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2021 Nissan Ariya: First Look

  • The Nissan Ariya is a new all-electric crossover SUV
  • 300 miles of driving range
  • Priced “around $40,000” according to Nissan
  • “Hands-off” automated driving in some circumstances

You might remember the IMx, the concept car that Nissan showed off back in 2017. At this year’s Tokyo Auto Show, Nissan introduced the all-new Nissan Ariya Concept, then followed that up with the production version in July of 2020.  The Nissan Ariya is an electric crossover SUV that kicks off the next chapter in Nissan vehicles. The company even has a new logo.

If Nissan can bring the Ariya to the market in a timely fashion, it could seriously compete with the  Tesla Model Y, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and Ford‘s Mustang-inspired electric crossover.

How Fast, How Far, How Much?

The Ariya will be available for sale as early as the fall of 2021. Nissan says the range of 300 miles is a “preliminary Nissan estimate for the long-range 2WD model.” That’s kind of a loaded statement because it tells us that there will be an all-wheel-drive version, which Nissan has confirmed. It also tells us that there will be varying models with different ranges, likely, costing more or less depending on how far you want to go on a single charge. That “around $40,000 price” will probably be for the base model. Based on Nissan’s reinvention of itself, that base model will probably include some premium features with the option to add more.

0-to-60 mph time should be under 5 seconds.

Here’s What We Know

We know the physical dimensions of the Ariya — the crossover will be pretty similar to the Nissan Rogue compact crossover, but it’ll be wider and lower to the ground, which gives it a decidedly more athletic stance. It’s a 2-row, 5-passenger crossover. Buyers will have the choice of front-wheel drive or “e-4FORCE” all-wheel drive. Nissan describes e-4FORCE like this: “The e-4FORCE balances the powerful performance with a smooth, comfortable ride and all-weather capability. The system’s twin electric motors provide balanced, assured handling with sports car-level power.”

Over-the-air firmware, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple Car Play are all on board as are Nissan’s excellent Zero-Gravity seats.

Nissan says the Ariya is the beginning of a new look for the brand. The exterior is interesting and the front plays off of the V-Motion grille shared by most Nissan models, but we’re more interested in the interior. It’s very minimalist — the 12.3-in screen has just one physical knob, and the rest of the controls appear to be via either touchscreen or haptic feedback. There’s also a prominent digital driver information display rather than a traditional gauge cluster. It’s a sleek and clean look that we hope to see in future production Nissans.

Safety

In addition to the next generation ProPilot Assist 2.0, the Ariya gets a bunch of standard safety equipment. Nissan Safety Shield 360 is standard and that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear automatic braking, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist, and Nissan’s around-view monitor.

Nissan is also promising ProPilot 2.0, the next step in Nissan’s semi-autonomous driver assistance technology suite, on the production-model Ariya. The suite will include hands-free highway driving, similar to what you can find with the Cadillac Super Cruise system. No production Nissan available in the U.S. is equipped with ProPilot 2.0 yet, so it’s possible that the Ariya will introduce that tech to American buyers.

The Leaf Needs a Friend

The Nissan Leaf was one of the first all-electric cars from a mainstream automaker. That was 10 years ago. When the Ariya hits the market, it’ll be nice to see the Leaf finally get an SUV counterpart that hopefully delivers similarly strong value. Find a Nissan for sale

Here are the key 2021 Nissan Ariya specs we know:

Nissan Ariya Key Specifications
Passenger configuration

2-row, 5-passenger

Drive configuration

Front-wheel drive or e-4ORCE all-wheel drive

Platform

Newly developed Alliance CMF-EV

Powertrain

Single (FWD) / dual (e-4ORCE AWD) electric motor, Externally Excited Synchronous Motor (EESM)

Battery capacity

63 kWh / 87 kWh usable (total 65 kWh / 90 kWh)

Thermal management

Active battery management system

Estimated range

Up to approximately 300 miles (preliminary Nissan estimate)

Level 2 charging

Up to 7.2 kW

DC charging type

CCS standard up to 130 kW

Output

160 kW – 290 kW

Torque

221 lb-ft – 443 lb-ft

Wheelbase

109.3 in.

Overall length

182.9 in.

Overall width

74.8 in.

Overall height

65.4 in. – 65.7 (depending on roof rack)

Cargo volume

16.5 cu ft (FWD)
14.6 (e-4ORCE)

Wheel size

19-inch or 20-inch

Tire size

235/55R19 or 255/45R20

Available interior features

Lounge-like space created by flat, open floor and slim-profile Zero Gravity seats; large, minimalist instrument panel with integrated capacitive haptic switches; innovative center storage box with fold-out tray, adjustable center console

Available Advanced Driver Assist (ADAS) Technology

ProPILOT Assist 2.0 featuring hands-off highway operation with Driver Monitoring System

Available safety technology

Nissan Safety Shield® 360 with Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking

Model configurations

Ariya standard and long-range (FWD)
Ariya standard range e-4ORCE and long-range e-4ORCE (AWD)

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Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More

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