How does the new Nissan Ariya compare to the Tesla Model Y?
Nissan is in the process of a major resurgence, which will include the introduction of a slew of new models ranging from electric vehicles to sports cars. The most recent addition to the company's portfolio is the Nissan Ariya, an all-electric crossover that shows a bold new design direction for the brand. Based on the target specifications, this new model is targeted dangerously close to the Tesla Model Y.
The two may not be direct competitors but here's how the new Ariya stacks up against Tesla's smallest and most affordable crossover.
If the Ariya is meant to show the future design direction of the Nissan brand, then color us intrigued. Nissan says the Ariya's electric platform freed up the designers to work with new lines and proportions. Concept cars often turn out boring when they reach production but Nissan was able to keep nearly all of the cool styling elements like the light-up badge, long LED headlights, coupe-like roofline, and connected LED taillight bar.
By comparison, the Model Y has never been our favorite Tesla in terms of design. It really looks like Tesla took a Model 3 and jacked it up a few inches without changing much else. The result is an awkward-looking egg shape that appears more like a sedan on stilts than a real crossover.
As with the exterior, Nissan's designers went wild inside. With no engine up front, Nissan's engineers were able to stuff the climate control system up there to free up valuable space in the cabin. This means the Ariya has a nearly flat floor, giving more space to occupants. The design looks futuristic with capacitive controls and two large 12.3-inch displays in front of the driver.
In the Model Y, Tesla did yet another copy and paste job from the Model 3, basically copying the exact same interior. Tesla's cabin is minimalist, featuring a single touchscreen to control all of the car's functions. It may not look as futuristic as the Ariya but the clean design is appealing to look at.
Nissan hasn't announced a full breakdown of range just yet but it has confirmed that the Ariya will top out at around 300 miles on a charge with the larger battery front-wheel-drive model. With FWD, the Ariya will produce a healthy 214 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. Models with Nissan's new e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system will produce a whopping 388 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Tesla has Nissan beat with a 316-mile range on the Long Range Dual Motor Model Y and 291-mile range for the Performance Model, both of which include AWD as standard. The regular Long Range Model Y produces 384 hp and 375 lb-ft, putting it very close to the most powerful Ariya. The Performance model is much more potent with 450 hp and 471 lb-ft, yielding a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds.
The Ariya rides on a 109.3-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 182.9 inches. Nissan placed a high priority on interior volume, giving the Ariya up to 16.5 cubic feet of storage space (with FWD) behind the second row or 14.6 cubic feet with e-FORCE. SAE-rated cargo capacity numbers for the Model Y are hard to come by but with the second row folded, it offers up to 68 cubic feet. We will have to wait for a side-by-side comparison to see which EV can haul more in the back but the Model Y does benefit from having a second trunk in the front.
Pricing for the Nissan Ariya will start at $40,000, placing it well below the Model Y. Tesla recently dropped the Standard Range model, meaning the Long Range Dual Motor is the least expensive at $49,990. We will have to wait for full pricing to see how Nissan positions the Ariya e-FORCE against the Model Y Dual Motor. The Ariya should qualify for a $7,500 tax credit, though that number may be reduced by the time the car goes on sale. Tesla has already exhausted its full $7,500 credit allocation.