Will Nissan’s first electric SUV allow the manufacturer to return to the legendary success of the Qashqai? First element of response to contact with Ariya, the new competitor of the Tesla Model Y and the Volkswagen ID4.
Nissan’s biggest hit in Europe, the Qashqai , is gearing up for a facelift. But since the arrival of this pioneer of crossover-style SUVs in 2007, the context is not at all the same: not only does the Qashqai now have to face a good twenty direct competitors, but it suffers the full brunt of the latest developments in automotive standards in Europe. No more diesel or thermal engines, the fourth version of the Qashqai will only offer a hybrid version and two micro-hybrid gasoline engines at the entry level. And he will now have to live with a particularly bulky electric brother, the Ariya.
A Tesla Model Y killer?
This is not a concept car. Under its copper body and sharp lines, the model visible in our photos will be found in Nissan dealerships from the second half of 2021. Barely smaller than a Tesla Model Y , it wants to beat everyone in this new category family electric SUVs. And the competition is already raging there: it arrives at the same time as the Volkswagen ID.4 , Skoda Enyaq and other Ford Mustang Mach-E, all very similar in terms of dimensions and engines. Designed on a brand new platform of the Renault-Nissan Mitsubishi alliance, it will also have to face the future Renault Megane electric (2022), a cousin based on the same basic technical elements.
Space and a flattering interior
To achieve its ends, the Ariya can fortunately count on a style and finish much superior to those of Nissan’s other electric car, the Leaf.. In addition to its reasonably futuristic exterior design, the machine benefits from an interior which, based on our climb aboard a pre-series prototype, promises a finish similar to that of the Tesla Model Y: the dashboard, refined and very horizontal in spirit, reminds a little of the universe of certain Audi (or Mazda!) with its air vents that take up the entire width. The two 12.3-inch digital screens will come standard from the low end. At the rear, the seats are worthy of a large sedan but on the other hand, the volume of the trunk is less than in Volkswagen or Skoda. With 468 liters (or 415 liters in the four-wheel drive version), it returns a hundred liters to its Czech rival.
From the friendly family SUV to the overpowered model
What do all these new electric SUVs have in common? A large and impressive power gap in the range. Like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and its rivals from the Volkswagen Group, the Nissan Ariya offers a large number of versions. The entry is satisfied with two driving wheels and a motor (front) of 218 horsepower, mated to batteries with a capacity (real) of 63 kWh. Enough to hold 360 km in maximum autonomy and go from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.5 seconds despite the 1.8 tonnes on the scale. By choosing the large 87 kWh (actual) battery, the power jumps to 242 horsepower and the weight to 2.2 tons. The maximum autonomy then makes a big leap forward with more than 500 kilometers announced (which is as good as a Tesla Model Y Grande Autonomie). Performance enthusiasts will turn to the 4-wheel drive versions, developing between 279 and 394 horsepower. The top of the range “87 Performance” claims a 0 to 100 km / h in 5.1 seconds and a range of 400 km. Not bad, even if the Tesla Model Y Performance does better with 3.7 seconds in 0 to 100 km / h and 480 km of range.
Skoda rather than Tesla price?
We do not yet know the price of the Ariya, but Nissan communicators specify that its price range “will be modeled on the competition”. Ecological bonus excluded, the entry-level Skoda Enyiaq (148 hp and 340 km of range) costs € 35,300. Its version of 204 horsepower with large batteries is traded from € 47,300. the Ford Mustang Mach-E starts at € 49,990 in the rear-wheel drive version (269 horsepower and 440 km of range). The combinations of power and range differ at Nissan, but we can expect an addition well under € 40,000 for the entry level. It could exceed 50,000 € in high-end version, but will remain well below that of the Tesla Model Y (which currently starts at 63,000 € pending a new entry-level version).