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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New sports sedan

2022 Infiniti Q50 gets more standard tech

The car sees new tech and interior features for 2022.

Infiniti

The Infiniti Q50 is an aging but still-stylish sedan that offers value and power, but it hasn't quite kept pace with the crop of more engaging premium European cars. However, it's still worth a look, and to press that point further, Infiniti has updated the car for 2022 with a healthy list of standard features.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Exterior styling has not changed for 2022.Infiniti

Headline updates for the 2022 Q50 are wireless Apple CarPlay and newly standard Bose Performance Series Audio. There's now leather for every trim, but in the ways that count, the car is the same as the one we saw last year, the year before, and so on.

That's not to say that the car is bad. After all, it still offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo V6 as standard and can be upgraded with a 400-horsepower version of the engine. And, despite its aging exterior styling, it's still a handsome car with smooth, sculpted bodywork. The seven-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive remain in place.

2022 Infiniti Q50 All-wheel drive is available for all models.Infiniti

Pricing for the 2022 Infiniti Q50 starts at $43,125, which includes a $1,025 destination fee. The car gets standard wireless Apple CarPlay, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, and Bose Performance Audio. All-wheel drive is available for a $2,000 upcharge.

2022 Infiniti Q50 Wireless Apple CarPlay and Bose audio are standard.Infiniti

The mid-range Q50 Sensory starts at $48,825, and comes with 19-inch wheels, black open-pore wood interior accents, navigation, and an air purifier system. Stepping up to the top Q50 Red Sport 400 will run $56,975, and brings the more powerful V6 engine, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and Dynamic Digital Suspension, which adjusts damping settings depending on road conditions and driving style.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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