2021 Ariya EV Crossover: Does Nissan Have Its Mojo Back?

First off, the 2021 Nissan Ariya’s design is almost a direct copy of the concept of the same name. That’s extremely rare and a welcome sight. Kudos to Nissan for pulling that off. That this is a crossover and also all-electric means it is hitting what many think is the sweet spot for sales. At least in the near future if not now. Nissan hopes that this is the start of some important new products and profit. Both have been rather lean in the last few years. So does this 2021 Nissan Ariya EV crossover signal that Nissan has its mojo back?

But there was a time when Nissan was prescient

Nissan has had a bad last couple of years. Financially it has been in trouble and is trying to claw its way back to profitability. A lack of new products is but one of several factors. But there was a time when Nissan was prescient. That’s when it debuted the all-electric Leaf in 2010. Or maybe it was just lucky? But since that strong start, there have been crickets as far as EV development goes. 

Until now. Every manufacturer has been clamoring to get in the EV parade. Now Nissan is finally in it too. And what might be most important is the price. Looking like it could directly compete with Tesla, the Ariya has a starting price of around $40,000. That’s under the base price of a Tesla Model Y. And for that you’re getting a futuristic exterior that Nissan says is the first of its “Timeless Japanese Futurism” design language. Then open the doors and you’re greeted by an upscale interior. That is a bit of a welcome surprise.

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You see Nissan is serious about being taken seriously

With two 12-inch display screens, thin Zero Gravity seats, and disappearing controls that slink into the dash when the power is off, it’s a premium presentation. Round that off with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and over-the-air software updates and you see Nissan is serious about being taken seriously. 

The powertrain is available with either a single-motor front-wheel-drive unit or the “e-4ORCE” liquid cooling dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. This comes directly from Nissan’s GT-R sports car and basically splits the torque. It provides the optional four-wheel-drive on demand.

Combining the single-motor package with the larger battery nets up to 300 miles range

Once you select one or the other you also can choose between a 65-kWh short-range or 90-kWh long-range battery. That provides either 215 or 221 lb-ft of torque with the single motor or 389 or 443 lb-ft of torque with the dual motor. Combining the single-motor package with the larger battery nets up to 300 miles of range.

The tech continues with Nissan’s ProPilot Assist 2.0 semi-autonomous package for driver attention monitoring. With the e-Pedal, the driver can drive the car without touching the brake.