Full 2014 Nissan NV200 Review
What's New for 2014
The 2014 Nissan NV200 has less cargo space and power than other compact vans, but its low price, efficient engine, around-town maneuverability and versatile interior still make it a good choice for businesses.
Big cargo vans have an abundance of cargo space and towing capacity, but they're also hefty, inefficient and often overkill for the job at hand. As a smaller alternative, compact vans like the 2014 Nissan NV200 are a surprisingly functional and agile option for those who don't need maximum hauling capacity. They're a great choice for darting from location to location in a crowded city, delivering packages, cakes or bouquets, hauling tools for fixing appliances, or even acting as fuel- and space-efficient taxi cabs. In fact, the NV200 is New York City's new taxi of tomorrow.
The NV200 is based on a car platform. Compared to bigger, truck-based vans like Nissan's own NV, it's much more fuel-efficient and gives it a less jolting ride on the highway. On the inside, there are a few useful features too, like a low loading floor for cargo and a front passenger seat that doubles as a table. Nissan also gave the NV200 unevenly sized rear cargo doors -- the shorter door is the driver side of the vehicle, minimizing the potential intrusion into the street when open.
As you might suspect, though, the NV200 has a hard time with any really large jobs. A 2.0-liter four cylinder engine with just 131 horsepower is under the hood, which wouldn't be a lot for a compact sedan, let alone a van. Therefore, don't expect robust acceleration, especially when it's carrying a full load. Even for its class, payload capacity for the NV200 is pretty modest and competitors can carry a few hundred pounds more.
There aren't a lot of options when it comes to small cargo vans, but each of the available rivals has something going for it. The redesigned 2014 Ford Transit Connect offers two engines, both of which offer more power than the NV200 does, but return similar fuel economy. Also available is the 2014 Ram CV, which is a minivan with the seats removed and the least efficient of the three small cargo vans. On the other hand, it offers the highest payload of the bunch thanks to its V6 engine. There are obviously differences between these three closely matched rivals and each may match up better with your needs, but we think that most businesses and fleet owners will find the 2014 Nissan NV200 to be a good alternative to bigger, costlier vans.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Nissan NV200 is a compact work van designed for commercial usage and available in S and SV trims. Standard on the S trim level are 15-inch steel wheels, 40/60-split rear cargo doors, sliding rear side doors, power front windows, a front 12-volt power outlet, cloth and vinyl upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat passenger seat and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Cruise control is optional for the S.
The SV includes all of the above plus power mirrors and locks, keyless entry, an additional rear 12-volt power outlet and added cargo area tie-down points.
Optional on both the S and SV are Bluetooth phone connectivity and the Back Door Glass package, which adds rear privacy glass, a rearview mirror and rear defroster.
For the SV, the Technology package adds a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, a rearview camera, voice controls, satellite radio, Pandora Internet radio control, a USB audio jack, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and hands-free text messaging assist. The Exterior Appearance package is also available for the SV; it adds wheel covers, a chrome grille and body-color bumpers, mirrors and door handles.
Powertrains and Performance
A 2.0-liter four cylinder is the only engine available in the Nissan NV200. It produces 131 hp and 139 pound-feet of torque. Transmitting power to the front wheels is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The EPA estimates fuel economy to be 24 mpg combined (24 city/25 highway).
Standard safety features on the Nissan NV200 include antilock brakes (front disc/rear drum), traction and stability control, side curtain airbags and front seat side-impact airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside, Nissan has already done some of the work for you by providing standard integrated mounting points to allow the installation of racks and shelves without the need to drill into the walls of the van. The mounting points paired with the six optional cargo hooks should give drivers an easy solution for securing their tools or supplies.
Cargo capacity in the 2014 Nissan NV200 is 122.7 cubic feet, with a maximum payload of 1,500 pounds. That's certainly capable, but modest compared to the 130.6 cubic feet of space and 1,600-pound payload in the long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect and the 144.4 cubic feet of space and 1,800-pound payload of the Ram CV Tradesman.
The NV200's cabin seems to have been designed with the driver in mind, with multiple storage areas, a six-way-adjustable driver seat and a center console featuring laptop/hanging file folder storage. The passenger-side seat has an underseat storage tray and the seat itself will also fold down to increase cargo space. It can also serve as a work station via the seatback's large built-in tray that will accommodate most laptops or lunch.
For those used to large, lumbering plumber vans, the 2014 Nissan NV200 will seem like a revelation. It's vastly easier to park and maneuver, especially in cities. In general, it feels more like a car than a truck. On the other hand, its small four-cylinder engine isn't the most powerful engine in the class and there's no optional upgrade as in the Ford Transit Connect. Let's just say that with a maximum payload aboard the NV 200's acceleration will not be swift.