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Nissan made 2020 an exciting year with the introduction of the Nissan Ariya. It’s the first new fully electric vehicle since the well-known Leaf. The Nissan Ariya is an innovative vehicle with an equally interesting name. So, where exactly did the name Ariya come from, and what does it mean? 

The Nissan Ariya encompasses its Japanese heritage

In July 2020, the Japanese company, Nissan, introduced its all-new Nissan Ariya electric crossover, according to Nissan News

Regarding the Ariya, Nissan states, “The Ariya–Nissan’s first all-electric crossover SUV–offers powerful acceleration and smooth, quiet operation, as well as an interior with a welcoming, luxurious lounge-like atmosphere. Its stress-free autonomous driving features, concierge-like assistance, and seamless connectivity heightens on-road confidence and proves a welcoming environment for the driver and passengers.” 

The Nissan Ariya fully embraces its Japanese heritage with its “expression of style and technology, each complimenting the other in aesthetics and function.” Many aspects of the Ariya’s design were borrowed from traditional Japanese words and concepts, according to Green Car Future. A few notable ones are:

  • Iki: The designers wanted to create a chic, simplistic, and modern car. 
  • Kabuku: The Ariya was created to have an unconventional and rebellious streak that makes it stand out from its competitors from the inside to the outside. 
  • Omotenashi: Guests or customers should always be given an incredible level of care and hospitality. Nissan sought to create such an environment for the driver and all passengers. 
  • Ma: The Ariya embraces Ma with its minimalist-looking interior. It also fully embraces all the extra features a modern driver would desire. 
  • Utsuroi: “A flowing, fluid space that seems seamless and natural.” Nissan wanted to create a space that did just that. 
  • Engawa: The Ariya provides an “inside out” feeling through the infotainment system that keeps the driver and passengers connected to the outside world through weather reports, music, exterior cameras, and much more. 
  • Kumiko: Nissan replaced the grille of a traditional gas car with a geometric pattern that mimics Kumiko, a Japanese woodworking art. 

The Ariya pushes the EV world forward. Nissan expressed this truth by saying, “Built on an all-new Alliance-developed EV platform, Ariya is the ultimate expression of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s vision to further improve the appeal of its vehicles and achieve its ultimate goal of a future with zero tailpipe emissions and virtually zero vehicle fatalities.”

The Nissan Intelligent Mobility includes Intelligent Power, Intelligent Drive, and Intelligent Integration. All these come together “with a new level of seamless human-machine interface connectivity, offering an entirely new driving experience.”

The Ariya was named for someone special  

Rear Ariya model badging on the trunk of a bronze 2023 Nissan Airya all-electric (EV) compact SUV model
Rear Nissan Ariya badging | Nissan Motor Corporation

A car with such an interesting name must have an equally interesting meaning. According to Green Car Future, “The equivalent word in Sanskrit means ‘elevated’ or ‘honorable.'”

Matthew Weaver, the Nissan VP, said that Nissan wanted to focus on the original Sanskrit and Pali roots. He said, “It means noble, dependable and something to be respected. At Nissan, we always try to find a name that reflects the character.” 

While the meaning of the word Ariya fits perfectly with the car it represents, there is more to the story. According to AdWeek, Nissan’s Vice President of Marketing, Allyson Witherspoon, named the new Nissan after her 7-year-old niece, Ariya.

The Nissan Ariya’s arrival in the U.S. was delayed 

According to Reuters, Nissan initially expected to launch the Ariya in mid-2021. However, coronavirus (COVID-19)-related chip shortages forced the company to push that timeline back. It was finally able to go on sale in Japan in May 2022 and arrived in the United States in late 2022 after a year of waiting

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