Over the last five years, Nissan has been gradually breaking into the commercial vehicle sector with its NV family of vans. The NV1500, NV2500, and NV3500 were designed in North America by North Americans, for North Americans – you won’t find this beast of burden in Japan or Europe. They ride on Nissan’s F-Alpha fully boxed ladder frame, which is shared with its line of trucks and SUVs, providing them with the strength to tow and carry heavy loads.
For 2017, the NV van receives a noteworthy mechanical update, designed to add some serious muscle. The available V8 engine has been upgraded to the new 5.6-litre Endurance motor featured in the Titan and Titan XD. With variable valve timing and direct fuel injection, power spikes to 375 horsepower, up from 317 hp, while torque swells to 387 hp. This engine allows the NV to take the title of most powerful van on the market, though the optional EcoBoost turbo V6 in the Ford Transit makes slightly more torque (400 lb-ft). Paired with this engine is an upgraded seven-speed automatic transmission which drives the rear wheels. The combination of the more advanced engine and transmission give the new V8 powertrain an eight percent advantage over the outgoing combination.
The base engine for the NV is a 4.0-litre DOHC V6 engine, which produces 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a heavy-duty five-speed automatic.
Unlike every other rival, the NV doesn’t offer a diesel engine.
The Passenger Van is offered exclusively in 3500 form in SV and SL trims, the latter of which comes exclusively with the V8. Vans can have either three rows or four rows of seats that can accommodate up to 12 passengers; the second-, third-, and fourth-row seats can be removed or reconfigured for up to 324 different seating configurations.
The SV trim features chrome-clad 17-inch wheels and exterior trim, cloth upholstery, trip computer, a dozen rear heating and cooling vents, AM/FM radio, CD player, USB port, aux-in jack, rear parking sensors, power door locks, power mirrors, power front windows, cruise control, dual 12-volt power outlets, and overhead interior lighting.
The SL comes standard with the V8, adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, front parking sensors, fog lights, extending chrome-clad tow mirrors, 5.8-inch touchscreen navigation display, and a reverse camera.
The Cargo Van is offered in 1500, 2500, and 3500 forms; the 1500 comes exclusively with the standard roof height in S trim, whereas the 2500 and 3500 can be had in standard or high-roof form in S or SV trim. The 1500 comes exclusively with the V6, the 2500 with the V6 or V8, and the 3500 exclusively with the V8.
The 1500 S features 17-inch steel wheels, hard-wearing vinyl and water-repellent cloth upholstery, six interior-mounted D-ring latches, 10 exterior roof rack mounting brackets, pre-wiring for upfitting, trip computer, and a two-speaker AM/FM radio with CD player and aux-in jack. The 2500 and 3500 S add dual power exterior mirrors, additional under-seat storage tray, two additional speakers, rear door pocket storage, and additional cargo area work lights.
The 2500 SV trim adds styled steel wheels, rear cargo floor protector, hardboard interior cargo panels, dual power mirrors, power windows and locks, cruise control, two additional speakers for the audio system, rear sonar system, multi-function lockable storage console with 120-volt outlet, a rear-mounted 120-volt power outlet and two additional cupholders.
SV trims can also be outfitted with Bluetooth, satellite radio, and a 5.8-inch touchscreen navigation system with reverse camera.
Pricing for the NV Cargo starts at $34,688 for the 1500 V6 S, and tops out at $43,848 for the 3500 V8 SV High Roof. The NV Passenger starts at $44,848 for the 3500 V6 SV and tops out at $48,848 for the 3500 V8 SL.
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