February 24, 2009 We first glimpsed Nissan's NV200 small van at the 2007 Tokyo Show when it displayed one of the most intelligent design concepts we've seen for a commercial vehicle. Now, the wraps are off the production version of the global small van and although three versions of the NV200 will be available, the box-within-box concept is sadly gone. Despite feeling we've been short-changed, the NV200 has an intelligent layout with seats that fold unconventionally to offer the largest load space (4.1 m3) in its class, petrol or diesel and a low cost of ownership.
Designed from the outset as both a commercial and a passenger vehicle, the Nissan NV200 brings new levels of space, comfort and practicality to the small van market, both in Europe and other global markets.
NV200 will be available in three different versions: a van with the largest load space in its class and two seven seat variants – the functional Combi version for loads and passengers, and the more plush passenger car version, which will be shown at Geneva Motor Show next week. The NV200 will launch in Japan in Q2, in Europe in Q3 2009, then in China and other markets.
NV200 uses innovative packaging ideas to create the largest and most practical cargo area in its class. Although a little under 4.4m in overall length, the van version of the NV200 has a load bay that’s more than 2m long (2040mm).
With front-wheel drive and the adoption of a highly compact rear suspension system, the NV200 can house two standard Euro pallets in the cargo area at a time. At 1.84m high NV200 is no taller than its rivals, while at 520mm from ground level, the floor itself is the lowest in the class to ease loading, helping to boost the cargo volume to 4.1m3. Maximum payload is 771kg.
Whilst many manufacturers of dual passenger-commercial vans fit removable seats, the seats in the NV200 Combi stay with the vehicle at all times. The middle row backrest has a 60/40 split to increase versatility and the entire assembly tumbles forward to fold flat against the front seats, while the rear pair fold individually to either side of the load area.
Throughout the creation of NV200, attention has been paid to ensuring the highest levels of quality with shut lines and panel gaps in line with the expectations of passenger car buyers.
While the van is optionally available with a side window, it differs from the passenger versions at the rear where it has twin side hinged “French” doors. Both seven-seaters have a fully glazed top hinged tailgate – though the Combi will be available with French doors - while the windows on both side doors have a sliding section for extra ventilation.
Built on a modified version of Nissan’s B Platform, NV200 has fully independent strut type front suspension mounted on a separate subframe and a compact and lightweight yet robust wide leaf spring rear axle.
The petrol version will be powered by Nissan’s renowned all aluminium 1.6-litre HR16 engine, as found in Micra, Note and Qashqai. Displacing 1,598cc, the 16-valve unit develops 79kW (108PS) and 153Nm of torque and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
The diesel, also found on Note and Micra, is Alliance partner Renault’s acclaimed 8-valve 1.5 dCi (K9K) 1,461cc engine. Developing 200 Nm of torque and 63kW (86PS), it offers an ideal blend of performance, refinement and fuel economy. Power is transmitted through a five-speed gearbox.
To create more space in the cockpit, the gearlever extends not from the floor but from the two-tone wrap around centre console. Above the gearlever, the centre section houses the heating and ventilation controls and the double DIN radio slot. Heating and ventilation extends to all three rows of seats.
The NV200 is available with an optional rear view parking camera, a first for a van in this segment, while the cabin is full of storage spaces, pockets and cup/bottle holders. There is also a secret storage space large enough to hide a camera, mobile phones or vital documents within the upper portion of the glovebox.
Joining the parking camera, other car-like items of standard or optional equipment include features such as Nissan’s Intelligent Key, power windows and ESP. Safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes with brake assist (BA) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) as standard. Driver and passenger airbags are also standard with side bags available as an option.
Pedestrian safety has also been considered with extra crash absorbing material in the bonnet and the adoption of an energy-absorbing bonnet.
Cost of ownership is projected to be among the lowest in the class thanks in part to the low running costs and high efficiency of the engines and drivetrains, but also thanks to the safety structure which helps to minimise crash damage to vulnerable under bonnet parts such as the radiator.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning