Introduced in 2012, the Nissan NV Cargo Van features a design that pushes the engine out front for improved legroom and easier maintenance. Designers also integrated a number of clever details, such as additional wear-resistant upholstery on the outside edges of the seats where it's needed most.
For maximum versatility, there's a choice of two engines, three payload capacities (1500, 2500 and 3500) and a pair of roof heights, including a high-roof version that features more than 6 feet of stand-up headroom. There's even an NV Passenger van version, which is reviewed separately.
Put it all together and the Nissan NV Cargo Van is a strong choice for buyers looking for a commercial vehicle with maximum flexibility.
Current Nissan NV
The current Nissan NV Cargo Van is offered in three trim levels (S, SV and SL), ranging from a relatively bare-bones work truck to a more fully featured top-of-the-line model.
The entry-level S 1500 model comes fitted with a V6 engine, 17-inch steel wheels, 50/50-split rear cargo doors, air-conditioning, cloth and vinyl upholstery, four-way manually adjustable front seats, a fold-flat passenger seat, a tilt steering wheel, six reinforced D-ring anchors in the cargo area, and a two-speaker CD player with an auxiliary audio input. The 2500 model also adds power-adjustable mirrors, two household power outlets, additional cargo lights, and storage bins under the driver's seat and in the rear door.
Stepping up to the SV 1500 gets you power-adjustable mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, a cargo mat, trim panels on the cargo walls, and a four-speaker stereo with redundant steering-wheel controls. The SV 2500 adds a lockable, laptop-size center console, cupholders and additional 12-volt power outlets. Finally, the top SL model (offered on 2500 and 3500 versions) bundles chrome exterior trim, heated mirrors, a security system and an eight-way power driver seat.
When ordered with the optional V8 engine, the NV comes with front tow hooks, extendable towing mirrors, a prewired Class IV receiver hitch and a trailer brake controller. High-roof models add an overhead console and integrated roof rack mounting points. Other examples include a Back Door Glass package (rear windows with defrosters and a rearview mirror) and a Technology package (SV and SL trims only) with a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, a navigation system with real-time traffic, satellite radio, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity, a hands-free texting assistant, NissanConnect apps, voice control and a USB port.
The standard engine is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that puts out 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that sends the power to the rear wheels. A 5.6-liter V8 that's rated at 375 hp and 387 lb-ft and paired with a seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive is available as an option on 1500 and 2500 models and standard on 3500 models. Properly equipped, V6-powered 1500 models can tow trailers up to 6,900 pounds, while the 3500's towing capacity is rated at a healthy 9,500 pounds.
Which Nissan NV model you choose will be based on what best fits the way you work and the job at hand. Inside, standard-roof models offer 323 cubic feet of space, while the high-roof models offers 487 cubic feet of cargo room with more than 6.5 feet of stand-up height. To put those numbers in perspective, both will fit 4-by-8-foot sheets of plywood between the wheelwells, swallow 10-foot pipes with the rear doors closed, and even carry two 40-by-48-inch pallets. More than 50 reinforced attachment points for rack shelves and workbenches/upfitter prewiring are also built in.
On the road, the NV rides similarly to Nissan's Titan truck; they share the same frame and suspension. Get a little weight in the back and things smooth out, as you'd expect. For light-duty work, the 4.0-liter V6 should suffice, but if you're going to be hauling heavy payloads or towing sizable trailers, you'll want the 5.6-liter V8.
Used Nissan NV Models
The Nissan NV hasn't changed significantly over the past few years, but a couple of upgrades are worth knowing about. First, the addition of standard (formerly optional) side-impact and side curtain airbags in 2016 is a worthwhile safety feature to seek out. The second is 2017's upgraded 5.6-liter V8, which is both more powerful and more fuel-efficient.
Read the most recent 2018 Nissan NV Cargo review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan NV Cargo page.