The Nissan NV200 is a light commercial van sold around the world, and its compact body hides a large carrying capacity
Despite its compact dimensions, the Nissan NV200 has a generous load volume and payload. This light urban van comes with a choice of 1.5-litre diesel engines, sourced from Nissan’s Alliance partner Renault. Both promise low fuel consumption.
There’s also a choice of three specifications – Visia, Acenta and Tekna – but whichever you go for, and whether you buy the panel van or the NV200 Combi with five or seven seats, the Nissan is nimble and manoeuvrable for its class.
Users can specify a folding passenger seat – as in many LCVs – as well as a folding mesh bulkhead, allowing longer loads to be safely carried alongside the driver’s seat. Nissan also sells the NV200 Fridge Van, with an insulated cargo cell and a 2.2 cubic metre load volume, for food couriers, while the regular NV200 is a popular choice for drivers looking to carry out a camper van conversion. Plus, the van forms the basis of a new taxi for the streets of New York, and is bidding to rival the LTI black cab as a new taxi for London.
MPG and Running Costs
The Renault-sourced diesel in the Nissan NV200 gives buyers a choice of 89bhp and 110bhp outputs. Power is sent to the front wheels through five-speed and six-speed manual gearboxes respectively.
Nissan claims the 89bhp model delivers 55.4mpg fuel consumption and emits 135g/km of CO2, with the 110bhp van promising 53.3mpg economy and 139g/km emissions.
Stop-start isn’t available on the NV200 yet, even though it features on the Renault Kangoo van, which uses a similar engine. Still, n-tec versions offer Nissan’s combined cruise control and speed limiter, while every NV200 has a gearshift indicator on the dashboard, to help drivers minimise their fuel consumption. Service intervals stand at 18,000 miles or two years, whichever model you go for.
Load Space and Practicality
Load capacity is the real strength of the NV200 – it offers a very generous space considering its compact dimensions, with 4.2 cubic metres of volume in the rear and a 739kg payload.
There’s enough room for two Europallets, while bulky loads up to 1.36 metres in height can be carried, thanks to the tall roof. However, conventional vans like the Renault Kangoo Maxi – with its 4.0 cubic metres of load space and up to 800kg of payload – aren’t far behind.
Other rivals have the edge over the NV200: the Fiat Doblo Cargo is offered with a 1,000kg payload option, and can handle loads of up to 5.0 cubic metres in XL high-roof trim, while the long-wheelbase version of the Ford Transit Connect has a maximum payload of 905kg.
In basic E spec, the Nissan comes with a tubular bulkhead behind the driver, while SE and n-tec grades have a full-steel bulkhead. A bulkhead with a window is available as an option. All NV200 vans feature six load lashing points in the floor, while it’s easy to get to the load from either side, thanks to the twin sliding side doors.
Nissan offers a host of accessories for the load bay, including body side mouldings for £113, plus wheelarch protection, at £124. A roof rack will set you back £458; a flanged tow bar with electrics is a £386 dealer fit option.
NV200 Combi models seat five or seven people, and the rear rows of seats in both versions can be folded forwards – this gives up to 2.3 cubic metres of load volume in the five-seater and 2.1 cubic metres in the seven-seat Combi. However, the rear seats don’t unclip, so can’t be removed in either version to free up the full load area.
Reliability and Safety
Nissan only offers electronic stability control as an option on SE and n-tec versions of the NV200, with buyers of the E model unable to specify the safety kit at all. This is disappointing, given that rivals from Mercedes, Ford and Volkswagen come with ESC as standard, and it no doubt played a role in the van being awarded only a three-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests.
Still, ESC is included on Combi models, while buyers looking to boost the safety credentials of their van can specify a £1,000 Safety Pack comprising ESC and passenger and side airbags. The pack also includes four sliding anchor points mounted mid-height along the rear of the van, as well as air-conditioning, foglamps and heated door mirrors.
All versions of the NV200 come with an immobiliser, remote central locking and superlocking for added security, while SE and n-tec vans add a rear view camera to aid reversing. Reliability is generally good, with NV200 owners not reporting any major problems, and the van is backed by a three-year/100,000-mile manufacturer warranty.
Driving and Performance
The NV200 is a very slim, compact van that runs on relatively small wheels for maximum manoeuvrability around town. However, this does mean the ride is a bit bouncy on the open road, while the van isn’t really suited to long motorway journeys. The 89bhp engine comes with a five-speed manual gearbox, while the 110bhp engine is hooked up to a six-speed, which means slightly more relaxed cruising. Nissan doesn’t offer an automatic transmission option. Both engines have enough grunt to keep pace with traffic – they deliver 200Nm and 240Nm of torque respectively – but the Nissan is at its best on urban roads, and isn’t as good to drive as the Fiat Doblo Cargo or Ford Transit Connect.
Cab and Interior
The NV200 has a more spacious interior than its compact dimensions suggest, and even taller drivers should find they have enough room. But the cab doesn’t have an especially high-quality feel, as it’s built from hard, shiny black plastics, and the van isn’t all that comfortable for longer drives.
The tiny information screen in the centre of the dashboard relays images from the reversing camera on vans fitted with this neat feature, although the display can be difficult to read at all other times. All vans come with an MP3-compatible stereo and steering wheel controls, plus USB/aux inputs, while the standard Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity will appeal to users running a business from their van.
Also included are under-seat storage and a trip computer. Upgrade to SE spec, and you get the rear view camera, as well as electric windows and mirrors, while n-tec models bring Nissan Connect sat-nav, cruise control and a driver-adjustable speed limiter.
Extras include a £150 Versatility Pack, with a folding passenger seat and folding mesh bulkhead, while a glazed rear door pack for the same price includes rear windows with wash/wipe and a rear view mirror. Buyers of the NV200 n-tec can be pay an extra £600 to get air-conditioning and an intelligent i-key keyless entry system.
(Widths are body width without mirrors. With mirrors: 2,011mm)
Load area dimensions
|Combi (five seat/seven seat)||1,358mm||1,500mm||1,160/510mm||2.3/0.9m3|
(Widths are maximum. Width between wheel arches is 1,220mm)