After years of hype, Nissan is finally close to releasing its first electric crossover. Autoblog notes the brand has confirmed the Ariya EV will reach US dealerships in late fall starting at $43,190 for the front-wheel drive Engage trim with a 63kWh battery. Only FWD configurations will ship at first, with some all-wheel drive editions waiting until early 2023. Customers who reserved the Venture+ model will still pay the quoted $45,950 price instead of the $47,190 for new buyers.
That starter Engage variant delivers an estimated 216 miles of range and 214HP. That's modest, but you'll also get a solid technology suite with driver and safety aids (such as hands-on ProPilot Assist), a heads-up display and a 12.3-inch infotainment system with Alexa, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. It's clearly meant to lower the Ariya's perceived price and upsell you to higher-end models, but it might do the trick if you're mainly interested in an around-town people carrier.
You'll have to pay considerably more to get Nissan's previously touted performance figures. The Venture+ jumps to an 87kWh battery, 238HP and the peak 304 miles of range. All other front-wheel trims offer up to 289 miles of range. The $50,190 Evolve+ FWD offers perks like a power moonroof and an "around view" monitor, while the $53,690 Empower+ FWD includes hands-free ProPilot Assist 2.0 and automated parking.
All-wheel drive, as usual, boosts power and prices while decreasing range. The $47,190 Engage e-4orce tops out at just 205 miles of range, but delivers 335HP. The $51,190 Engage+ e-4orce extends that range to 270 miles while delivering 389HP and the extras of its FWD counterpart. The Evolve+ e-4orce costs $54,190, while those who insist on the best can buy the $60,190 Platinum+ with 265 miles of range, a hands-free liftgate and Nappa leather seating along with other models' luxuries.
The Ariya may not be the most value-laden EV. There's no mention of the destination fee, and the Japanese manufacturing rules out the updated $7,500 federal tax credit (state credits might still be valid). All the same, the machine may be worth considering if Ford's Mustang Mach-E, the VW ID.4 and other electric crossovers don't quite offer the blend of design or technology you're looking for.