The Car Connection Nissan NV Overview
The Nissan NV is a full-size rear-wheel-drive van, sold mostly in commercial cargo van format, but also available as a passenger van with windows and added seating rows. It is offered in two different wheelbases, two roof heights, and with two engine options, and is the first full-size van Nisan has sold in the U.S. and Canada.
A wide range of NV configurations are on offer—cargo and passenger body styles, as well as a standard and a high roof setup.
For 2017, the NV gains a more powerful V-8 engine and a far more advanced 7-speed automatic as options, that should make it both faster and more fuel efficient.
MORE: Read our 2017 Nissan NV preview
The NV should not be confused with the Nissan NV200, a smaller commercial van also sold in a passenger version, which uses a front-wheel-drive car platform.
The Nissan NV van was introduced in 2011 for the 2012 model year, and is derived from the same frame as the full-size Nissan Titan pickup truck. Both vehicles are built in an assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi. The van requirement for a flat load floor, however, required extensive modifications to the frame and the rest of the body structure, so while the NV and the Titan are related, they share relatively few parts outside their powertrains.
Depending on the model, the Nissan NV can be ordered with two engines: a standard 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 that produces 281 lb-ft of torque, and an optional 5.6-liter V-8 that was first teamed to a 5-speed automatic but as of 2017 comes with a 7-speed automatic. Both engines power the rear wheels.
The Nissan NV 1500, with a load capacity of 2,590 pounds—known colloquially as a "half-ton" van—comes only with the V-6. With a payload of 3,142 pounds, the NV 2500 HD is known as a "three-quarter-ton" van, and can be ordered with either the V-6 or the V 8 engine, also in S or SV trim. Finally, the Nissan NV 3500 HD has a payload of 3,925 pounds, known as a "one-ton" van, and comes only with the V-8.
Two trim levels are offered on each of the three models: the base S, and the more upscale SV, which adds a chrome finish to the grille, bumpers, and door mirrors. The NV 2500 and 3500 models can be ordered in the standard version or a special high-roof body that permits a 6-foot person to stand upright in the load bay.
In its passenger van configuration (offered only on the NV 3500, though with V-6 or V-8 engines), Nissan claims no fewer than 234 different seating configurations. Passenger models also include standard or optional multiple reading lamps, outlets for both 12-Volt and 120-Volt power, and rear doors that open more than 180 degrees.