The Nissan Interstar shared the same underpinnings with the previous generations Renault Master and Opel Movano. The vehicle was built since 2003 and it was discontinued in 2011 when it was replaced by the NV400.
The old Nissan Interstar was replaced at the perfect time, as its design was starting to show its age, and the technology was also starting to rust. The vehicle however, was seen with good eyes and for its time was a pretty good product which offered a satisfactory cab comfort, numerous wheelbase lengths and different body configurations. The Nissan Interstar was available with a 2.5-litre dCi diesel producing 100hp, 120hp and 150hp.
The Nissan Interstar was among the last LCVs which had a dull and boring style, as all of its successors were the pioneers of a better era in terms of LCV designs. For its time however, the Interstar’s exterior style was at par with its rivals, as the roads were filled with boxy vans.
At the front, the vehicle features a thin radiator grille which is fitted with the company badge in its center. The front styling also includes large headlights which give the vehicle a purposeful look.
The utilitarian character of the Interstar is underlined by the imposing bumper which has a pretty simple design and is fitted with a few air intakes and two round optional fog lamps.
Along the sides, the vehicle received full length protective rubbing strips, while at the back is fitted with vertically placed rear lights and wide opening side-hinged doors.
There were two different lengths and heights available for the Interstar, while the gross weights ranged from 2.8 to 3.5 tonnes with payload capacities between 985kg to 1,606kg.
Unlike the exterior, the interior aged pretty well, as it’s not far behind the design of the actual NV400. The cabin design copes great with the utilitarian character of the truck and we also like the two tone dashboard which breaks a bit the monotony that is usually common for this type of vehicles. Needless to say that the plastics are rock hard, but luckily the fit and finish is pretty good and Interstar’s cab passed the test of time with success.
While most of the controls were placed within easy reach, the HVACs were a bit too far to the driver’s seat and the dash mounted gear knob stayed in your way every time you wanted to adjust the ventilation. Other than that, everything is placed intuitively and we also like the feel of the steering wheel which falls easy into hand and has perfect dimensions without being intrusive.
The Nissan Interstar’s seats were pretty comfortable too and offered a proper side support. Although they were devoid of proper side bolstering, they came with a wide range of adjustments permitting you to find your favorite driving position pretty fast.
Nissan has fitted the Interstar’s cab with a long list of storage places which can be found everywhere you look.
The entry level models of the Nissan Interstar were kitted with an audio system, driver’s airbag, power steering and a tubular bulkhead. The superior trim levels came with a more performant audio system, full metal bulkhead, electric windows, electrically adjustable/heated door mirrors and a rear parking sensor. Besides these features there were also available a host of useful options such as the climate pack (comprising a heat-reflective windscreen and air conditioning), technology pack (adding satellite navigation, cruise control and telephone pre-wiring) and the glazed pack (glazed bulkhead and rear doors with window demist).
Engines and transmissions
The Nissan Interstar was powered by a 2.5 dCi diesel engine which came in three flavors developing 100hp, 120hp and 150hp with 260Nm, 300Nm or 320Nm of torque respectively. All units were compliant with the Euro 4 emission standards and they were offered with diesel particle filter (DPF) which eliminates up to 99.9% of diesel engine emissions.
The engines were mated on 6 speed manual or robotised transmissions which were fairly good and managed to deal well with the vehicle’s needs.
All Nissan Interstar’s engines where up to the task and offered plenty of torque from as low as 1500 rpm. Regardless of what load you carried at the back, the vehicle never felt underpowered and the engines were also pretty smooth and refined.
Nissan Interstar Engines Specifications
|2.5 dCi||120 @3500||300@1500|
|2.5 dCi||150@3500||320@ 1500|
Ride and handling
The Nissan Interstar was equipped with double wishbone front suspension combined with rear leaf springs. Thanks to this configuration the Interstar offered a pretty forgivable ride with precise turns and strong carrying abilities. The power steering was also pretty good and even if the handling can’t be compared to today’s LCVs it was still pretty good. The stopping power was assured by all-around disc brakes combined with ABS and EBD.
The Nissan Interstar was a pretty capable vehicle which had anything it needed to get the job done fast and with minimum costs. It was offered in a wide range of versions and thanks to its flexible character was able to deal with a wide range of commercial applications.
The cabin was also surprisingly comfortable for and LCV and was pretty well kitted, making your life on board easier. The engines were at par with competition and the manual gearbox was also up to the task. The robotised transmission however, was a bit unsettled, especially at low speeds.
The biggest bad luck for the Nissan Interstar came in the shape of Mercedes Sprinter and Volkswagen Crafter which took the market by assault with competitive prices, top notch build quality, modern designs and top notch features.