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Nissan says it will bring its first-ever all-electric SUV to the U.S. and Canada late next year with the introduction of the all-new Ariya. The compact SUV has an estimated driving range of up to 300 miles and will start at around $40,000.
At 183 inches long, the two-row, five-passenger Ariya is similar in size to Nissan’s Rogue compact SUV. It will come in both standard and long-range versions, with either front- or all-wheel drive. The estimated 300 miles of range applies to the front-wheel-drive model with long-range battery.
Nissan’s Ariya has the potential to be a formidable competitor for Tesla’s Model Y SUV, which starts at just under $53,000 and has an EPA-rated driving range of 316 miles.
Here is what we know so far.
Nissan got into the EV game early, with the introduction of the all-electric Leaf for the 2011 model year. Although the Leaf was the first widely available and affordable electric car, it’s never been a particularly strong model over the years. The most recently updated versions of the Leaf haven’t fared all that well in CR’s testing due to a driving range of just 149 miles and 215 miles for the Leaf and Leaf Plus, respectively. While both Leaf models are quiet and have easy access, they suffer from an awkward driving position and are short on handling agility.
The Ariya has the chance for Nissan to give customers a truly competitive offering in the ever-changing EV landscape. It appears to be more luxurious and substantial than the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro EVs, while, with a starting price of around $40,000, undercuts the Tesla Model Y and the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Nissan says the Ariya is based on an all-new EV platform with a 109-inch-long wheelbase. It will ride on either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels.
Nissan says the Ariya represents the company’s new design language, which is referred to as “Timeless Japanese Futurism.” We think the Ariya looks smoother but also more generic and less angular than Nissan’s Murano SUV, though it does have slim, futuristic headlights.
The Ariya is a two-row, five-passenger SUV. The cabin features a minimalist design, with lots of smooth surfaces and an uncluttered appearance. A large, horizontal display screen serves as both the driver’s instrument cluster as well as the infotainment system.
The center console is adjustable, and includes a dedicated spot to store a cell phone. The EV platform allows for a completely flat floor, which gives rear passengers—especially the one in the center seat—more foot space. The all-wheel-drive model has about 2 cubic feet less cargo volume than the front-drive model.
The Ariya will have wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and will also include Amazon’s Alexa. Nissan says over-the-air firmware updates will keep the Ariya “feeling fresh and exciting.”
What Drives It
The Ariya will be available as both a single-motor front-wheel-drive version and a dual-motor all-wheel-drive model, which Nissan refers to as “e-4ORCE.” Single-motor models make 215 horsepower while the dual-motor models produce 389 hp.
Either version can be ordered with the standard or long-range battery size; Nissan’s estimated 300-mile driving range is for the front-wheel-drive model equipped with the long-range battery.
Safety & Driver Assistance Systems
Nissan says all Ariya models will come standard with the Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). This includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning with rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams.
The Ariya will be available with a ProPilot Assist 2.0 system that uses driver-monitoring to allow hands-off-the-wheel operation on highways, making sure the driver continues to pay attention in case they need to take over control of the vehicle.
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