The Nissan Cabstar was built for delivery duties in the 3.5 tones segment and it’s a rebadged version of the Renault Maxity . The truck is among the most versatile models in its class and is equipped with both 2.5 and 3.0 liter engines. The Nissan Cabstar has a starting price of 19.000 GPB and can be ordered with either a single cab or a double cab featuring a maximum payload capacity of up to 1850 kg.
In order to offer the possibility to be used for a wide range of applications the Cabstar chassis is available with 2.5m, 2.9m and 3.4m wheelbases. Double rear wheels are standard on 3.5T GVW versions while the double cabs are available on 2.9m and 3.4m, MWB and LWB versions. The Nissan Cabstar is offered with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty with service intervals set at 18,000 miles.
The Nissan Cabstar features a cab over engine configuration with a huge windshield and a thin front grille which bares the company logo in its center. Unlike the majority of today’s small trucks that are fitted with horizontal headlights, the Cabstar received vertical light clusters which give it a distinctive look. The bumper is a bit too small for our tastes and it’s not painted in the same color as the rest of the body.
However, we like the sloped base line of the lateral widows, as they improve the side visibility and give the vehicle a sense of dynamism.
The Nissan Cabstar it’s also slimmer than most of its competitors and thanks to the tight turning circle it’s very easy to maneuver. Compared to the previous generation, the latest Cabstar looks sleeker, more modern and is even shorter, but in the same time keeps the same load space length.
The Cabstar features a very low ground clearance which offers easy access into the cab. Surprisingly, the cab is very spacious and we also like the dashboard design which looks pretty modern. The build quality isn’t the best in the business and most of the materials are rock hard, but the ergonomy is pretty good and you won’t have any problems while reaching the controls or switches. The gear lever is planted on the gear cover and comes easy into hand.
The ergonomic dashboard layout features a new combimeter which displays clear and comprehensive information. This includes an optional multifunction computer providing useful data such as average fuel consumption and range, oil level and ‘shift-up’ advice for optimum gear changing.
The seats are also fairly comfortable and can accommodate up to three passengers. For enhanced versatility, the center seatback can be folded down forming a practical table that can be used for many purposes. Unfortunately, the driver seat can’t be adjusted for height and this could prove to be a problem for some drivers. Thankfully, the steering wheel can be adjusted for both reach and rake permitting you to find a good driving position.
Thanks to the generous windshield and the big door windows the all round visibility is great, while the big heated door mirrors offer good rear side view with minimum blind spots. To enhance the visibility there is also available an automatic dipping rear view mirror for MWB and LWB models.
One of the most attractive features of the Nissan Cabstar is its completely flat floor which enhances its practicability as you can move easy through the cabin.
Needless to say that in the storage department the Nissan Cabstar is flawless as is fitted with plenty of storage boxes and cup holders which will make your life on board easier. These include an A4 document space above the combimeter, a central cooled compartment that can take cans or small bottles, a separate glovebox, cooled or heated cup holders for the driver and passenger, roof storage and a large capacity box that’s hidden behind the centre passenger seat. Moreover, the truck is also equipped with individual lighting which makes the cabin look more appealing during night missions.
Engines and transmissions
The Nissan Cabstar is available with either 2.5 litre or 3.0 litre Euro 4 diesel engines with a choice of three outputs: 110HP, 130HP and 150HP. The 2.5 L engine provides a good balance between a flat torque range and low weight, delivering greater flexibility and mobility, while the 3.0 unit offers more power and a better throttle. These engines are pretty smooth and have plenty of power to climb hills without problems even when the truck is fully loaded.
The engines can be combined with 5 or 6 speed transmissions and an optional Limited Slip Differential, which maintains drive even if one of the rear wheels is on a low grip surface, such as ice or mud.
For enhanced performances the truck can be equipped with the Easy Hill Start (EHS) option and an on-board computer. The EHS helps to protect the clutch and driveline from the everyday demands faced by the vehicle, while the on-board computer’s ‘shift up’ function helps to optimize gear changes, reducing fuel consumption.
Ride and suspensions
The Nissan Cabstar was designed to offer easy handling around the city and it shows. Its compact dimensions reward you with an effortless drive around the narrows city streets, while the 9.6 m kerb to kerb turning circle makes it one of the most agile vehicles in its class.
It’s true that the ride is more on the bumpy side, but the independent front suspension is combined with a flawless rack and pinion steering which gives the truck a sharp handling and a predictable steering.
We don’t have any complains about the front and rear disc brakes which come as a standard feature. For an enhanced stopping power the disc brakes are combined with ABS and EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution), which are available on all twin rear wheel models.
The Nissan Cabstar‘s compact dimensions are perfect for short delivery missions while its engines are pretty capable and can deal with generous payloads without too much drama. The downside is that the truck it’s not able to respect the Euro 5 emission norms and some of the rivals already meet these standards.
However, the Cabstar has a spacious and ergonomically designed cabin, while the versatile chassis makes it perfect for a wide range of missions. Even if the ride isn’t too comfortable the handling is precise. Moreover the acquisition price is pretty small while the maintenance costs are also low.
Video: Nissan Cabstar