In commercial vehicle terms, Nissan didn’t manage to get too much attention from the market. Their LCVs had been popular, but it will be too much to say that they’ve put the sales charts on fire. But while in Europe the company has started to receive a better response thanks to its wide lineup of commercial models, in America Nissan still finds it hard to convince it’s buyers about the value of their products.
The Nissan NV Cargo was designed especially for the US market and it’s a highly versatile commercial vehicle available in three versions namely the NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. There are also two height configurations and the vehicle has a storage capacity between 234.1 - 323.1 cubic feet.
The Nissan NV Cargo has a competitive price which starts at $ 25.050 and it’s offered with a choice of two engines including V6 and a V8 units.
The NV Cargo Series comes with a pretty rudimentary design which betrays its utilitarian nature.
The company designers didn’t even tried to mask the boxy shape of the NV Cargo which is combined with a pretty long nose giving the vehicle a typical van appearance that looks far from being modern.
Though, we’ll have to admit that Nissan did a good job with the front fascia and we like the shiny chromed grille as it offers a plus of aggressivity. The grille is flanked by two huge headlights which feature a pretty basic design that is far from being an eye catcher.
The bumper is solid and robust and despite its rugged appearance it copes well with the rest of the body.
Around the back, there are two vertical placed taillights and a thin rear bumper which incorporates a convenient step to offer easy access to the load area.
On the inside, the Nissan NV Cargo looks fairly good. As it was expected, you have plenty of space and neither the driver nor passenger will complain about leg or shoulder room. Despite its utilitarian nature, the cabin materials are part of the first class and even if the build quality isn’t at the same level with Mercedes’s models the fittings seem pretty good.
Surprisingly, the seats are better than expected and Nissan covered them in premium cloth. To be able to deal with arduous working conditions the material is waterproof and has wear-resistant patches built-in. The seats aren’t only good looking and durable, but they are also pretty comfortable too and you’ll find just enough adjustments to help you find a comfortable driving position.
The road visibility is top notch and the large side mirrors enable proper view from both sides of the NV, while built-in convex spotter mirrors help reduce blind spots.
We also need to send a shout at the multifunctional steering wheel which has an ergonomic design and comes with both tilt and telescoping adjustments.
The NV interior is extremely functional and one of our favorite features is the useful centre console with a laptop computer and a top that slides forward to be a convenient workdesk. The entire console is even removable. You’ll also find a dedicated space for your clipboard and an available under-seat storage area. Moreover, the high roof models feature convenient overhead storage areas.
The base version of the Nissan NV Cargo gets a simple AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary input as standard equipment. The superior trim levels add another two speakers, power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and rear parking sensors.
Engines and transmissions
Nissan offers two engine options to put its big van on the move. The NV1500 and NV2500HD come with 4.0 liter V6 units that churn out 261 hp @ 5600 rpm and 281 pound-feet of torque @ 4000 rpm. The NV 2500 can be also fitted with an optional 5.6 liter V8 which is standard for the NV3500 HD.
The V8 develops a maximum output of 317 hp at 5200 rpm, with 385 pound-feet of torque achieved at 3400 rpm.
All models are mated on a five-speed automatic transmission that also offers the possibility to shift gears manually using a convenient column shift lever.
The V6 engine delivers proper performances and won’t disappoint you even when the vehicle is fully loaded. It’s true that the throttle may seem a bit lazy at the start, but it will soon gain strength and will move the NV without hesitation.
As it was expected the V8, it’s a true beast and offers instant punch every time you hit the go pedal. This engine is also offered with the optional Tow Package which helps the vehicle to tow loads of up to 9500 pounds which is pretty impressive.
Nissan NV Cargo Engines Specifications
Ride and handling
The Nissan NV Cargo uses front independent double wishbone suspension and rear leaf springs combined with stabilizer bar. The suspension setup offers a good balance and the truck is able to deal pretty well with road bumps as well even when it’s unladen.
Given its heft and size, the NV is pretty agile around the city and will make you feel like driving a smaller vehicle. On the other hand, the body roll is a bit too big, but it’s nothing to worry about.
The stopping power is fairly good and you can rely with confidence on the all-around disc brakes which are combined with electronic brake force distribution (EBD).
The Nissan NV Cargo is a smart choice for those seeking a reliable and spacious van which is also pretty well kitted and offers capable performances with adequate handling. We especially like the first class interior which is kitted with a long list of convenient features and attractive options. Another selling point is the competitive price which starts just below the rivals.
Not to mention about the generous payload and the capable engines. Though, the exterior style is highly utilitarian and Nissan could’ve come up with a smarter design.