Earlier in the week, we told you there was a new EV coming and now it’s all official, introducing the Nissan Ariya.
There’s a lot to love about what Nissan have done with the Ariya, not only is a crossover / mid-sized SUV that targets one of our biggest vehicle segments, but the designers actually won the arm wrestle with the marketing team and as such, the production version looks almost identical to the concept.
Nissan have done what all automakers should do and that is start with a ground-up, new EV platform. That means this isn’t an exercise of compromises where they shoehorn an electric motor and battery where the petrol engine, gearbox, fuel tank and exhaust used to be.
Build starting over, the distribution of weight, critical to a car’s handling and ride comfort, is exactly where you want to place it, low to the ground. From a company that makes amazing vehicles like the GTR, it’s not surprising they understand this, ahead of many others.
Range and performance
If we take the website figure, that range looks seriously impressive for a vehicle of this size. When we break it down, that 610km is based on range standard from Japan, known as WLTC. Given other EVs like the Model Y use WLTP and achieve an est 505km, it’s really hard to compare accurately.
The Ariya standard range will be powered by 65kWh battery and the longer range uses a larger 90kWh battery. By way of comparison, the Tesla Model Y features a 75kWh battery. Ultimately the question is not how much battery you can add to your car, but what is the right balance of range (battery size) and cost and whoever has the most efficient battery technology obviously has a big advantage.
Nissan are offering the crossover in both 2WD and 4WD variants, as well as standard and long range editions. The top model can use its 90kW battery (87kW usable), to power the car from 0-100km/hr in 5.1seconds, so should certainly be snappy. The entry level model can manage 7.5seconds.
The Jaguar i-Pace can do that same acceleration in 4.8s, while the Model Y can manage it in just 3.7s. We don’t have exact timing on the Mach-E, but Ford are claiming the top model will get there in mid-3 seconds.
When it comes to charging, this is likely to change a bit per market, however Nissan have confirmed the setup in Japan. The Ariya will have a peak charging rate of 130 kW, this means you can get around 375km of range in just 30-minute, using Japan’s CHAdeMO charging system.
The Ariya comes with ProPILOT 2.0 which is Nissan’s latest suite of semi-autonomous features. With this vehicle, Nissan say they’ll be able to offer hands-off driving in single lane (meaning no oncoming traffic next to you), as well as assisted, or guided lane changes which requires some force on the wheel to ensure you’re paying attention.
ProPilot remote park enables your car to move forward and reverse without you in it, simply by pressing and holding a button on the remote. This is great if someone parks close to you, making it difficult to open your doors. This looks to be similar to Tesla’s basic Summon, so it will go forward and back, but not turn at all.
The Ariya will also include a heads-up display which some drivers are in love with, so its a nice inclusion. This projects your speed, navigation and other details on your windscreen, helping you keep your eyes on the road.
The Ariya has Amazon Alexa built-in, so you can play music, set the navigation, or answer your queries from the web, just by using your voice.
Finally, the mobile app. Its pretty much a given now that EVs are unlocked and controlled by a mobile app and thankfully Nissan is following suit. You can monitor your state of charge, lock or unlock the vehicle, or adjust the climate control, right from within the app. A neat feature they have that some others should borrow is the ability to plan your routes directly from within the app.
Price and Availability
While the Nissan Ariya would be incredibly welcome in the Australian market, we are unfortunately not on the list of launch countries in 2021. Hopefully Nissan Australia can campaign HQ and get this thing here and fast.
The Ariya looks like a great competitor to the Tesla Model Y, the Ford Mach-E. It is expected that pricing would start around A$66k, while the top long range model is likely to cost a quite a bit more.