The all-new 2023 Nissan Ariya is arriving to high expectations. Following a decade of delayed development, controversy, and Nissan’s former leadership in EVs long gone, the Ariya has a lot to live up to. Just a decade ago, Nissan’s brand was synonymous with electrification when it launched the Leaf in 2011. For years, Nissan led the pack. Over half a million Leaf’s were sold globally by 2021. However, EVs from Tesla, Korean automakers and even General Motors eventually surpassed the Leaf’s market share in America as the 2010s came to a close.
Today, competition in the electric crossover segment is even more fierce. Will the 2023 Nissan Ariya’s pricing act as a deterrent, or will the progressive design language and decent range drive sales? Can Nissan reclaim their former electric glory? Let’s dive into what this much-anticipated electric crossover will have to offer.
The Ariya’s Forward-Thinking Design Is a Concept Brought to Life
What do you picture when you think of Nissan’s brand? The affordable Altima, Frontier, maybe the bug-eyed electric Leaf? What are the more luxurious examples of what Nissan has to offer? The Maxima has attained near-premium quality, the Murano is a spicy Rogue, and the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder has a fanbase. Soon, the Ariya will up the ante for the Japanese automaker’s brand image.
The 2023 Nissan Ariya features futuristic design language and a suite of next-gen tech. The exterior conjures up ideas of what a Murano might look like a decade into the future. The front fascia stands out with a large black faux grill topped off with slender LED headlights. A large, redesigned Nissan logo sits prominently front and center, illuminated by 20 LEDs.
Nissan says the Ariya is proudly inspired by Japanese culture, culminating in a delicate balance between futurism and tradition. Nissan introduced the Ariya with a primer of the design language.
“Ariya styling represents a significant redefinition of Nissan’s design philosophy. This new philosophy is based on what Nissan calls “Timeless Japanese Futurism,” which is characterized by a distinctive Japanese approach conveyed in a simple-yet-powerfully modern way.”
“Embracing the Japanese term iki, which characterizes the Ariya’s chic, cutting-edge nature, the front of the vehicle appears seamless, elegant and fresh. It’s highlighted by a shield – a reimagined grille for the EV era. The shield incorporates a 3-D traditional Japanese kumiko pattern just under the smooth surface, while protecting sensors used for driver assistance functions without the aesthetics interrupting operation.”
Footprint, Fit and Finish
The general body styling fits a lot of usable space into a relatively compact footprint, all thanks to the flexibility of the new electric platform underlying the cabin. The Ariya’s crossover stance is supported by an estimated 7 inches of ground clearance, width of 75”, and a length of 183”. At a height of 65 inches, the Ariya is 2 inches higher than the popular Hyundai IONIQ 5. A fastback-style roofline isn’t just for looks; the increasing popularity of fastback design is attributed to the dual sportiness and high efficiency of the design.
The rear of the Ariya is characterized by a C-pillar that blends cleanly into the rear deck. The rear taillight is a horizontal light bar that fits well with the overall design language. LED light blades are taking the industry by storm, gracing everything from the budget-minded Volkswagen ID.4 to the ultra-luxury Lucid Air. On the Ariya, the taillight has a blackout effect when parked. A high-mounted rear wing is more for looks than for speed.
The 2023 Nissan Ariya is available with six two-tone paint combinations and three full-body colors. Most of what we’ve seen so far is the Akatsuki copper and black package, which draws inspiration from the moment just before dawn.
Interior Design Inspired by Japanese Philosophy
The open and driver-focused front dash features two 12.3” screens, haptic controls and interior lighting (as is the trend these days). Nissan says the Ariya’s interior draws inspiration from the Japanese concept of ‘ma’, which refers to qualities belonging to both space and time. They liken the interior to a ‘sleek cafe lounge on a starship’, and that’s a reasonable comparison given the looks and feel of it all.
Interior Dimensions Take a Back Seat
It’s clear that Nissan cares deeply about the design language of the 2023 Ariya. While the result is an eye-catching crossover, it seems that interior dimensions have taken a back seat. The front and back rows do provide ample room for four to maybe five passengers, but the sloping roof design makes for just 17 cubic feet of rear cargo space with front-wheel drive. Add a second motor in the back and rear cargo capacity drops further to just under 15 cubic feet.
Inside the cabin, the few who’ve had access to the pre-production prototypes say that passenger volume is similar to what you’ll find in the Tesla Model Y. The lack of a central transmission tunnel creates an abundance of leg room throughout, which is most notable in the backseat. If you’re wanting a panoramic glass roof, you can have that on the higher trims. Nissan has not yet released official interior volume specifications.
Nissan Ariya Tech: ProPILOT Assist and the Promise of OTA Updates
ProPILOT Assist comes standard as a driver assistance feature, an admirable decision possibly taken out of the Volkswagen ID.4’s playbook. ProPILOT Assist is a hands-on assistance system that helps drivers stay centered in their lane, navigate highway traffic and maintain a set speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. The higher trims (Premiere and Platinum+) upgrade to ProPILOT 2.0, which enables hands-off driving on the highway with the help of 360-degree sensing using 7 cameras, 5 radar sensors and 12 sonar sensors.
Power and Performance
The Ariya is the first model to be powered by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new Common Module Family (CMF)-EV platform. At the core of the CMF-EV platform is a 4-inch tall battery pack along the floor. The narrow battery pack opens up the cabin above to more passenger volume and design flexibility. There are two battery sizes to choose from for the Nissan Ariya: 65 kWh and 90 kWh. Nissan has decided to source these prismatic NMC (Lithium-Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt-Oxide) batteries from Chinese battery leader CATL, who also supplies to Tesla, Volkswagen and several other global automakers. If you’ve ever heard horror stories about the older Nissan Leaf’s battery woes, fear not. The new CATL battery is completely different and state-of-the-art. The old Leaf was a driving experiment in the earliest days of electric vehicles.
2023 Nissan Ariya Pricing
Front-wheel drive trims produce 238 horsepower (178 kW), reaching 60 mph in 7.4 seconds. Nissan clearly thinks highly of the Ariya, as the price point sits above several competitors. The Venture+ base trim starts at $45,950 before incentives, and the premium Platinum+ offers AWD and 389 HP (442 lb-ft of torque) for $58,950. The mid-grade Evolve+ and Premier trim options start at $48,950 and $53,450 respectively. With a 0-60 time of around five seconds, the AWD Ariya can hold its own against the other electric crossovers.
Remember that the Nissan Ariya will qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs. Nissan has had great success selling the Leaf EV over the years. Therefore, the current federal tax credit may expire for the automaker soon. Local and state incentives may lower the price further, depending on where you live. Revisions to the EV tax credit are far from clearing Congress.
2023 Nissan Ariya Range: 265-300 Miles
The 300 mile target range is on par with class leaders like the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E, IONIQ 5 and EV6. However, there’s a catch. The maxed-out 300 mile range is only for the entry-level Ariya Venture+ front-wheel drive trim. This is great for budget-minded shoppers, but the opposite of what we see in the Model Y and Mustang Mach-E. Typically, higher trims equal more range in EVs. Check out the full spec sheet of range, battery capacity and power output below.
2023 Nissan Ariya Charging: Up to 175 miles in 30 Minutes
Charging speed is nothing to write home about at 130 kW peak speeds at a DC fast charger like those at Electrify America. There’s the chance that, like the Volkswagen ID.4, the Ariya could have a great charging curve that maintains high charging speeds longer than some competitors. In fact, Nissan told Tom Moloughney of InsideEVs that the Ariya can add 175 miles of range in 30 minutes of DC fast charging.
Charging isn’t always a deal breaker, especially if you don’t travel long distances very often. Keep in mind that most EV charging happens at home overnight. Charging at home, the Nissan Ariya can receive 7.2 kW with a level 2 charger plugged into a 240 volt outlet. That’s nearly 20% less than home charging speeds in the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Volkswagen ID.4. Will it matter? If you’re likely to charge overnight, it probably won’t.
The 2023 Nissan Ariya reimagines the Nissan brand for an electrified future where style and luxury take center stage. As the automaker looks beyond the pioneering Leaf EV, they’re reaching for a different set of electric car buyers. At MSRPs ranging from $45,950 to $58,950, the Ariya is hitting the market a full $20,000 more than the Leaf. Considering the prices of the competitors in the electric crossover segment, it may not be too much to ask of Nissan customers.
The Ariya is many years in the making, but there’s a lot more to come from Nissan’s EV development team. Nissan recently shared their goal of producing 15 electric models by 2030. Hopefully early adopters of the Ariya will find that Nissan’s $17.5 billion investment is paying off.
For a 2023 model, the max charging speed of 130 kW is behind the curve. Three of the Ariya’s direct competitors in the segment offer over 250 kW charging for about the same price. That isn’t to say there aren’t some real positive things to say about this EV. Range is a notch above the industry median of around 250 miles on a charge. The heartily Japanese-inspired looks are sure to appeal to many. If you’re ready to get in line for the 2023 Nissan Ariya, patience will come in handy. Nissan says that limited numbers of Ariyas will arrive at select dealers starting in fall of 2022.
YAA Just Launched a New Search Engine to Make Buying Your Next Car Easier!
We have thousands of EVs (and other vehicles) listed today. Each listing includes industry insights, empowering data and the true TotalPrice that will make buying a car the transparent process it should’ve always been. Check it out here!