Nissan has just taken that wraps off its first pure-electric SUV. The Nissan Ariya made its debut during a livestreamed digital event in Yokohama, Japan; it’s a two-row 5-passenger crossover that will offer a choice of a single-motor front-wheel drive powertrain or dual-motor “e-4ORCE” all-wheel drive, and two different battery sizes for an estimated driving range of up to 300 miles.
2022 Nissan Ariya
The Ariya rides an all-new, EV-specific platform, with a liquid-cooled battery mounted at the base of the chassis. Four core models are available: A 63-kWh- or 87-kWh battery will be offered with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Nissan’s preliminary driving-range estimate of approximately 300 miles is for the 87-kWh FWD model.
Nissan says the Ariya is the first model to represent its new electrified brand identity, and calls its design motif “Timeless Japanese Futurism.” The battery/powertrain arrangement enables an open, flat floor in the interior of the vehicle, with virtually no center driveline hump. A Nissan representative described the Ariya’s cabin space to us as Murano-sized [Nissan’s midsize crossover] within Nissan Rogue-sized exterior dimensions. Indeed, the Ariya’s overall length is 182.9 inches—a tenth of an inch shorter than the redesigned-for-2021 Nissan Rogue compact SUV, but with a legroom-benefitting longer wheelbase of 109.3 inches, compared to 106.5 inches for the Rogue.
The Ariya will offer newly available advanced driver-assistance features, including natural-language voice-recognition technology and a next-generation Pro-Pilot Assist 2.0 system that allows hands-free driving on highways, as long as certain conditions are met and sensors detect that the driver is paying attention to the road ahead. Also offered is Nissan’s e-Pedal system, a one-pedal driving feature introduced by the Nissan Leaf—the driver can start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop the vehicle using only the accelerator pedal.
Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of active-safety and driver-assist features will be standard across the Ariya lineup. Other standard or available features include over-the-air software updates, Nissan’s slim-profile Zero Gravity seats, wireless device charging, and Amazon Alexa capability, as well as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The Nissan Ariya is slated to arrive in the North American market in the third or fourth quarter of the 2021 calendar year, most likely as a 2022 model, with a starting price of around $40,000. More details will be released closer to the launch date.
Nissan became a pioneer of the mainstream-priced EV movement with the introduction of Nissan Leaf as a 2011 model. The second-generation Leaf debuted for 2018; it’s a fine EV that’s also more fun to drive than you might expect, but its compact-hatchback configuration means that it can’t really function as an everyday truckster for larger, active families. The Ariya looks to be big enough and passenger/cargo-versatile enough to serve as a stylish family hauler, and the projected starting price of around $40K means that it will be financially feasible for a broader number of households.
2022 Nissan Ariya