While the Nissan NV Passenger Van might look a bit odd with its elongated nose and boxy proportions, the functionality that springs from its unusual design can scarcely be questioned.
Take that uncharacteristically long pickuplike hood, for example. Though it was designed in part to allow easier access to the engine compartment for routine maintenance and service tasks, it has the very practical benefit of creating much more spacious seating up front, compared to competitors' blunter front-end designs where the engine at least partially intrudes into the passenger compartment.
Speaking of engines, the NV Passenger Van offers a choice of V6 or V8 power. There's even more flexibility out back, with seating for up to 12 passengers in four rows (each with its own built-in head restraints and three-point seat belts) that can be removed and rearranged to provide many people- and cargo-carrying configurations.
Taken together, these engineering and design details make the Nissan NV Passenger Van look like what it is: a wise choice for buyers with large families as well as commercial users looking for a flexible shuttle vehicle.
Current Nissan NV Passenger Van
The current Nissan NV Passenger Van is offered in three trim levels (S, SV and SL), ranging from a relatively bare-bones model to a more full-featured version. All are offered only in the heavy-duty 3500 capacity, which allows for maximum payload, under the assumption that if you're buying a 12-passenger van you're eventually going to load it up with 12 people, lots of cargo, or some combination of the two.
The entry-level S model comes fitted with a V6 engine, 17-inch steel wheels, deep-tinted rear privacy glass, 50/50-split rear doors with a rear bumper step, front and rear air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, four-way manually adjustable front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, three rows of reconfigurable rear seats, a tilt-only steering wheel, and a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio input.
Moving up to the midgrade SV adds 17-inch chrome wheels and chrome exterior trim, as well as nice-to-have extras such as rear parking sensors, remote keyless entry, an eight-way power driver seat, a lockable center console, cruise control, power front windows, power door locks, four 12-volt power outlets throughout the cabin, overhead lighting for the passenger rows, a security system, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and an upgraded six-speaker stereo.
Springing for the top SL trim, which is only offered with the V8 engine, gets you foglights, front parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control for the front seats, leather upholstery for all rows, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with real-time traffic info, a rearview camera, a hands-free texting assistant, a USB port and satellite radio.
V8-equipped models also get useful towing features, including extendable and heated chrome tow mirrors, an automatic transmission with tow mode, brake controller prewiring and a heavy-duty battery. Properly equipped, V8-powered models can tow trailers up to 8,700 pounds.
The biggest choice, of course, is what's under that stretched-out nose. A 4.0-liter V6 with 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque is standard. It sends power to the rear wheels by way of a five-speed automatic transmission. A 5.6-liter V8 engine, rated at 375 hp and 387 lb-ft and backed with a seven-speed automatic, is offered as an option on the base and SV models and comes standard on the top-of-the-line SL.
On the road, the Nissan NV rides and handles about how you'd expect a vehicle built on a full-size truck chassis would. Start adding passengers and cargo, however, and things tend to smooth out noticeably. For light-duty — say, ferrying a bunch of preschoolers to summer camp — the 4.0-liter V6 engine should be fine. That said, if you're going to be loading up 12 full-size adults and all their luggage (or towing sizable trailers), you'll want the 5.6-liter V8.
Used Nissan NV Passenger Van Models
The Nissan NV Passenger Van hasn't changed significantly over the past few years, but there are a couple of upgrades worth knowing about. First, V8-powered models added the tow package to the standard equipment list in 2014, and the available navigation system was upgraded to a genuine infotainment setup using NissanConnect apps in 2015. Finally, the original V8 was replaced by a new, more powerful and fuel-efficient 5.6-liter unit for the 2017 model year.
Read the most recent 2017 Nissan NV Passenger review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan NV Passenger page.