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 Ariya can tow, with all versions (FWD/AWD) rated at 1,500 kg for the UK.
Key Nissan Ariya Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,500 kg
- Availability – 2021
- Predicted Price – Starting from £37,000 (FWD/65kW)
- Predicted Range (EV Database) – 200 ish Miles (AWD/65kW) > 275 ish Miles (FWD/90kW)
- Predicted Towing Range (50%) – 100 ish Miles (AWD/65kW) > 138 ish Miles (FWD/90kW)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 130 kW (DC Fast Charger)
Nissan Ariya HP & Torque
- FWD 65kW Battery – 215 HP and 221 lb-ft of torque
- FWD 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 £37,00 for the entry-level FWD/65 kW battery model up to around £57,000 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 see any on the road range tests. 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 100 ish miles for the AWD/65kW up to 138 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
While in Europe/UK 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 1,000 kg 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 …
For UK customers, I think the Ariya with its 1,500 kg towing capacity is looking to be a very interesting option. That’s the same towing capacity as the Tesla Model Y and Polestar 2/Volvo XC40 Recharge. However, the Ariya is looking to be much more affordable than those alternatives. The 130 kW charge rate is a little down compared to the Polestar/Volvo EV towing options at 150 kW, and quite a bit down on the 250 kW of the Tesla. However, the Ariya is superior to the 125kW charging rate of the VW ID.4.
The VW ID.4 is likely going to be the Ariya’s main competition, which has a starting price of £42,000 for the ID.4 1st (FWD). However, the ID.4 1st can only tow 1,000 kg in UK specification. More capable/more expensive AWD ID.4 versions are set to be coming to the UK, but even then it appears the towing capacity will be limited to 1,200 kg. Therefore, I do think the Nissan Ariya could have quite a bright future in the UK as an electric tow car.