Very few automobile manufacturers can successfully fuse a pickup truck and a van together, but the engineers at Nissan sure seem to have accomplished just that – well, everything except stunning looks, but as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover. Prices on this unique commercial van range from $24,590 for the base model (NV 1500 S) to $29,790 for the NV 3500 SV. Overall, for what you get, this is a highly affordable vehicle, albeit an ugly one. The vehicle has the front and sides of a normal pickup truck, except the roof over the rear of the van is more like that of a van than a camper shell that you would typically see on a pickup. They’re available in 6 colors, including Avalanche, Brilliant Silver, Navy Blue, Red Alert, Tucson Sun and Super Black. Nissan engineered the NV to compete with the Ford Econoline – better known as the E-Series. While it can hardly be argued that Nissan beat Ford in looks, as usual, when it comes to performance, Nissan beats Ford by a long shot. The 3500 SV comes with an option for an extended roof height, making this model more suited to someone in the construction, plumbing, HVAC or similar industries, where they would need to carry lots of large gear and equipment. Unfortunately, the rear of the car resembles that of a large Honda Element, but as we’ve already said, looks shouldn’t be everything.
The 2012 Nissan NV 1500 S commercial van, comes with a solid 4.0-liter, V6 engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission. However, for those of us who really want some power, four of the other five models come with a jaw-dropping, rip-roaring 5.6-liter V8 engine with an automatic transmission and 316 horsepower. All models come with Electronic Stability Control as well as Traction Control, making this vehicle on of the safest and smoothest riding in its class. They also have a high towing capacity and come equipped with cargo tie-downs. This van is not for your average soccer mom. Instead, think of Rambo, if he were to own a van.
The 2012 Nissan NV was not exactly built for comfort on the interior, as they only come with AC, front overhead lights, 2 speakers, a CD player and AM/FM radio and an MP3 input capability. They also come with weatherproof floor mats for those days when you track mud and who knows what else into the cabin.
One thing that the test drivers didn’t like about the NV was that there is no option for diesel on any of the models. Additionally, the plastic armrests in the cabin can make for a fairly uncomfortable ride. On the plus side, they seemed to like it overall better than the Ford E-Series and liked the option for an extended roof on a few models.
So, don’t take our word for it, go to your nearest Nissan dealership and request to test drive a 2012 Nissan NV today. Try a few models and pick the one you like the best. Or don’t pick one at all, it’s totally up to you.