The Nissan NV200 is a compact cargo van that provides big-time versatility in a tidy little package. Compact vans have long been a staple of overseas commerce, but America's wide-open roads and cheap fuel delayed their stateside arrival until recently. As it turns out, they make a lot of sense here, too, especially for businesses that don't need the prodigious size and strength of traditional vans. You get much better fuel economy and maneuverability with a compact van, and you'll pay less up front to boot.
With about 122 cubic feet of cargo space, the NV200 is a bit less capacious than its main rival, the Ford Transit Connect. But here's some perspective: Nissan's enormous Armada SUV can only swallow 97 cubes -- and the NV200 is 5 inches shorter than the midsize Altima sedan. With space efficiency like that, it's no wonder that compact vans are becoming more and more popular. If you're shopping for one, the Nissan NV200 merits close consideration.
Current Nissan NV200
The Nissan NV200 compact cargo van is available in S and SV trims. The S is predictably basic, providing 40/60-split rear cargo doors, manual sliding side doors, power windows and a two-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input jack. The SV adds cruise control, additional tie-down points in the cargo bay and power locks with keyless entry.
The NV200 also offers a number of optional convenience items, including rear privacy glass, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, a rearview camera, a USB input and hands-free text messaging assist.
For power the NV200 relies on a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, as is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). According to the EPA, fuel economy can approach 25 mpg in mixed driving, though heavy cargo will naturally bring that number down.
In reviews of the Nissan NV200, we've been pleased with the van's carlike handling. Of course, with that massive cargo receptacle directly behind you, you'll never forget that you're driving a utilitarian vehicle. But the NV200 is quite pleasant to drive by van standards, with light steering and a reasonably compliant ride. Although the 2.0-liter engine isn't Nissan's finest, it scoots the NV200 around well enough -- with light loads, at least.
Inside, the NV200's industrial plastics won't earn any style points, but they seem to be built for the long haul. The center console includes a large storage section that can accommodate hanging files or a laptop, while the passenger seat has a handy tray underneath. If you flip the passenger seatback forward, it folds flat, revealing a rugged plastic insert that can serve as the driver's mobile work table.
In back, no fewer than 20 integrated mounting points come standard, enabling racks and shelves to be installed on the van's walls without a drill. The six optional floor-mounted cargo hooks provide further flexibility for securing packages. Dual sliding side doors and wide-opening 60/40-split rear doors ensure easy access to the load floor.
Used Nissan NV200 Models
The Nissan NV200 debuted for the 2013 model year and has seen no significant changes.