Nissan introduced the first mass-market, battery-powered EV in the U.S. — the Leaf — about a decade ago. But despite a head start, the Japanese automaker has been lapped by rivals with sexier and more powerful EVs.
Automotive analyst Jeff Schuster described the Ariya as a key weapon in Nissan’s strategy to elbow its way back into the bustling EV space.
“The Ariya is competitively specced with an adequate range, so it should cement Nissan as a foe in the segment,” said Schuster, president of global forecasting at LMC Automotive.
The Ariya is longer, wider and taller than the Leaf while packing more power and a longer driving range.
The crossover is powered by an 87-kilowatt-hour battery that will deliver 265 to 300 miles of EPA-estimated range, depending on the variant.
The 2023 Nissan Ariya will launch with three front-wheel-drive models, with a top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive variant arriving shortly after.
The Ariya Platinum+ version will deliver 389 hp — an increase of 151 hp over the fwd variants. It will feature a new twin-motor, all-electric, awd system, dubbed e-4ORCE, that Nissan said provides “sports car-level power delivered in the blink of an eye.”