While we can talk all day about technology and features, there’s one factor in car buying that’s going to make a HUGE difference in who buys it: price. A manufacturer could be selling the coolest electric vehicle in the world, but if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. So, manufacturers are targeting different price points with their different offerings to give people as much value as they can in a particular market segment.
This reality, which isn’t as fun as talking technology and performance, has left people wondering where Nissan’s upcoming Ariya was going to land. With its lowest range variant having the same battery storage as the LEAF Plus, but with better temperature management and higher charging speeds (via a CCS plug), it was clearly going to land north of the LEAF, but how much more expensive the base model would end up being was still up for debate.
But now, Nissan has released all of that information, and we can both share it and speculate on how the vehicle’s pricing is going to affect its competitiveness in the market.
Ariya Pricing Details
The 2023 Nissan Ariya (FWD models only) will be available late this fall, and it comes with either front-wheel drive or e-4ORCE all-wheel drive, as well as a long range and standard range battery option. The 2023 Nissan Ariya’s Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP) begin at $43,190. Customers who took part in the Ariya reservation program will still be able to purchase their cars at the lower reservation MSRP.
“The Nissan Ariya is an important part of our Ambition 2030 goals to drive electrified mobility for all,” said Aditya Jairaj, director, EV marketing and sales, Nissan US. “With Nissan offering an EV option for almost any driver, we’re excited for customers to experience a seamless transition to driving electric.”
If you’re looking to buy an Ariya in 2023, you’ll have six grades from which to choose, so you can select the model that best fits your driving style and needs. All Ariya models come standard with a 63 kWh battery or an 87 kWh long range battery (63 kWh is exclusive to Ariya Engage), both of which offer up to 304 miles of range and output ratings ranging from as little as 214 to as much as 389 horsepower.
In addition to FWD models, Ariya will be available with Nissan’s latest all-wheel drive system, e-4ORCE, an advanced 100 percent electric all-wheel drive system that optimizes power output and braking for exceptional smoothness and stability on nearly all road surfaces with a nearly 50/50 weight distribution. Ariya e-4ORCE variants will start selling in early 2023.
Technology options include Nissan Safety Shield 360 and a six-function suite of active safety technologies; ProPILOT Assist with Navi-link4, a hands-on driver assistance system; an Advanced Drive-Assist 12.3-inch display; and a 12.3-inch center display with wireless Apple CarPlay, wired Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity are just some examples. Nissan’s newest advanced driver assist systems are also available on Ariya, including ProPILOT Assist 2.05, which allows attentive drivers to take their hands off the wheel under specific conditions, reducing their workload in single-lane highway traffic. Parallel and back-in parking capabilities are also included with ProPILOT Park, which enables Ariya to park with a single button press.
How much each vehicle costs will depend on which of these options you choose or choose to go without.
Packages available are:
Engage FWD, w/ 63 kWh battery: $43,190
Venture+ FWD w/ 87 kWh battery: $47,190
Evolve+ FWD w/ 87 kWh battery: $50,190
Empower+ FWD w/ 87 kWh battery: $53,690
Premiere FWD w/ 87 kWh battery: $54,690
Engage e-4ORCE w/ 63 kWh battery: $47,190
Engage+ e-4ORCE w/ 87 kWh battery: $51,190
Evolve+ e-4ORCE w/ 87 kWh battery: $54,190
Platinum+ e-4ORCE w/ 87 kWh battery $60,190
How This Compares To The Competition
In 2022, the car is in an OK competitive position.
GM’s Bolt EUV is mostly a competitor with the lowest rung FWD version of the Ariya, but with one very important difference: DC fast charging. You can get an EUV for over $10,000 less, but with charging speeds that are less than half as fast on road trips. Whether spending that extra $10k+ on the Ariya will largely depend on whether you have need of frequent DCFC sessions. If you don’t, then it’s probably not worth the extra cash.
But, we’re only talking about the lowest rung FWD car with the smallest battery. You can’t get a Bolt EUV right now with an 87 kWh battery or all-wheel drive, so there’s no real comparison for anything that’s not the base model.
The $43-60K pricing is pretty similar to other electric crossovers and SUVs on the market. The ID.4, the Kia EV6, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the Ford Mach-E, and the Tesla Model Y are all in this same range with their own pros and cons. So, above the base package, things are very competitive.
But, 2022 won’t last forever. The industry is moving forward, and more vehicles are going to hit the market in the next couple of years. This is where Honda and GM are probably going to give Nissan a real run for the money.
The Chevy Equinox EV is supposed to start at about $30,000 for a very comparable vehicle to the $43,000 Ariya. With comparable range, charging that will be a little better, and available larger packs and AWD packages that also come in far cheaper than the Ariya, that’s going to give them a real problem unless someone falls in love with the Nissan’s styling or something. For people who don’t trust American brands, Honda’s making a variant of the Equinox while they wait for their own platform development, so that’ll be another source of competitive angst for Nissan.
This won’t be a challenge that’s unique to Nissan’s Ariya, though. Everybody is going to be facing that same lower-priced competition and they may or may not be able to come up with something for that $30-35k segment. They, like everyone else, will need to find ways to set their $40-60k crossovers from GM and Honda’s $30-50k models. How they do that (and whether they do) is still yet to be seen.
Featured image courtesy of Nissan.
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