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A close up of a brown 2023 Nissan Ariya shows the grille and headlights.

How Nissan Has Doubled Down With the 2023 ARIYA

Take a step back with me to the year 2010. Nissan launched the LEAF, the first electric vehicle that the celebrated manufacturer would unveil to the world. Revolutionary for the company would be an understatement. However, comparing the original LEAF models to the electric vehicles of today, including its successors, reveals the advancements that a decade has made since the initial release of the LEAF. Why do we mention this electric vehicle, in particular? The LEAF remained alone in Nissan’s foray into EVs, but that changed when Nissan released a new EV to the Japanese market. While not immediately available in our market here in America, the 2023 Nissan ARIYA is the official arrival of this new EV, and we’ve got a rundown on what you can expect.

The 2023 ARIYA has a higher starting price than the LEAF, but that makes sense because it offers drivers even more. There are four available trim levels, including the Venture+, Evolve+, Premiere, and Platinum+. While the LEAF and the ARIYA take up two different parts of the market (with the LEAF being an electric hatchback and the ARIYA being a compact SUV), looking at these two models side by side should reveal some interesting and exciting benefits the ARIYA offers.

No Corners Cut

So, one of the biggest concerns that drivers have when it comes to looking at an EV is how powerful is it and what kind of range does the motor offer? You are going to find that there is a bit of discrepancy between the LEAF and the ARIYA, but that is to be expected from these two EVs. After all, at a higher price tag, it’s expected the ARIYA will have more powerful engines and greater range. However, the ARIYA basically doubles what the LEAF can offer.

While Nissan’s entry-level EV comes standardly equipped with a 40 kWh battery, the base ARIYA will include an 87 kWh battery. A battery that is 117.5% larger will inevitably result in a far greater mileage range, and that’s exactly what we see with the ARIYA. In its base configuration, the ARIYA will give drivers a range of up to 300 miles on a single charge. If you get AWD for the ARIYA, the range drops to a max of 265 miles. For comparison, the 2022 LEAF has an estimated maximum range of 226 miles on a full charge with its more expensive motor option and just 149 miles with the base option.

Against some of its chief competitors, namely Chevy’s Bolt EUV, the most Chevy has managed to get out of its EVs is 247 miles on a single charge. In the future, the chances of the ARIYA and the Bolt EUV being direct competitors will likely change, and this is because both Nissan and Chevy each have two EVs on sale right now. Over time, you can guarantee that this number will increase, which can be said for every big-name manufacturer out there. However, it’s worth noting that we’re strictly speaking of EVs, not hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

A brown 2023 Nissan Ariya is shown backing into a parking spot.

All-Electric Power

Not only is the ARIYA an omission-free ride, but it’s powerful too. Those who are familiar with the LEAF will know that the latest models offer both the aforementioned 40 kWh battery and an upgraded 62 kWh battery. With the LEAF being an entry-level EV, it performs quite well for the price range, with 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the original LEAF, the later models have more horsepower, but ultimately it hasn’t been doubled on the base level, at least not yet. Things were remedied when the 62 kWh battery entered the scene, and this brought 214 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque to the LEAF.

Unlike the LEAF, the ARIYA sticks with one battery, but FWD and AWD configurations will drastically change the power output. For example, by purchasing the FWD ARIYA, you’ll get 238 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque. The LEAF’s best drivetrain, by comparison, isn’t too far off from these specs, but that changes when you opt for the AWD ARIYA. Springing for this model instead treats you with 389 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. A drastic uptick, that’s for sure. What this proves to us is how versatile the ARIYA can be, and with 63% and a solid 100% improvement to horsepower and torque over the base configuration. Undoubtedly an impressive feat, not just for Nissan, but for every electric vehicle.

Next-Gen Car Means Next-Gen Features

What can you expect from a vehicle that has never been released in the United States until this point? Simple, you can expect a state-of-the-art feature set from day one. Whether we’re talking about its entertainment capabilities or its vast array of available safety features, the other aspects of the ARIYA feel as new as its drivetrain. On the base level, the ARIYA’s infotainment center will take center stage, and this is because it’s the same 12.3-inch screen on every trim level. The features that we’ve all come to know and love are here, of course. We’re talking about Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and the like.

The temptation that the higher-end models bring is additional features. Namely, safety features that come as part of ProPILOT Assist 2.0 and ProPILOT Park. ProPILOT Assist 2.0 is a safety feature package that offers several hands-free capabilities. That’s right; this vehicle will give you the opportunity to take a break and let the vehicle drive you for a while. No, this doesn’t mean that the ARIYA is an autonomous vehicle, so don’t get too excited. Hands-Off Driving can be activated and utilized during single-lane highway driving, and this will give the driver a moment to release the steering wheel and rest their foot. You still need to be actively paying attention to the road and ready to take back over control.

Other features that have not only caught our eyes but likely yours as well are Guided Freeway Driving and Lane Change Assistance. Guided Freeway Driving will operate based on the directions that you’ve placed into the system. By utilizing the Digital Information Cluster, you’ll be notified at the times when you need it the most, such as keeping you informed of upcoming exits and also telling you when it’s safe to switch lanes. When it’s time to switch lanes, Lane Change Assistance can help you find the ideal time to switch your lane by utilizing an array of data that are collected in real-time.

A brown 2023 Nissan Ariya is shown from the side driving on an empty highway.

ARIYA Ready?

What can we learn from the ARIYA’s arrival? It’s that the best things take time. Until this point, the LEAF served as the only Nissan EV, and in that respect, it excelled at its job. In an ever-changing industry where more manufacturers were able to create EVs that promoted both performance and efficiency, Nissan knew that the LEAF would need some assistance. The ARIYA, in many ways, is the new ideal electric vehicle from Nissan, while the LEAF now stands as a fantastic introductory vehicle into the realm of EVs. However, if you have the means and the need for a gigantic performance increase, then the ARIYA does its job perfectly well too.

Does the future look bright for the ARIYA? Absolutely. This is merely the beginning of something great, and it’s vehicles such as this that will get the industry eager for both Nissan’s next announcement or simply just to see how other manufacturers react. No matter the case, the 2023 ARIYA is going to be a winner in the eyes of many Nissan fans who have been waiting for the perfect EV to arrive.