New Model News

Nissan Ariya is a 300-mile all-electric crossover with a $40,000 price tag

The Ariya is Nissan's first all-electric SUV.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The long-anticipated Nissan Ariya has broken cover offering futuristic design language, 300 miles of range, and available all-wheel drive. The crossover is a big leap forward for Nissan, which has been sidelined by the competition in recent years by a lack of hybrid and all-electric model offerings, as well as a shortage of progressive design.

Its introduction marks a significant step in a four-year plan meant to enhance Nissan's reputation for innovation, craftsmanship, customer-focus and quality. A component of that initiative is introducing 10 new models in the next 20 months (it was 18 but it looks like the COVID-19 outbreak has pushed plans back a bit).

2022 Nissan Ariya The model comes with a fuel-saving wheel design.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Ariya is the company's first all-electric SUV offering. It will be sold globally and some features may not be available in all markets.

The Ariya is a two-row, five-seat crossover that takes advantage of platform design and battery power to have a flat load floor, compact climate controls, and spacious cabin. Its dimensions are nearly identical to the 2021 Nissan Rogue, though it is about two inches skinnier and one inch shorter.

Its exterior is extremely similar to the Ariya concept model shown in 2019. It has body styling that helps it blend in with its Nissan stablemates, including a floating roof, but features a fresh take on the company's signature V-motion grille that's been adapted for advanced technological offerings.

LED headlights up front feature a striking diagonal design that is horizontal and slim up top but follows the downward slope of the grille below. Smack dab in the center of the grille is the new Nissan logo, which will illuminate.

2022 Nissan Ariya The back is pinched to feature a LED light bar running the width of the vehicle with the letters "NISSAN" spelled out across the tailgate.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Earlier this year, Nissan explained that the Ariya concept had something called a "sensor shield" up front, which served to house the vehicle's sensors and cameras. It looks like that design approach has followed the concept to reality.

The model Nissan is showing off in the debut has a fair amount of black accents - something on-trend with what today's shoppers are looking for - on window surrounds, fascia, and fenders. Twin black antennas sit atop the roof.

The model rides on 19- or 20-inch wheels, wrapped in 235/55R19 or 255/45R20 tires, depending on grade.

Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard in the model and e-4orce all-wheel drive (AWD) is available. Nissan will sell the Ariya in four variants: front wheel drive with standard or long range, and all-wheel drive with standard or long range.

2022 Nissan Ariya In place of a traditional grille is something Nissan calls its "sensor shield".Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Ariyas equipped with FWD are powered by a one electric motor while AWD models have two. FWD Ariyas have their motor paired with a 65-kilowatt-hour battery (63 kilowatts are usable) and AWD versions have a 90-kilowatt-hour battery (87 kilowatts are usable). The driver's information display showcases the projected available range in kilometers/miles and percent of charge remaining as well as a power meter to show how much energy is being used to perform current driving functions in terms of percent.

The model will be equipped with driving modes. Photos indicate that there is a Standard mode. An Eco mode is likely as is another that is, perhaps, sportier. Drive modes are chosen using a haptic button on the center console that illuminates. That button sits alongside an automatic parking button that is above the e-Pedal control.

The vehicle supports Level 2 charging speeds of up to 7.2 kilowatts. DC fast charging via a CCS connection is capable of charging up to 130 kilowatts. The charging port is located on the side of the vehicle, not at the front where the LEAF has it.

2022 Nissan Ariya The new Nissan logo sits up front and illuminates.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's internal estimates put the car at having an all-electric range of up to 300 miles.

The Ariya is capable of producing 214 to 388 horsepower and 221 to 443 pound-feet of torque.

Ariya has a unique shifter that goes away from push-button designs like what you'll find in the Hyundai Nexo and instead heads into BMW territory with more of a moving module design.

The D-shaped steering wheel design incorporates controls for traditional functionalities. Operations for volume control, seeking, pulling up a menu, ProPilot Assist, phone call operations, and following distance all appear to be haptic controls. Other buttons and dials control scrolling, cancelling, and lane change technology. The housing appears to show a multi-way electric wheel positioning control.

2022 Nissan Ariya Nissan has designed the interior of the model to be like a lounge.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan ProPilot Assist 2.0 enables hands-off single-lane highway operation. The car also offers one-pedal e-Pedal driving capability that uses only the accelerator pedal to accelerate and decelerate.

Nissan's "Timeless Japanese Futurism" design aesthetic translates to the interior where large, tablet-like screens have no place. Though design by Volvo, Ram, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla have showcased such screens in their vehicles, Nissan is going the way of Hyundai and Kia, which are relying on more traditional screen size and placement.

It looks to have the same 12.3-inch infotainment screen that was in the Ariya concept with one of matching side directly in front of the driver. This is similar to what Polestar showed off in its Precept concept car earlier this year. These appear to be twin screens in one housing rather than one large screen like in the redesigned 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

The clean design of the driver's information screen leaves a fair amount of room in the center to show the vehicle surroundings, including the car in front of it. There's likely more to the screen than that, plus the usual time, temperature, and activated systems alerts but we'll have to wait to learn more.

2022 Nissan Ariya The car features two large screens, one in front of the driver and the other in the center console.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Haptic climate controls rest below the infotainment screen on the dashboard, next to the push-button start. A volume control knob is cleverly built into the vents between the two. The climate controls and design on the volume knob and start button illuminate when the vehicle is turned on.

The SUV isn't big on cargo space. FWD models hav just 16.5 cubic feet of space while AWD models have 14.6. That's less than half the space afforded by the new Rogue. It has 60-40 split-folding second-row seats.

What the model doesn't have in rear storage, it appears to make up for slightly in the cabin where minivan-like attention to small item storage spaces has found its way into production as well as a fold out tray that is housed under the center armrest. The 2021 Ford F-150 also recently introduced a foldout tray for its front seat occupants to utilize.

The cabin was designed to feel like a lounge. It has thin-profile Zero Gravity seats and a padded center console that features contrast stitching. The seats, door panels, and steering wheel is covered in leather (or an equivalent synthetic material). Rear passengers have vents and possibly their own set of climate controls (photos reveal some, but not all of the rear of the center console). Ambient lighting surrounds the cabin adjacent to widow sills.

2022 Nissan Ariya Haptic controls on the center console change drive modes, initiate e-Pedal, and more.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Drivers will be able to use natural speech to adjust car settings.

The car is capable of over-the-air firmware updates, which utilize the vehicle's embedded modem.

Amazon Alexa is included as are wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A charging pad in the center console allows for wireless smartphone charging.

Each model in the Ariya lineup comes standard with Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of safety and driver assist technologies that includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and high beam assist. The company's Intelligent Around View Monitor and Intelligent Forward Collision Warning technology will also be available.

The Nissan Ariya is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021, followed by the U.S. and Canada later in the year. U.S. pricing will start around $40,000.

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Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

The long process to design, engineer, and award a contract for the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS) next-generation mail delivery vehicle (NGDV) has finally come to an end. The government has awarded Oshkosh Defense a contract to produce the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle for service. Oshkosh Defense is a a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK).

The NGDV project is the USPS's first large-scale fleet procurement in three decades. Over the next 10 years, the contract allows for the delivery of between 50,000 and 165,000 new vehicles.

"Oshkosh operates with unparalleled commitment to those who depend on our products and services to build, protect and serve communities around the world. We are honored to have been selected by the USPS to support their important work by manufacturing American-made Next Generation Delivery Vehicles that will connect every home and business across the United States for decades to come," said John Pfeifer, President & Chief Operating Officer, Oshkosh Corporation.

U.S. Postal Service's Next-Generation Mail Delivery Vehicle

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service

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The new mail trucks will have multiple powertrain options, just like many passenger vehicles on the road today. There will be a battery electric vehicle (BEV) version that runs exclusively on electric power and a fuel-efficient low-emission internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) variant.

Under the contract awarded today, USPS has committed to paying Oshkosh Defense $482 million as a first step toward the new vehicles' production. The money will be used to finalize the production vehicle design and complete factory build-out, all of which is necessary before production gets underway. The process is similar to ones mass market vehicle manufacturers use.

"Our century-long history of delivering products to customers, operating in some of the most demanding and severe conditions on the planet, uniquely positions us to bring exceptional reliability, safety, and maintainability to USPS's Next Generation Delivery Vehicles," said John Bryant, Executive Vice President, Oshkosh Corporation, and President, Oshkosh Defense. "Partnering with trusted suppliers, we have developed a purpose-built solution to support the current and future needs of the USPS," Bryant concluded.

In addition to a new exterior and powertrain options, the NGTV also gets modern features and amenities like a rearview camera, walk-in cargo area, air condition, telematics, and a sliding cargo door. There's also a host of safety technology and equipment including airbags, automatic front and rear braking, blind spot warning, a 360-degree camera, and forward collision warning.

Production of the next generation delivery vehicle is expected to begin in 2023.

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The 2022 Kia Carnival was designed to look more like an SUV than a minivan.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

When is a minivan not a minivan? When Kia's marketing department decides its not. Apparently. The 2022 Kia Carnival replaces the Sedona minivan in the company's lineup and instead of being called a minivan, Kia has decided that it's a 'multi-purpose vehicle' or MPV for short.

Kia says that the new Carnival stakes a claim on the "unoccupied space between SUV and family hauler". It's not the first model in that territory. The Ford Carousel may be considered the first modern model to occupy the space, but it was just a prototype.

The Carnival was designed at Kia's California design studio. It's bold and boxy rather than sleek and function-forward, like the bodies of the Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Pacifica, and Toyota Sienna. The Odyssey and Pacifica were both refreshed for the 2021 model year while the Sienna was redesigned.

2022 Kia Carnival: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Kia carries over many of the design elements of the Telluride, Sorento, and Seltos into the new Carnival. It has the company's new tiger nose grille and integrated LED headlights. At its sides are substantial wheel catches while two-tone mirrors and and cutlines run the length of the vehicle. At the rear, geometric trail lamps, a rear skid plate garnish, and reflectors are positioned to make the vehicle look like an SUV. The model rides on 17- and 19-inch wheels, which are available in gloss black.

The Carnival is a three-row van that seats seven or eight, depending on the buyer's preference. The vehicle uniquely features Side-Flex seating in its eight-passenger variant that allows for multiple configurations. Kia describes it as including "a sliding second row center seat which, when in the forward-most position, allows the front passenger easy access the baby or child riding in it. This seat also converts into a functional table."

Heated and ventilated second row 'VIP Lounge Seating' with power controls, wing-out headrests, and leg extensions is available for seven-passengers Carnivals.

2022 Kia Carnival: Interior

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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Kia will offer the model in four trim levels: LX, EX, SX< and SX-Prestige.

Kia has given the U.S.-bound version of the Carnival a 3.5-liter V6 engine that delivers best-in-class 290 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain is completed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and provides 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.

The van's dimensions offer best-in-class passenger room (168.2 cubic feet) and best-in-class cargo room (145.1 cubic feet behind the front row in LX, EX, and SX grades). Removable second-row seats and fold-in-floor third-row seats help the model achieve its best-in-class cargo room (second row seats not removable in SX-Prestige) title.

Kia will offer the model in three interior color schemes.

The list of standard features includes hands-free opening power sliding doors with Smart Key, and 8-inch infotainment touch screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2022 Kia Carnival: Details

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

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A hands-free power lift gate with auto close, Smart Key with one-button open/close functionality for rear sliding doors and liftgate, passenger voice recognition (allows second row occupants to control numerous in-vehicle functions through voice commands by pushing a button mounted on the ceiling), the Passenger Talk intercom system, Rear Passenger View in-cabin camera, dual-screen entertainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android screen mirroring, wireless smartphone charging, navigation, full digital instrument cluster, multi-Bluetooth, up to nine USB ports, a Bose premium audio system, and UVO link telematics are available.

The long list of standard advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on the Carnival includes: forward collision warning with collision avoidance assist, blind spot monitoring with collision avoidance assist, rear cross traffic warning with collision avoidance assist, rear park assist, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, automatic high beam headlights, and driver attention monitor.

Buyers can add to the safety technology in the Carnival to include the new 'Kia Drive Wise' ADAS, which includes: Blind-Spot View Monitor, a technology that projects live video view of adjacent lanes in the instrument cluster and activated via the turn signal; speed limit adjustment; navigation-based adaptive cruise control; park assist; and surround-view monitor.

It's the first vehicle Kia is selling in the U.S. with the company's new logo displayed on it. It will go on sale in the second quarter of 2021. Pricing is expected to be made public in the coming months.

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