Nissan Ariya – New electric SUV

Nissan has shown off the US production model of its Tesla Model Y rival the Ariya — and it’s 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 US model of this fully electric SUV. It is expected to launch towards the end of 2021. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

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. Note that Tesla has currently removed that variant from its online store.   

It’s due to be released in Japan this summer. U.S. availability sometime after that. 

Design

The Ariya’s styling is relatively unchanged since the concept car that broke cover at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019.

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. We’re big fans of the Akatsuki Copper color. Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the Ariya.

Nissan Ariya – Key specs

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.

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.

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.

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