2017 Nissan NV200

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
January 3, 2017

Buying tip

The NV200 Taxi is the closest thing to an old Checker Marathon that you'll find.

features & specs

I4 S
24 city / 26 hwy
24 city / 26 hwy
23 city / 26 hwy

The 2017 Nissan NV200 makes a good budget cargo van, but if you've got more fleet money to spend, rivals offer increased capability.

The 2017 Nissan NV200 is a cargo and taxi van that comes at a significantly lower price than its rivals.

That said, you get what you pay for, and the NV200—available in S and SV trim levels—is outclassed on many levels. We've rated it a 3.6 overall, as it doesn't offer an impressive driving experience and its hauling capacity is limited. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The NV200 is also sold as the Chevrolet City Express, but don't let that model's bowtie badge fool you; the design is 100 percent Nissan. The NV200 was introduced for the 2013 model year in the United States. A heavily modified version of the NV200 has been designed specifically for use as a taxicab in New York City. That taxi variant is now offered to buyers all across the country.

For 2017, Nissan has made power door locks standard on all models, SV models feature painted bumpers, and there has been some minor option shuffling. 

Nissan NV200 performance, utility and styling

All NV200s feature the same body and wheelbase, as well as an identical 2.0-liter inline-4 engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. With 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, the NV200 feels labored even without any cargo on board. Simply put, it's a slow vehicle that pales in comparison to the 169-hp Ford Transit Connect and the hefty 208-hp offered by the Mercedes-Benz Metris. The CVT does it no favors, either.

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Although there's a three-spoke steering wheel, the NV200 corners with considerable lean and delivers virtually no feel. It's a driving experience that feels like it's from the early 1990s, not 2017. 

You're probably not looking at an NV200 because you think it's stylish. Instead, it's a box with a passenger compartment. The NV200 has a swoopier look than many rivals, and it can be dressed up a little in SV trim. That model includes painted (instead of grey unpainted) bumpers and full wheel covers instead of exposed steel wheels. If it's a more upmarket look you're after for your delivery van, the NV200 SV more or less achieves that without raising eyebrows like a Metris might. 

Inside, the NV200's dashboard is decidedly car-like. Its gauges are simple and clearly marked, but one demerit is that it lacks a panel of switch blanks for aftermarket accessories to be added. The NV200's cargo area can hold up to 122.7 cubic feet of goods, and Nissan has thoughtfully included mounting points for aftermarket racks and bins. Payload stands at 1,480 pounds for the S and 1,450 for the SV. 

Nissan NV200 features and fuel economy

The NV200 is available in two trim grades as a cargo van—and there's a taxi variant that we will briefly cover later. The base S model runs a hair over $22,000, while the SV is $900 more.

The S is decidedly Spartan, although it does dispense with the basics—power windows and locks, air conditioning, and a two-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system.

For the extra coin, the SV adds painted bumpers, full hub caps, power heated exterior mirrors, tie-down hooks in the cargo area, cruise control, keyless entry, a 12-volt outlet in the cargo area, cruise control, and a few additional options.

Options on both models include an audio system with Bluetooth connectivity (something worth considering to help prevent fleet drivers from using a handset while driving), a reverse sensing system, and glass windows instead of metal fillers in the cargo area. The SV is additionally available with a 5.8-inch navigation system and a backup camera, both of which are offered together in one package.

All NV200s benefit from Nissan's impressive 5-year, 100,000-mile warranty included on its commercial vehicles. 

The EPA rates the Nissan NV200 at 24 mpg city, 26 highway, 25 combined—figures that are about par for the compact van segment. The NV200 is a little thriftier in town than some of its rivals, but the throttling its engine needs may negate some of that savings in the real world. 

NV200 Taxi

The NV200 is also available in a taxicab configuration with a second row of seats and a full complement of windows. Its basic design is almost identical to the "Taxi of Tomorrow" that won a contest to be New York City's official taxicab. Even though it is mechanically identical to the cargo variant, the NV200 Taxi has numerous detail changes that all add up to a pretty solid taxicab.

It comes in a bright yellow shade with black accents outside. Inside, the driver's compartment features navigation, Bluetooth and an intercom connected to the rear seat. The driver's seat itself is six-way adjustable and covered in long-lasting cloth. The other five seating positions, meanwhile, feature an antimicrobial vinyl that should be easy to clean and at least somewhat germ-free. 

Rear seat passengers are treated to excellent space, a pair of USB inputs, a 12V input, and sliding windows. If passengers look up, they'll see a panoramic fixed glass roof with a shade that offers the best view in town. Six airbags are included—the expected front airbags, plus seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger and head-protecting curtain airbags for both rows of seats.

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