Nissan Ariya: Preview the New All-Electric Crossover
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The compact electric SUV segment is booming as more automakers look to keep pace with Tesla. Nissan, who all but single-handedly revived the electric car market with the LEAF, now enters this class with the all-new 2023 Nissan Ariya.
The Nissan Ariya has a lot to offer, including a stunning design inside and out, great driving range, surprising performance numbers, and more. But is the new Nissan Ariya the right electric crossover for you? Let’s review all the specifics on this new electric vehicle to help you make an informed decision.
Nissan Ariya Overview
The Nissan Ariya is the Japanese automaker’s first foray into the growing compact electric crossover marketplace, joining the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, and Kia EV6. Like most Nissan models, the all-new Ariya presents an angular design that gives it a bold and sporty look without being too overwhelming for the masses.
Some key exterior attributes include its sharply carved hood and nose, the swooping roofline, and coupe-like forward-leaning rear glass.
Inside, the Nissan Ariya has a modern-looking cabin that remains low-key enough to fit in well with mainstream vehicles. Like the exterior, this design helps keep buyers excited without drawing the ire of car shoppers seeking a more conservative style.
The Ariya’s interior highlights include a two-post steering wheel, large LCD instrument cluster and infotainment screen, electric gear shifter, touch-sensitive climate control interface, and unique seat design.
The Nissan Ariya is a battery electric vehicle (BEV), meaning it runs solely on electricity and has no gasoline engine as a backup generator. Driving a BEV will require some adjustment, as you can’t simply stop at a gas station and top off the tank in five minutes. Instead, you must plan longer trips around its electric driving range and charger accessibility. However, with DC fast charging stations becoming more common every day and charging times falling, BEVs are becoming more convenient to drive.
The Ariya comes with a 120-volt charging cable, so you can top off the battery at home on a standard household plug, but you can also have a professional electrician install a Level 2 wall box charger for a faster charging time. On the go, you can choose public Level 2 or DC fast chargers.
Nissan Ariya Pricing and Availability
The new Nissan Ariya is available in four trim configurations: Venture+, Evolve+, Premier, and Platinum+. Its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starts from $45,950 and tops out at $58,950. The Ariya qualifies for up to a $7,500 federal tax incentive, which makes this electric crossover a more affordable option.
The Ariya was available for pre-order, but Nissan has since exhausted its initial inventory and closed the pre-order. For now, if you want an Ariya, you must wait for pre-order fulfillments to be complete, then order one from a local dealership.
Let’s dive into each Ariya trim and what it includes:
Nissan Ariya Venture+
You can expect a collection of high-end features with the base level Venture+, including 19-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlights and taillights, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, adaptive cruise control, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen. Wireless integrations with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon’s Alexa come standard. An array of safety features are also included like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, rear automatic braking, and rear cross-traffic alert.
In addition to the Venture+’s standard features, the Ariya Evolve+ has a power panoramic moonroof, a power liftgate, LED fog lights, a 360-degree camera, a power passenger’s seat, rain-sensing wipers, a wireless phone charger, and a motorized center console cover.
The Premier is a special launch edition available only for a limited time. It includes special design details like illuminated kick panels, upgraded emblems, and unique wheel covers. This configuration builds upon the Evolve+ with ProPILOT Park (parking assist) and ProPILOT Assist 2.0, a hands-on driver-assist system that combines Nissan’s Intelligent Cruise Control and Steering Assist technologies.
The range-topping Platinum+ trim continues to add on features with Nissan’s e-4ORCE dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD), active sound control, nappa leather upholstery, memory outside mirrors and passenger’s seat, a hands-free power liftgate, cooled front seats, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, and a telescoping steering wheel with power tilt.
Nissan Ariya Battery Capacity and Range
Initially, the entire Nissan Ariya lineup will come standard with an 87-kWh battery pack, but a 63-kWh battery pack will be available later.
In the base Ariya Venture+, which has 238 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, the 87-kWh battery delivers up to an estimated 300 miles of range. Though the Evolve+ and Premier trims share the base model’s powertrain, their ranges fall to an estimated 285 miles due to the extra features that draw power from the battery.
The range-topping Platinum+ model adds Nissan’s e-4ORCE dual-motor AWD EV platform, which bumps its output to 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. This makes for a more exciting ride, but drops the driving range to an estimated 265 miles.
EPA testing remains incomplete, so fuel economy equivalent numbers aren’t available yet. Charging times are also unconfirmed, but the Ariya comes standard with a Combined Charging System quick-charge port so that it will be DC fast charger compatible at up to 130 kW.
Nissan Ariya Pros
The Nissan Ariya will be a strong competitor in this vehicle class. Here are some of its strongest selling points:
Big-Time EV Range
With up to 300 miles of driving range, the Nissan Ariya exceeds many of its competitors and approaches the 330-mile Tesla Model Y Longe Range. But it does this with a base price over $17,000 less than the Model Y. On top of the lower price, the Ariya qualifies for federal tax incentives, and the Model Y does not, widening the pricing gap.
Top-Notch Standard Features
The Nissan Ariya also doesn’t skimp on the standard features. Its base Venture+ trim comes standard with all the features most buyers need in a family crossover SUV, like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, adaptive cruise control, and more.
Buyers seeking a crossover with great performance can get that in the Platinum+ trim level. With its dual-electric-motor all-wheel-drive setup, this trim sprints to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. The Ariya’s time isn’t as fast as the 3.5 seconds the Model Y Performance manages, but it easily beats much of the competition.
Nissan Ariya Cons
While there are many good reasons to buy the Nissan Ariya, it’s not the perfect EV crossover. Here are some cons to consider before ordering the Ariya:
The Ariya is still going through all its testing, so there is uncertainty in some areas. Most notably, questions remain about fuel economy estimates and safety ratings. Until these become official, you may want to hold off on ordering this electric SUV.
Lags Behind the Top Performers
While the Ariya beats many in straight-line performance, it lags behind the top dogs in its class, the Tesla Model Y Performance and Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition. These two models hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, leaving the Ariya Platinum+ in their wake.
Is the Nissan Ariya Electric Crossover Right for You?
With an impressive assortment of standard premium features, the Nissan Ariya offers you a blend of sportiness and mainstream, making it a great option for a wide variety of electric SUV shoppers. Furthermore, the Platinum+ model delivers good performance numbers that can appease buyers seeking a fun-to-drive vehicle.
The Ariya isn’t perfect. It lacks the top-end performance of the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E. And it’s so new that not all of its specs are fully confirmed. But the Nissan Ariya electric crossover provides loads of value with a relatively low starting price for an EV that promises nearly 300 miles of range on a single charge.
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