Hooniverse at the NTEA – The Nissan NV Commercial Van


As many of you are aware, I was at the NTEA Work Truck Show this past week, and many of you have asked about this particular truck, the new Nissan NV. This truck was introduced at this very show a year ago, and they are now showing up at Nissan Commercial Dealers now. So, is this new van competitive with the domestic Econoline or Savanna/Express products, and how well does it compete with the Sprinter?


The Nissan NV is offered in three models; The NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. The NV will come to market with a single 146.1-inch wheelbase. The High Roof trim (available only on NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD models) provides for 76.5 inches of cargo height. The NV went in an unusual design direction compared with the rival domestic commercial vans with its long-hood design, which allows for most engine service work to be performed from under the hood. Ford and GM models require dismantling the interior to perform service work.

The NV will come with a 4.0-liter V6 engine or an optional 5.6-liter V8 (Standard on the 3500 HD). Both engines will use a five-speed automatic to route power to the rear wheels. High Roof models will provide over 300 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough room for most owners to stand up straight in the cargo area. The front passenger seat will fold down to increase work space. An in-dash navigation system will be optional, as will Bluetooth capability, something not offered by either Ford or GM.

The real competitor to the NV is the Sprinter Van, which is available with two wheelbases, two roof heights, and is available in 2500 and 3500 models. The short wheelbase model is comparable to the NV at 144 inches, and offers 371 cubic feet of cargo space. However, with almost the same cargo capacity, the 2500 HD NV is price at $27,990, while the Sprinter starts out at $38,350, giving the High Roof Nissan a distinct price advantage.

There were several on display at the show, with two located within the Adrian Steel Booth showing off their shelving product. With the combination of price and cargo flexibility, this will be a strong competitor to the established domestic vans, as well as offering an alternative to the Sprinter. There will be more offerings in this once morbid sector in the coming months which include a new Fiat based Ram Van, and the Ford full sized Transit which will replace much of the 20+ year old Econoline.

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  1. Syrax Avatar
    Syrax

    The proportions are… the nose… er, no. I guess the easy access will pay off but it looks fugly.

    1. CJinSD Avatar
      CJinSD

      I'm not sure the engine access is a worthwhile tradeoff. Isn't the packaging of a conventional van based on the idea of having a large cargo area relative to external dimensions? This seems like a huge step backwards, although it will probably be better built and better to drive than any Econoline. I'd love to see Toyota take a crack at a full sized van.

      1. Feds_II Avatar
        Feds_II

        Hi Ace,
        Toyota does make a full sized van, just not in North America
        <img src="http://www.toyota.com.au/static/images/hiace/hiace-gallery-view-the-slwb-and-lwb-749×422.jpg&quot;, width=500>

      2. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        I think it depends on the nature of the organization. Companies with larger fleets may look at cost of operation, which the Nissan might have the edge in (given easier engine access and potentially better fuel economy). For the guy buying his own work van, it'll be interesting to see if he chooses the domestic's smaller exterior (by a foot or two), or the Nissan's better driving dynamics and available high roof.

  2. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    The Sprinter does have one advantage in that a diesel is standard equipment while Nissan so far doesn't offer one even as an option.

    1. Abe Avatar
      Abe

      …and the base Sprinter has about 70 more cubic feet of cargo space.

    2. Syrax Avatar
      Syrax

      Does VW sell the Crafter in US? It's a cheaper Sprinter, with VW's 2.5 TDI.

      1. tonyola Avatar
        tonyola

        I don't think so. There's no mention of it on VW's US websites and I've never seen one.

        1. Syrax Avatar
          Syrax

          Maybe it's part of the deal. The Constellation is kicking MB's trucks ass here, breaking an eight year leadership, but the Sprinter is the segment leader.

          1. tonyola Avatar
            tonyola

            There is also the issue of the 25% Chicken Tax imposed on trucks imported into the US. It's one of the reasons why the Sprinter is so expensive here. Nissan is getting around the tax by assembly in North America. VW would have to do the same to avoid it.

  3. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar
    From_a_Buick_6

    Nissan should do very well with this. The Ford and Chevy vans are appalling in every way and the Sprinter isn't remotely competitive on price. Really needs a diesel, though.

  4. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar
    Age_of_Aerostar

    Seems like a giant step backwards, as the Sprinter and upcoming full-size Transit have shorter noses.
    I can't see how customers like airport shuttle services would want this van, as it's large nose would only make it harder to navigate and park in close quarters.
    Does remind me how Ford promoted the Club Wagon/Econoline's "out front" or something design when they originally enlarged the hood and pushed the engine forward, as compared to the GM and Chrysler full size vans of the day.

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