300-mile electric SUV priced to start around $40,000

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Nissan on Wednesday revealed the Ariya, a small, battery-electric crossover SUV that’s due on sale in the second half of 2021.

The vehicle is the production version of the Ariya concept shown at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, and it’s confirmed to arrive with a starting price of around $40,000. At this price range, the Tesla Model Y is an obvious target, but by the time it arrives the Ariya will also be up against the yet-to-be-revealed Volkswagen ID 4 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

The Ariya is similar in size to those models, featuring a 182.9-inch overall length and 109.3-inch wheelbase. There are only two rows in the cabin, with enough space for five adults.

The cabin is also loaded with tech. A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster faces the driver and is joined by a 12.3-inch infotainment screen and a color head-up display. The Ariya also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, as well as voice activation either via Nissan’s own system or Amazon Alexa. Nissan hasn’t mentioned what features will be included as standard.

The Ariya will also come with several electronic driver-assist features, including handy items like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind spot and rear cross traffic warning. Also fitted to the Ariya is Nissan’s ProPilot 2.0 semi-autonomous driving system, which can handle itself on highways but still requires the driver’s attention for road changes or choosing when to pass slower moving vehicles.

The Ariya rides on Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-EV platform for electric cars and features Nissan’s new e-4ORCE dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. The system, which works by managing the power delivery and braking individual wheels, is designed to enable a vehicle to follow its driver’s intended line on a variety of surfaces, including ice and snow, without the driver having to change his or her driving style or input.

Nissan Ariya

Nissan Ariya

In the Ariya, a single motor at the front axle delivering 214 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque will be the standard option while performance fans will be able to opt for the e-4ORCE setup featuring an electric motor at each axle and a combined output of 389 hp and 443 lb-ft.

Two battery options will also be on offer: 65 and 90 kilowatt-hours. EPA-rated mileage figures will be announced closer to the market launch but Nissan estimates that a front-wheel-drive Ariya with the 90-kwh battery should deliver close to 300 miles of range.

The Ariya is part of a major product renewal at Nissan as the automaker seeks to turn around its losses. There are multiple new or updated models in the pipeline including redesigned versions of the Frontier pickup truck and Z sports car. The first model in the product renewal has already arrived in the form of the 2021 Rogue SUV.

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