Used 2015 Nissan NV Cargo Van Review

The 2015 Nissan NV Cargo is a solid choice in the commercial van market, thanks to its tall-roof option, capable engines, relatively pleasant driving dynamics and attractive pricing.




what's new

For 2015, the Nissan NV Cargo van sees a new, chromed-out SL trim join the lineup, while the infotainment system gets a larger 5.8-inch touchscreen display, expanded voice control and integrated smartphone apps.

vehicle overview

Full-size cargo vans have long been the workhorses of choice for anyone running a business that requires a lot of tools, supplies or mobile work space. Although the NV Cargo is a relatively new entry in a segment once dominated by the traditional American brands, Nissan is playing for keeps. Not only does the 2015 Nissan NV Cargo offer massive interior space, it also features plenty of tie-down points and useful places to set up shop. And with the option of a high roof, adults up to 6 feet, 3 inches tall can work inside the van without having to stoop down.

In addition to the availability of low and high roof heights, the 2015 Nissan NV Cargo van offers a choice of either steel or windowed walls, V6 or V8 power and a variety of customization options. Standard and optional highlights include a center console big enough for a laptop computer, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera. In the back, there are reinforced mounting points for shelving and racks, and the NV is pre-wired to give upfitters easy access to the electrical system when modifying the van for business use.

Those used to seeing traditional snub-nosed vans may think the Nissan NV a bit strange with its protruding, pickup-style snout. However, that unconventional design provides more legroom for those sitting up front and also makes the engine easier to access for maintenance and repairs. Given the very high-mileage service life that's typical of full-size cargo vans, that's a notable advantage.

Of course, there are some other options available if you're interested in a cargo van. There are the old-school 2015 Chevrolet Express and 2015 GMC Savana twins, but these vans are quite dated and don't offer a high-roof option. More direct rivals include the 2015 Ram ProMaster and 2015 Ford Transit, both of which offer similarly huge cargo space and the availability of high roofs. If cost is less of a concern, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has the most refined interior and carlike driving manners. It is considerably more expensive, but it might be worth it. In spite of this stiff competition, the 2015 Nissan NV still presents an excellent value proposition. Whether you're considering expanding your fleet or just getting started, we recommend checking out the NV Cargo.




trim levels & features

The 2015 Nissan NV is a full-size cargo van available in three models: 1500, 2500 and 3500. The 1500 comes only with a standard roof, while the 2500 and 3500 offer a choice between a standard or high roof. They all have the same wheelbase and length, but as you move up in the model range, payload and towing capacities increase. There are three trim levels: S, SV and SL. Only the 2500 and 3500 models are available in SL trim.

The base S comes with the bare necessities, including 17-inch steel wheels, variable-intermittent wipers, a tilt-only steering wheel, a four-way manual driver seat, water-repellent cloth upholstery (with vinyl reinforcements in high-wear areas), air-conditioning, a trip computer, a two-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The Power Basic package adds power windows, doors and locks as well as keyless entry and cruise control.

The SV trim includes the Power Basic package's equipment and adds 17-inch styled steel wheels, chrome exterior accents, rear parking sensors, hardboard interior cargo panels, a lockable center console (2500/3500 models only), four audio system speakers and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The SL features chrome exterior accents (wheels, bumpers, grille, door handles and mirror caps), front parking sensors, an eight-way power driver seat, a security system and side and side curtain airbags for the front seats.

Optional on the SV and SL is the Technology package, which includes a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, navigation, various NissanConnect smartphone apps (such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rearview camera, satellite radio and a USB input. Additional options include multiple window configurations for the side and rear doors.



performance & mpg

The Nissan NV Cargo 1500 model is only offered with a 4.0-liter V6 engine rated at 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, while the NV 3500 can only be had with a 5.6-liter V8 making 317 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. The NV 2500 offers buyers a choice of either engine.

A five-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, and all NVs are rear-wheel drive. Properly equipped, V6-powered NVs can tow up to 7,000 pounds. A properly equipped NV 3500 has a maximum tow rating of 9,500 pounds and a payload capacity of 4,022 pounds.

safety

Standard safety features on the 2015 Nissan NV include antilock brakes, stability control and traction control.

Front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags are optional, as are rear parking sensors and a rearview camera.

Driving

There's no confusing the 2015 Nissan NV for anything other than a giant van, but it's at least easier to drive than the old-fashioned GM vans. The ride quality is decent whether the van is unloaded or full, and the noise levels are surprisingly low at freeway speeds -- at least by large-metal-box-on-wheels standards.

The V6 engine produces satisfying performance even with a full load, while the V8 is expectedly even better. No matter which engine you choose, you'll find the automatic transmission delivers seamless and well-timed shifts. Visibility is good out the front and is enhanced by large side mirrors.

Interior

The 2015 Nissan NV sports a functional interior notable for its supportive front seats and the additional legroom offered by having the engine out under the elongated hood. The available center console is another nice touch, offering a generous amount of storage. It also locks for the security of valuables. There are plenty of places to stash small items as well, including a handy pull-out drawer under the driver seat of the 2500 and 3500 models.

Gauges and controls are laid out in a straightforward way that makes them easy to use. As with most cargo vans, there's a lot of hard plastic in the NV, but the only places where you really notice are on the armrests and center console lid, both of which could use a little padding.

The business end of the interior is enhanced by nearly vertical walls and built-in attachment points that make it easier to fit equipment racks, workbenches and the like. Getting people and cargo in and out couldn't be easier, thanks to a low step-in height and large doors, including rear ones that open quite wide and use magnetic catches to stay open. Speaking of cargo, the low-roof version offers a healthy 234 cubic feet of space, while the high-roof model boasts 323 cubic feet and the ability for a 6-feet, 3-inch person to walk around upright. Six floor-mounted D-rings make it easier to secure loads.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.