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The Nissan Ariya recently launched as the brand’s first electric SUV. The Japanese brand brought the first mass-market EV to the U.S. in the form of the 2011 Nissan Leaf, but the Leaf’s reputation aren’t getting it very far in terms of sales.

According to Nissan’s quarterly sales report, the Ariya outsold the Leaf by a little more than 500 units. This is despite the Ariya’s lack of name recognition compared to the Leaf and its much higher price tag.

The Leaf is notably one of the most affordable EVs in the U.S., starting at $28,040 for the base model and $36,040 for the longer-range SV Plus model. The Ariya begins at $43,190, but it’s a more premium vehicle with a longer maximum range.

The most likely reason for the Ariya selling better than the Leaf is simply the fact that it’s an SUV. In the first quarter of 2023, Nissan sold 134,667 SUVs compared to 64,420 cars. SUVs are simply a more popular style of vehicle than traditional cars.

Another reason is that the Ariya was first unveiled as a concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The hype has been building ever since then, and now that the Ariya is an actual production car on the market, everyone who has been wanting one and reserved one early is getting one.

It will be interesting to see whether the Ariya continues outselling the Leaf after everyone who has been waiting for one for years finally gets one.

The Nissan Ariya has a better maximum range

Then there’s the range factor. The range of the base Leaf priced under $30k is only 149 miles, and the SV Plus model gets 212 miles of range.

The Ariya, which has much more variety in its model range, gets a 216-mile range in the most affordable Engage FWD trim, and its maximum range is 304 miles in the Venture+ FWD trim. The Ariya also has the e-4ORCE dual-motor powertrain available, which significantly improves performance and adds AWD.

One could argue that the Nissan Leaf is a bit outdated compared to the more upscale and high-tech Ariya. There’s nothing wrong with the interior or technology in the Leaf, but if you drive it back-to-back with the Ariya, it explains the higher pricing of the SUV.

How is Nissan’s electric SUV selling compared to Toyota and Subaru’s new electric SUV?

According to data on GoodCarBadCar, the Nissan Ariya is also outselling the Subaru Solterra and Toyota bZ4X, arguably its top competitors. However, the two are mechanically very similar, and if you combine their sales numbers for the first quarter of 2023, they surpass the Ariya.

The main reasons for the Ariya being more popular than its two top rivals are likely the longer range and the fact that Nissan has over a decade of experience in marketing EVs in the U.S. on a large scale.

While the Nissan Ariya is selling well compared to some other EVs on the market, it’s worth noting that its sales numbers are nowhere near its closest gas-powered counterpart in the Nissan lineup. In the same period that Nissan sold 2,860 Ariya models, it moved 76,499 units of its most popular model, the Rogue. The Ariya only accounted for about 2% of all of the SUV sales for Nissan in the first quarter of 2023.


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