Although electric cars have been the backbone of the EV market so far, a number of electric SUVs are coming soon, and their success will be a huge factor in how EV models are designed in the years ahead. One of the EVs that I’m most excited about is the all-new Nissan Ariya, a sleek and sporty model that has a lot going on. While the hatchback Nissan Leaf has proven itself in many ways so far, the Ariya has an impressive new look that is far more curvaceous than previous Nissan EV offerings.
Beyond its beautifully sculpted exterior, however, there are plenty of other aspects of the Nissan Ariya to get excited about. From its diverse options for different battery sizes and motor configurations to the gorgeous and refined interior, it’s clear that the Ariya is looking to turn heads and make some waves. And with an impressive driving range and a release date later this year, I’m confident that this Nissan is going to be a leader in the EV market. Still not convinced? Then let me show you what the Ariya has going on and why you should be paying attention.
Feature #1 – Numerous Battery Options
When looking at vehicles with internal combustion engines, you typically want to look for models with multiple engine options, so you can get the right amount of power for what you need. Similarly, when checking out EV models, it’s a good idea to look at your options for batteries and motors. This lets you control the kind of range and the overall power and driving experience you get.
The upcoming Nissan Ariya has two different options for batteries, which lets you pick the right one for the amount of range you need. With the base version of the Ariya, you get a 63 kWh battery, which is being referred to as “standard range” by Nissan. We don’t know exactly how much range this battery will deliver on a full charge, but I expect it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 200+ miles. It’s designed for daily use: commuting to work, dropping off and picking up kids, etc.
There’s also an 87 kWh battery available as a “long-range” option for the Ariya, and this is the one to look for if you like going on long road trips. Nissan hasn’t revealed a final range for it but has stated it will go a distance of up to 300 miles on a full charge. Since the Ariya really hasn’t had any testing by outside groups yet, this is still a bit unchecked, but I expect it will be pretty close to this in a real-world setting.
Feature #2 – Front or All-Wheel Drive
Another major feature of the Nissan Ariya that I’m excited about is the fact that you have two different options for the motor setup on it. This isn’t entirely unheard of when it comes to EV models, but the Nissan Leaf only gives you a front-motor design with no option. So seeing Nissan broaden its horizons a bit with this and offer more customization, which in turn delivers a more exhilarating drive, is certainly a good thing.
The standard model will come with front-wheel drive and feature a single motor on the front of the vehicle, much like the Leaf. All-wheel drive will be an available option; however, featuring a dual-motor system that provides more power and should deliver a more thrilling overall driving experience. While Nissan hasn’t released any specific details about acceleration or the top speed, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the all-wheel drive model of the Ariya be able to go from 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds or less. Even with front-wheel drive, the Nissan Ariya should be a lot of fun to drive, simply due to its EV design and Nissan’s track record with sporty, responsive vehicles.
Feature #3 – Easy Charging
With any EV model, charging is always a concern: after all, it’s still the biggest hurdle that models like the Nissan Ariya really need to overcome in order for them to really conquer the market. Some people are still concerned about the limitations of these vehicles, and long or limited charging options can be a deterrent. With the Ariya, however, charging is simple, and you have a couple of different options for it.
Drawing from what they’ve learned with the success of the Leaf, Nissan has designed the Ariya to be as user-friendly as possible. Home charging is easy thanks to support for both 110-volt and 240-volt systems, so you can plug it in at a standard three-prong outlet or get a dedicated home charging unit for a faster option. Even better, the Ariya will also support DC fast charging, so you can use compatible charging stations to get your Nissan back on the road with a full charge in much less time than at home.
Feature #4 – Stunning Interior Features
The inside of the Nissan Ariya is definitely gorgeous, with a sleek and minimalist design that really welcomes you in without feeling too “sci-fi.” Nissan calls it a “new kind of interior for a new kind of driving,” and while I’m not sure I entirely agree that it’s a new kind of interior, it definitely looks great. For one thing, it’s clear that they wanted a very open feel to it, even more so than you already get in a standard SUV. The floor is flat and low to provide you with more room and really makes the interior feel expansive.
The seats look great and are designed for luxury and comfort, with Nissan’s zero-gravity seats offered to really make you feel at home. You won’t find a ton of buttons on the front dashboard; however, as Nissan has done its best to really stick with a minimal approach and keep things simple. That being said, a pair of stunning 12-inch displays provide you with infotainment and driver information, so the simplified dash doesn’t mean you’re missing out on anything. The front console can slide back for even more room up front, and the ambient lighting is quite warm.
Feature #5 – Amazing Safety and Technology
With any brand-new model, you expect it to have impressive tech features, and the Nissan Ariya definitely doesn’t disappoint. It features a second-generation version of the Nissan ProPilot semi-autonomous driving technology, which allows for hands-free single-lane driving and lane changing. The ProPILOT Park system lets the Ariya park itself at the push of a button, and additional autonomous driving technology will likely be available in the years ahead.
In terms of safety, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection and a lane departure warning with lane-keeping assist are all standard features. Additional safety features are yet to be announced, though one concept version of the Ariya a couple of years ago did include automated Remote Park functionality using your phone, but we’ll have to see if that’s available at release. There’s also an available head-up display with color graphics that lets you keep your eyes on the road while staying informed.
It’s clear that the Nissan Ariya has a lot to offer and plenty of reasons to get excited about it. As we get closer to the Ariya’s launch, we’ll get more details and final specs for it, which will give us an even better sense of what is going on. So check back soon to stay informed when shopping for your next electric car, truck, or SUV.