is the Tesla Model Y that has a range of up to 316 miles and costs $51,190.

Learn more about the all-new Nissan Ariya »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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