You may not think about the Nissan Ariya all that much, but maybe you should start. Clearly, buyers are starting to consider it more. 

Nissan is still in the middle of an attempted turnaround after struggling for years with an aging lineup of cars and the downstream effects of a huge corporate scandal. So it's not entirely surprising that Nissan's sales were down 3.1% overall in the second quarter of 2024, but one of its brightest spots was the growth of the electric Ariya.

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Nissan's uneven EV strategy

Nissan was an early EV pioneer with the Leaf, but it's been accused by critics and even former company insiders of losing that lead. Like the rest of the Japanese auto industry, it's now playing catch-up on the electric front. But the company is pushing hard to launch new hybrid and electric models.

Nissan's U.S. arm announced yesterday that sales of the Ariya were up a whole 123% in Q2 compared to the same period last year. Granted, that only equaled 5,203 Ariyas sold—meaning the model trails behind the Volkswagen ID.4 and achieved less than half as many sales as the Hyundai Ioniq 5—but it is an improvement from last year's numbers.

Gallery: 2024 Nissan Ariya

Interestingly, the Ariya actually outsold the gas-powered Murano crossover, which was down a whopping 49.5% in sales over Q2 of 2023. This is largely speculation on my part, but it's possible that Nissan crossover buyers looked at the Murano and migrated to the Ariya instead on the back of whatever lease deals or discounts they could find. Those haven't been as aggressive as, say, Hyundai or Toyota, but they do exist.

(The Ariya may also be helped along by the fact that the current Murano model is now 10 years old and absolutely looks it inside; it's due to be replaced by an all-new 2025 model soon enough.) 

The Ariya may be worth a second look if you're EV-shopping. It features up to 304 miles of range, a variety of trim levels with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, handsome styling and a user experience that's more beginner-friendly than many other electric options. Its max fast-charging speed of 130 kW is hardly the best out there, but considering how many DC fast chargers max out around 150 kW, it may be just fine for now. 

Meanwhile, the Nissan Leaf soldiers on in 2024, though it's set to be discontinued soon and suffers from a fast-charging format that's effectively obsolete. It remains perhaps the cheapest new EV on sale right now, but considering the new glut of used options, you have better choices for your money. Despite that, Leaf sales were up slightly in Q2, with 1,925 units sold. That's a rise from 1,880 in the same period last year. But if you want a modern EV from Nissan, the Ariya's the one to get.

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