The Nissan Ariya is officially coming to Australia, but the brand’s local division still can’t say when we might see the Tesla Model Y-fighter Down Under.

    Speaking with media at the launch of the Qashqai e-Power hybrid, general manager for corporate communications Emily Fadeyev said that while the all-electric Ariya SUV has been confirmed for an Australian launch at some point, the company is still unable to say when.

    “Ariya will come, but we don’t have updated timing,” Ms Fadeyev said.

    Nissan executives indicated in June last year that the Ariya would eventually make the trip Down Under, which shifted the dial from “we want it” to “we’re getting it”.

    Back in December 2022, managing director for Nissan Australia and Oceania Adam Paterson told CarExpert the brand is well aware of the Australian market’s appetite for vehicles like the Ariya, and that part of the delayed rollout has been global demand.

    “Timing itself is difficult for a couple of reasons; first we know the Ariya will do very well in the Australian market when it does arrive and when we can get it here,” Mr Paterson said.

    “You may have seen that Nissan took pre-orders or reservations in some markets globally, and then had to turn them off because demand was so strong, and the decision was made in those markets that they didn’t want to disappoint customers if delivery times were too long.

    “The company has had to prioritise specific markets based on the regulatory requirements of those markets. As some markets are moving with CO2 strategies a lot more rapidly than we are here, that’s where the decision has been made as far as sending it.

    “But literally the challenges of the regulatory environment is so rapidly evolving globally, that some markets may go from no requirement to a requirement of 1000, 2000, 5000 or 10,000 [units]; whatever that may require… and we’ve had to continue to shift production availabilities based on that.

    “So to be able to say that it is absolutely available on this date is tough because, again, global requirements in other markets are evolving,” Mr Paterson added.

    The Nissan Ariya was revealed in production-ready guise in July 2020, meaning the car will be three or four years old by the time it hits Australian roads – though it only started hitting global markets earlier in 2022.

    Despite being a pioneer of electric vehicles (EVs) with its Leaf hatchback, the Japanese brand’s Australian arm has been unable to secure a local allocation and launch date.

    Globally, the Ariya is available with single-motor FWD and dual-motor e-4ORCE AWD drivetrains, as well as a choice of two battery pack options; with respective usable capacities of 63kWh and 87kWh. Earlier this year Nissan also revealed a powered-up Ariya Nismo at the 2024 Tokyo Auto Salon – which you can read more about here.

    Motor outputs for FWD models with the smaller-capacity battery are 160kW and 300Nm, while the larger-capacity battery Ariya’s single motor develops 178kW/300Nm. The twin-motor AWD system features a combined output of 250kW/560Nm (65kWh) or 290kW/600Nm (90kWh), with the latter offering a claimed 5.1-second 0-100km/h time.

    In the UK, the entry-level Ariya 63kWh (usable) is priced a smidgen under the starting price of the most expensive X-Trail e-Power e-4ORCE – in Australia, the X-Trail Ti-L e-Power with e-4ORCE is priced from $58,490 plus on-road costs.

    At the upper end of the range, the high-spec Ariya e-4ORCE 87kWh Evolve specification is priced in the same realm as an entry-level Volkswagen Touareg, which started at just under $90,000 plus on-roads before the pre-facelift model went into runout.

    Nissan’s pioneering Leaf hatchback remains the Japanese brand’s only EV offering in Australia, and is now nearing the end of its product lifecycle having first gone into production globally in 2017, recently receiving a major facelift.

    It’s priced from $50,990 plus on-road costs for the standard version, and $61,490 before on-roads for the long-range e+ variant.

    Nissan sold just 484 examples of the Leaf in Australia in 2023, well behind the likes of the Tesla Model 3 (17,347 units) and even the BYD Dolphin (925 units) – and that’s not even taking into account more popular SUV-bodied electric vehicles.

    A replacement for the ageing Leaf is reportedly on the horizon, with production of the current model reportedly winding down at the end of March in Sunderland, UK, to make way for a new range of all-electric models – read more here.

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    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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