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Nissan Ariya is just like its concept EV, only now it’s a real Tesla Model Y competitor

Nissan Ariya is just like its concept EV, only now it’s a real Tesla Model Y competitor

The Nissan Ariya made a splash last year at the Tokyo Motor Show as a concept electric SUV with a sleek interior and an advanced driving system built in. Now the car is a real thing coming to the U.S. late next year.

Nissan is well-known for its Leaf electric vehicle, one of the original all-electric options available in the U.S. Until now that was the extent of its EV lineup. With the Ariya’s unveiling Wednesday, Nissan has a small SUV with higher-end features with a moderate price tag starting around $40,000 and a whole lot of range to take on Tesla’s newest compact SUV, the Model Y.

The top-model Ariya (there’ll be four variations to choose from) promises up to 300 miles of range on a single charge, while also providing the spaciousness of a bigger vehicle and a smooth-bottomed floor (since the battery pack sits on the car floor).

Tesla’s Model Y, which starts at $49,000 with 316-mile range, is considered the “budget” version of Tesla’s luxury SUV, the Model X. The X with its gull-wing doors starts at $80,000.

The Ariya’s bare interior (which Nissan claims is designed to evoke “a sleek café lounge on a starship”) is reminiscent of the Tesla Model 3, with few toggles and only two 12-inch touchscreens: one full-color in the center console, the other behind the driver’s wheel. The Ariya’s wood paneling includes haptic controls as seen on the concept car last October.

There’s also full Alexa integration, over-the-air firmware updates, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’ll also feature the new version of Nissan’s own smart voice assistant. ProPilot ASSIST 2.0 supports hands-free driving in certain circumstances, highway exits, passing, and lane changes, as well as assisted speed maintenance, while using a Driver Monitoring System to ensure the driver’s eyes are still on the road.

That flat cabin floor promises plentiful legroom and foot space. A fold-out tray is also available for when you’re parked, which is handy for picnics and work emergencies alike.

In another nip at Tesla’s heels, the Ariya includes Nissan’s next-generation advanced driver assist system, ProPilotAssist 2.

So far, only drivers in Japan have experienced the hands-free driving mode on highways. Now it’s coming to U.S. roads, much like Tesla’s Autopilot driver assist feature.

The Ariya will launch in Japan mid-2021, with U.S. models expected to be on sale a few months later.

Additional reporting by Amanda Yeo and Caitlin Welsh.

Source mashable.com