Nissan Ariya: Keeping Up With the Pack

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan ariya keeping up with the pack

Don’t have a compact EV crossover in the works? Are you even an automaker?

Keeping up with the industry Joneses is a longstanding tradition among automakers, and Nissan, despite its troubles, isn’t throwing in the towel when it comes to cutting-edge competition. After revealing a concept CUV last year that promised gas-free driving and a healthy driving range, Nissan unveiled the production vehicle last night.

It doesn’t differ much from the concept.

Few expected it to, given that show car’s fully baked appearance.

Said to arrive stateside sometime in late 2021, following a mid-year Japanese market introduction, the Ariya wears Nissan’s new design language — an ensemble the brand calls Timeless Japanese Futurism. That ethos carries over into the Ariya’s spartan, heavily digitized cabin.

With a starting price of about $40,000, the Ariya boasts two available battery sizes and two powertrains; front- or all-wheel drive can be had, with a long-range single-motor configuration offering the model’s maximum electric driving range of 300 miles (official EPA figures will have to wait). That’s with an 87 kWh battery. Entry-level models will carry a 63 kWh unit.

Output ranges from 215 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque to 389 hp and 443 lb-ft, giving this two-row CUV plenty of oomph for whatever task its owners throw at it. Technologies borrowed from the existing Nissan lineup includes the e-Pedal setup from the long-running Leaf, allowing drivers to make little use of the brake pedal, and the brand’s new ProPilot 2.0 driver-assist system, which allows for hands-free driving under certain circumstances.

“The Ariya, a key model in Nissan’s plan to roll out 10 new models in 20 months, demonstrates our commitment to meeting customer demand for crossovers with the most advanced electrified, automated and connected technologies,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said during the model’s Yokohama debut.

“The company expects sales of its EVs and e-POWER electrified models to be more than 1 million units a year by the end of fiscal 2023. The Ariya will play a significant role in attaining that goal.”

While Nissan aims to impress with style, range, power, and comfort (the brand talked up the Ariya’s lounge-type cabin and flat floor, as well as Zero Gravity seats), it stands to face stiff competition upon arrival. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E goes a different route, aping a famous performance car, while the premium German Trifecta will have a trio of upscale compact EV CUVs of their own. On the lower end of the totem, Volkswagen’s MEB-based ID.4 will be out and about.

Eco-conscious consumers with little need for excess space can already shop the Hyundai Kona EV, with a Chevrolet Bolt-based CUV on the way to challenge it. Both the Kona and Bolt offer a healthy range for a sub-$40k price.

Nissan will have to prove its worth and fight for every sale.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Rocket Rocket on Jul 15, 2020

    The minimalist interior and fastback profile trends can't end soon enough for me. I don't care if it's not fashionable ... a true utility vehicle should have a functional two-box design, and all vehicles should have real buttons.

  • APaGttH APaGttH on Jul 16, 2020

    It got me to stop scrolling - I like it. Can't put my finger on if I like the design on the unusual release color.

  • John On my 6th Saab now....always looking for another
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Thunderbird Production Numbers:1971 - 36,0551972 - 57,8141973 - 87,2691974 - 58,4431975 - 42,6851976 - 52,9351977 - 318,1401978 - 352,7511979 - 284,141 1980 - 156,803 1981 - 86,693 1982 - 45,142 1983 - 121,999 1984 - 170,533 1985 - 151,852 1986 - 163,965 Looks like the T'Birds on the Torino frame sold like gang busters ('77 thru '79).
  • Jeanbaptiste Any variant of “pizza” flavored combos. I only eat these on car trips and they are just my special gut wrenching treat.
  • Nrd515 Usually for me it's been Arby's for pretty much forever, except when the one near my house dosed me with food poisoning twice in about a year. Both times were horrible, but the second time was just so terrible it's up near the top of my medical horror stories, and I have a few of those. Obviously, I never went to that one again. I'm still pissed at Arby's for dropping Potato Cakes, and Culver's is truly better anyway. It will be Arby's fish for my "cheat day", when I eat what I want. No tartar sauce and no lettuce on mine, please. And if I get a fish and a French Dip & Swiss? Keep the Swiss, and the dip, too salty. Just the meat and the bread for me, thanks. The odds are about 25% that they will screw one or both of them up and I will have to drive through again to get replacement sandwiches. Culver's seems to get my order right many times in a row, but if I hurry and don't check my order, that's when it's screwed up and garbage to me. My best friend lives on Starbucks coffee. I don't understand coffee's appeal at all. Both my sister and I hate anything it's in. It's like green peppers, they ruin everything they touch. About the only things I hate more than coffee are most condiments, ranked from most hated to..who cares..[list=1][*]Tartar sauce. Just thinking about it makes me smell it in my head. A nod to Ranch here too. Disgusting. [/*][*]Mayo. JEEEEZUS! WTF?[/*][*]Ketchup. Sweet puke tasting sludge. On my fries? Salt. [/*][*]Mustard. Yikes. Brown, yellow, whatever, it's just awful.[/*][*]Pickles. Just ruin it from the pickle juice. No. [/*][*]Horsey, Secret, whatever sauce. Gross. [/*][*]American Cheese. American Sleeze. Any cheese, I don't want it.[/*][*]Shredded lettuce. I don't hate it, but it's warm and what's the point?[/*][*]Raw onion. Totally OK, but not something I really want. Grilled onions is a whole nother thing, I WANT those on a burger.[/*][*]Any of that "juice" that Subway and other sandwich places want to put on. NO, HELL NO! Actually, move this up to #5. [/*][/list=1]
  • SPPPP It seems like a really nice car that's just still trying to find its customer.