Nissan was one of the first established automobile manufacturers to market with a mass-produced EV, the Nissan Leaf, a compact hatchback. Their second EV is the Ariya, which is a compact SUV. The Ariya is set to build off Nissan’s experiences with the Leaf and will feature more advanced battery technology, and more powerful electric motors. The Ariya will be available with both FWD and AWD drive systems. A 65 kW or 90kW battery will be available. Importantly to Ariya can tow, the rated weight for the US appears to be 1,500 lbs.
Key Nissan Ariya Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,500 lbs
- Availability – 2021
- Predicted Price – Starting at $40,00 ish
- Predicted Range – 210 ish Miles (AWD/65kW) > 285 ish Miles (2WD/90kW)
- Predicted Towing Range (50%) – 105 ish Miles (AWD/65kW) > 143 ish Miles (2WD/90kW)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 130 kW (DC Fast Charger)
Nissan Ariya HP & Torque
- 2WD 65kW Battery – 215 HP and 221 lb-ft of torque
- 2WD 90kW Battery – 239 HP and 221 lb-ft of torque
- AWD 65kW Battery – 335 HP and 413 lb-ft of torque
- AWD 90kW Battery – 389 HP and 443 lb-ft of torque
Nissan Ariya Towing Capabilities
There are still a lot of details about the Nissan Ariya which are yet to be officially confirmed. For instance, quite an important one, we don’t actually know what it will cost. Though many are predicting a starting price around $40,000 for the entry-level 2WD/65 kW battery model up to around $55,000 for the top of the range AWD/90 kW battery model. I’m going to discuss pricing more in my thoughts at the end of this post.
Furthermore, we are yet to get EPA range estimates/test results. Though I believe the figures I’ve stated above will be roughly correct. Therefore, its looking like the towing range of the Nissan Ariya based on the typical 50% range reduction guestimates will be 105 ish miles for the AWD/65kW up to 143 ish miles for the 2WD/90kW. Hence, the 2WD varients will get a slight boost in towing range over the AWD versions.
1,500 lbs In The US vs 1,500 kg In The UK/Europe
It’s still not clear if all 2WD and AWD versions of the Ariya will be rated to tow. On that tow rating, well for US customers, its a little disappointing. While in Europe the Ariya will be rated to tow 1,500 kg (3,300 ish lbs), the US-spec Ariya is only rated at 1,500 lbs (680 kg). That’s obviously a big difference for the same car, with European customers benefiting from almost double the official towing capacity!
Why is this the case? It’s not clear, maybe Nissan will provide some clarification in the future. But other electric tow cars such as the Polestar 2 also have different European/US official tow figures. The Tesla Model 3 actually has no official US tow rating but is approved to tow 2,000 lbs in the UK and Europe?! Some have suggested that due to the longer average journies in the US manufacturers are down rating the towing capacity to avoid customers running into more frequent range problems. However, that’s just a guess, and we don’t actually know why yet.
Nissan Ariya Early Impressions
As yet no journalists/YouTubers have been hands-on with the Nissan Ariya to see what its really like. I’ll be updating this post with reviews on the Ariya when available and hopefully some towing range results. I’ve included a couple of first impression clips below from two YouTube channels I rate, Fully Charged and Transport Evolved.
Both Robert from Fully Charged (above) and Nikki from Transport Evolved (below) has owned a Nissan Leaf. Our family has also owned a Leaf for several years. While the Leaf is a great reliable electric car for most commutes, its biggest drawback is the passively cooled battery which cannot be frequently fast-charged due to potential damage to the battery.
It appears Nissan has learnt its lesson and the Ariya will feature actively liquid-cooled batteries. Therefore, it should be possible to frequently fast charge, which is going to be necessary for anyone who wants to tow with the Ariya. While an actively cooled battery is pretty much a must for towing, along with the SUV design the Ariya is likely to be more expensive than the Leaf, the question is by how much?
My Thoughts On The Nissan Ariya …
So first the good things. I do like the styling of the Ariya, and I think the size of this electric tow car will suit most peoples needs. I also like the 130kW fast charging, its relatively close to the 150kW of the Volvo XC40 Recharge/Polestar 2 and a bit faster charge rate than the VW ID.4 (125 kW). As I’ve stated several times before, if when towing you lose half your range, getting range back into the battery as fast as possible is going to be important. 150 kW is not as fast as say a Tesla Model Y at 250kW, then again the Ariya is unlikely to be priced the same as a Tesla Model Y. Well, at least I hope not.
Its the price of the Ariya which is really going to be interesting. For instance, the VW ID.4 is likely going to be this cars main competition, which has a starting price of $43,675 for the AWD Pro which can tow. However, the ID.4 AWD Pro will be able to tow 2,700 lbs, hence quite a bit more than the Ariya at 1,500 lbs. Therefore, I feel for the Ariya to be competitive, particularly as an electric tow car it has got to be priced quite a bit below the VW ID.4. Otherwise, I fear the Ariya will not be a competitive purchase as an electric tow car.