2014 Nissan NV 200 Cargo Van Review By Steve Purdy
2014 NISSAN NV200 COMPACT CARGO VAN
By Steve Purdy
While in San Diego for the launch of the new Nissan Versa Note we had a chance to experience the new small cargo van from Nissan called NV200 as well. You’ve probably seen the larger, distinctively shaped NV1500/2500/3500 running around your town hauling, delivering and generally being useful to businesses. While Nissan has been in the utility van business around the world for many years they’ve only sold them here for a few. To augment the big van and give businesses a more efficient option Nissan recently introduced the NV200 compact cargo van.
The NV200 we get here in the US has but one powertrain - the one from the last generation Sentra - a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine making 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque mated to an efficient CVT. Depending on how much cargo you intend to haul, the power is adequate and mileage decent at around 24-mpg average.
So, for many businesses this small van is just right and has little competition at this point. The Focus-based Ford Transit connect is nearest in size, was earlier to the market and has found a substantial niche. Nissan is betting this is a market that will grow substantially.
I decided to explore Coronado, just across the big bridge from San Diego, in the NV200. After cruising around the city a bit and nearly entering the huge Navy base by mistake I headed out the main road where I could do highway speeds.
Driving dynamics are about what you would expect for a cargo van. You certainly wouldn’t want to take it on a sports car track but it is stable, easily maneuverable and pleasant to drive. Suspension is truck-like with independent front and solid axle with leaf springs in the rear. Large mirrors with distortion insert make it easy to view surrounding traffic. The driver’s seat is well bolstered and even has a wear patch to prevent repeated sliding in and out from prematurely destroying the side of the seat. Behind me is just the large open cargo area waiting to be customized for someone’s business needs. I was a bit surprised at the lack of the unpleasant noises we would expect from a bare bones van.
Nissan’s new vehicle warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles on the whole van and 5 years/60,000 miles on the powertrain.
A fully electric version of the NV200 is under development and a diesel version is available in other parts of the world. The diesel gets about 44-mpg. Let’s demand that one here. Whadaya say?
Chevy plans to sell a rebadged version of the NV200 called City Express beginning in 2014.
©Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved