2024 Nissan Ariya

  • June 15, 2024

While new car prices have been going up, the asking prices of electric vehicles are going down – because EV sales are going down.

For example: You can get a new Nissan Ariya for $3,600 less this year than last year, which is still just a few months ago.

Nissan – and it’s not just Nissan; even Tesla is having to discount its asking prices – hopes that lopping off a few thousand bucks will compensate potential Ariya buyers for the time they’ll spend charging their Ariya.

This latter cost – rather than the short-range issue – is the main reason EV sales are wilting.

What It Is

The Ariya is a compact-sized electric crossover with two rows and space for five people. It is dimensionally similar to Nissan’s very popular Rogue but differs from it in that the Ariya emphasizes style and performance while the Rogue emphasizes practicality and economy.

A 2024 Rogue stickers for $28,420 to start and comes standard with a 14 gallon gas tank that provides a driving range of 435 miles in city driving and 536 miles on the highway. But it takes about 8 seconds to reach 60 MPH.

The Ariya stickers for $39,590 to start (last year’s same-thing stickered for $43,190) and the highest-performance trims can get to 60 in as little as 4.8 seconds. But it comes standard with just 216 miles of range – and it takes 10 hours to home-charge it using a Level II (240 volt) power source.

Nissan offers the Ariya in a variety of trims, each emphasizing more – or less – performance.

Or more – or less – range.

The base Engage trim – this is the one that stickers for $39,590 – has a 214 horsepower electric motor driving the front wheels; a more powerful AWD iteration with two motors and 335 horsepower is available. This one’s range goes down to 205 miles.

If you’d like more power and range, the Engage+ ($45,190) has a dual-motor system, 389 horsepower and an advertised fully charged range of 272 miles.

If you’re wanting the most range that you can get out of an Ariya – and don’t mind a little less power (and FWD-only), the $41,190 Venture trim – with 238 horsepower – advertises 304 miles on a full charge. To get there, however, you have to give up power options such as heated, power-adjustable seats and heated steering wheel – which are otherwise standard in other Ariya trims.

If you want those features back – and don’t mind losing some range to get them – the $44,190 Evolve has has them. This model offers 289 miles of fully charged range.

There are three other trims – Empower, Premiere and top-of-the-line Platinum ($54,190) with the highest-performance dual-motor drivetrain plus leather upholstery, a 10 speaker premium audio system, hands-free power rear liftgate and ventilated front seats.

What’s New For 2024

The ’24 Ariya is the same the ’23 – which was the first year for this small crossover-shaped EV. The big difference this year vs. last year is the lowering of its base price by $3,600.

What’s Good

Multiple range/power configurations available.

Supercar acceleration with the optional, high-powered motors/battery pack.

Lots of tech – for those who are into tech.

What’s Not So Good

Even with the price cut, the Ariya is still expensive.

Standard range is less than half what you’d get if you bought an otherwise similar small crossover such as the Rogue, greatly limiting how far you can travel without waiting to travel again.

Rapidly diminishing resale value is a huge issue for all EVs.

Under The Skin

The base front-wheel-drive Engage trim has a less-powerful 63 kWh-hour battery pack and 214 horsepower. This is the least-quick of all the Ariyas, taking about 7.5 seconds to get to 60. That’s only slightly quicker than the otherwise similar Rogue but the Rogue goes twice as far (435 miles) in city driving than the Engage goes anywhere (just 216 miles) and much farther than that (536 miles) on the highway.

The Rogue also doesn’t need 10 hours to recover a full charge – assuming you have installed a 240V dryer-type outlet in your home to be able to do that. At a public DC “fast” charger, the Ariya can charge up less slowly – but nowhere near as quickly as the five minutes or less it takes to pump 14 gallons of gas into the Rogue’s tank – and be ready to go another 400-500 miles.

This is probably why Nissan offers what the Rogue doesn’t – more power.

With the available 389 horsepower dual-motor system and larger battery pack, an Ariya can accelerate to 60 almost twice as quickly as the standard Engage model and the Rogue, too. Of course, you pay for that additional performance – and not only in terms of the higher MSRP – although you do get more range (272 miles) than the base Engage’s 216 miles.

But it’s still not very far – and it still takes very long to get going again.

Nissan tries to split the difference with the Venture trim, which sheds some weight by nixing some power-sapping accessories. This Ariya – with 304 miles of advertised fully charged range – goes about three-fourths as far as the Rogue  . . . in city driving. But you have to pay an extra $1,600 for the additional range and you’ll still be paying the time-cost when you run low on range.

Nissan does not advertise that the Ariya is capable of towing anything; you can pull a small, 1,500 lb. trailer with the Rogue.

On The Road

The Ariya differs from other EVs in that different trims go farther – or go faster. Most EVs go pretty much the same – which is one of the problems besetting them in that it is hard to get people interested in this EV vs. that EV when they’re both pretty much the same except for differences in shape, size and color.

But the Ariya is the same as other EVs in one way: It takes comparatively forever to charge it up, even at what they call “fast” chargers. Yes, they are “faster” than charging at home – where the most you have is AC (rather than DC) power and the fastest you can fully charge any EV is 7 hours or so. The Ariya needs a few more hours to fully recharge on 240V – at home.

That is a very long time if you find you need to get going when you hadn’t planned to need to get going.

You wait to get going again less-long at public DC “fast” chargers – but it’s still at least a 15-20 minute wait to get a partial charge and that can feel like forever when you have places you’d like to be – other than a Sheetz parking lot.

It is a problem compounded by the short range you have to begin with, but that’s not the fundamental problem. If EVs could be fully charged in the time it takes to fully fuel a gas-powered vehicle, the EV’s shorter range would be no more than a minor inconvenience rather than a major deterrent. Motorcycles don’t go very far on a full tank but they are nonetheless practical vehicles for long road trips and impromptu road trips because you can fill a motorcycle’s tank in less than five minutes.

Until it is feasible to recharge an EV’s battery pack in about the same time, EVs will remain impractical vehicles for most people – and not just because of all the waiting. It is also the planning around all that waiting. The budgeting of time at home – or at Sheetz. And the problems that arise when you didn’t – or couldn’t – plan around the wait.

I had to leave the Ariya at home every other day because I didn’t have time to wait – and had other plans. This is a reality of everyday life for most people, especially if they’re not retired and have kids and erratic schedules to deal with.

In its defense, the Ariya – with the high-performance dual-motor set-up – is a formidable sleeper in that it doesn’t look fast because it looks like yet-another crossover. Have fun with Corvettes; poke a Mustang in the ribs.

Just make sure you keep track of how much charge you have left – and how much time you’ve got to wait for more.

At The Curb

The Ariya is almost exactly the same overall length (182.9 inches) as the Rogue (183 inches) but it has significantly less cargo-carrying space than its more utilitarian non-electric sibling because of its shape.

. There’s 22.8 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 59.7 cubic feet with the second row folded forward. In the Rogue, there’s 31.6 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 74.1 cubic feet with the second row folded forward. The difference is due mainly to the Rogue’s more utilitarian shape – boxier rather than curvier.

Even so, the Ariya still has roughly three times the cargo-carrying space you’d have in a same-length compact-sized sedan like the Tesla Model 3 – which is actually a little bit longer (185.8 inches) and has the advantage of being a hatchback’d sedan; even so, it still only has a total of 24.1 cubic feet and it’s less useful space due to the layout. You can squeeze things into the Ariya that won’t fit in the Tesla3 – at least not without leaving the rear hatch open.

Like many new vehicles – not just electric ones – the Ariya has a rectangular flatscreen-style instrument cluster that can be toggled through various displays. The upside to these is that it’s possible to display more info with less clutter; the downside is the same as trying to scroll through/tap/swipe your smartphone’s menus and apps while you’re trying to drive.

There are still traditional-style push-buttons for the climate control that allow for making adjustment by feel, without having to look.

There’s also a little more front seat legroom (42.3 inches) in the Ariya than in the Rogue (41.1 inches and a little less rearseat legroom in the Ariya (37 inches) than in the Rogue but the more noticeable difference for most people will be the headroom difference. There’s about an inch less of each in both rows in the Ariya (39.6 inches up front, 38.3 in the rear) vs. the Rogue, which has 41.1 inches of headroom for the driver and front seat passenger and 39.2 inches of headroom for the rearseat passengers. This is a consequence of the Ariya being lower – it’s 65.4 inches at the roof – than the Rogue, which stands 66.5 inches tall.

The Rest

One of the odd things about EVs – given the range/recharge issues – is that most of them have enormous wheels that reduce range because of the rolling resistance they impart and the extra weight they add.

For example, the Ariya – and the Ariya is by no means unusual in this respect – comes standard with 19 inch wheels and 20 inch wheels are standard with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim, these huge “rims” reduce this trim’s range by 10 from 267 to 257.

What would the Ariya’s range be with more sensible 16 inch wheels?  Probably 25 miles farther – and that’s not a small difference when you consider how long it takes for an EV to recover even 25 miles of range.

The Bottom Line

Like most EVs, the Ariya’s emphasis is not economy or practicality but style and performance.

If you look at it that way, maybe it’s worth the wait.

. . .

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