2022 Nissan Ariya
- Late 2021
What to expect
- All-new Nissan electric crossover SUV
- Projected range of 300 miles
- Two battery options and available all-wheel drive
- Available hands-free driving system
What is the Ariya?
The 2022 Nissan Ariya is an all-electric crossover SUV that will go on sale at the end of 2021. Prices will start around $40,000 for the base model that features a 63-kWh battery. Nissan will also offer an 87-kWh battery that is projected to return 300 miles of range. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive (Nissan calls it "e-4orce") will be available with both batteries.
Just as important, the 2022 Ariya marks a turning point for Nissan. The brand has been revamped, moving forward with a sophisticated design philosophy that appears to be more thoughtfully executed. There's even a new Nissan logo.
What's the Ariya's powertrain?
Power output ranges from 215 to 389 horsepower depending on the battery size and whether it's front- or all-wheel drive. The Ariya's torque output ranges from 221 to 443 lb-ft.
Interestingly, Nissan's spec sheet says the Ariya will have DC fast-charger capability using the combined charging system (CCS). This is different from the CHAdeMO-style connector Nissan's been using on its Leaf EV. Nissan says the Ariya can fast-charge up to a rate of 130 kW, which is enough to replenish 80% of range in only 20 minutes.
The Ariya will also offer a version of the Nissan Leaf's e-pedal that allows the driver to accelerate, decelerate and stop by using only the accelerator pedal. This one-pedal driving system helps to alleviate fatigue in heavy traffic.
How's the Ariya's interior?
The Ariya's stark interior design is similar to Tesla's simple horizontal dash. But rather than use a large vertical center screen, Nissan went with two wide screens in a single and striking glass ribbon that is similar to Mercedes-Benz's MBUX infotainment system. Capacitive-touch climate control buttons are integrated into the lower wood (or a very convincing wood-substitute) trim.
Less noticeable but no less noteworthy is the almost-flat floor and delicately perforated metal trim element that separates the driver's footwell from the front passenger's. The center console holds the "gear selector" and can also slide forward or back to suit the driver's preference. Nissan's praiseworthy Zero Gravity seats are also present.
How's the Ariya's tech?
In addition to the typical advanced safety features contained within Nissan's Safety Shield 360 suite, the Ariya will offer ProPilot 2.0. This next-generation semi-automated driving system promises hands-free driving on single-lane highways. The driver will still need to pay attention to the road, and sensors will disable the system if the driver is distracted.
Voice control should be able to make up for the lack of physical buttons, and Amazon Alexa control and monitoring are included. The system will also evolve over time thanks to over-the-air-updates. Apple CarPlay and Android will also be included.
How's the Ariya's storage?
Nissan's stated cargo capacity is similar to what you'd expect from a family sedan rather than a small SUV. The front-wheel-drive Ariya can accommodate up to 16.5 cubic feet of cargo, while the all-wheel-drive variant drops to 14.6 cubic feet. Presumably, these figures represent what's behind the second-row seats. You can fold down the rear seats to open up additional cargo space.
Interior storage doesn't appear to be generous from the pictures — it's limited to the armrest bin, a smaller bin next to the shifter, and some moderately sized door pockets.
We're glad to see Nissan take a new direction, leaving behind its rather uninspired recent past in favor of a bold and modern reboot. If the 2022 Ariya is any indication, Nissan's future is promising. The Ariya's styling is clean inside and out, and there's a sensible use of technology. Keep checking back for more information and drive impressions as we close in on the on-sale date.