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2015 Nissan NV200 REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/5/2017

Con: Less power and cargo space than rivals.

Interior: Inside, the NV200 is long enough to fit a 6-foot ladder, wide enough to hold a standard 48-inch pallet between the rear wheelhouses, and almost 4.5 feet tall. Nissan has already done some of the work for you by providing standard integrated mounting points to allow the installation of racks and shelves without the need to drill into the van's walls. Those should give drivers an easy way of securing and organizing their tools and supplies. The SV trim also includes six cargo tie-down points for further versatility.

The passenger-side seat has an underseat storage tray, and the seatback can be folded down to increase cargo space or serve as a flat work table, whether for using a laptop to track paperwork or catching a quick lunch. The steering wheel doesn't telescope, which might make it more difficult to find a comfortable driving position. But one nod to modern tech is the available NissanConnect infotainment system, which includes a 5.8-inch color touchscreen.

Cargo capacity in the 2015 Nissan NV200 is 122.7 cubic feet, with a maximum payload of 1,480 pounds. That's certainly capable, but other small vans typically do a bit better. For comparison, the long-wheelbase Ford Transit Connect offers 130.6 cubic feet of space and a 1,620-pound payload. The Chevrolet City Express has the same specs as the NV200.

Body: The 2015 Nissan NV200 is a two-passenger compact cargo van that's designed for commercial use. It's available in S and SV trims.

Standard features on the S version include 15-inch steel wheels, 40/60-split rear cargo doors, sliding side doors, power front windows, wide-angle spotter mirrors, a front 12-volt power outlet, cloth and vinyl upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat passenger seat and a two-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. Options for the S trim include cruise control and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

The SV adds heated power mirrors, power locks, keyless entry, cruise control, an additional rear 12-volt power outlet and six cargo area tie-down hooks. The SV also gives you access to more options. The Exterior Appearance package fits the NV200 with body-color mirrors and bumpers, while the Technology package adds a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, smartphone app integration, voice controls, an enhanced audio system, navigation, a USB/iPod interface, satellite radio and a rearview camera.

Optional on both the S and SV are rear door windows with privacy glass, right-hand sliding door glass, rear parking sensors, a rear defroster and an interior rearview mirror.

Driving: From behind the wheel, the 2015 Nissan NV200 feels more like a car than a truck. And if you're used to large, lumbering plumber vans, it will seem like a revelation, especially in the way you can more easily park and maneuver around town. On the other hand, the NV200's small four-cylinder engine isn't the most powerful in the class, and there's no optional upgrade as in the Ford Transit Connect. Let's just say that with a full payload, the NV200's acceleration will not be swift.

What’s New: For 2015, notable changes to the NV200 include a revised transmission (it provides slightly better fuel economy) and the availability of optional rear parking sensors and a sliding door glass package. An updated infotainment system is also available for the SV version.

The NV200 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 131 hp and 139 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive. In Edmunds.com testing, an SV Cargo version required a full 10 seconds to reach 60 mph from a dead stop. For 2015, the EPA-estimated fuel economy has increased slightly this year to 25 mpg combined (24 city/26 highway). While that same van was with us, we recorded an impressive 27 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation loop, and overall, we averaged 23 mpg.

Safety: Standard safety features on the 2015 Nissan NV200 include antilock brakes (front disc/rear drum), stability control, traction control, full-length side curtain airbags and front-seat-mounted side airbags. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are optional.

At the Edmunds test track, the NV200 SV Cargo van needed 137 feet to stop from 60 mph which is a long distance considering that it was an empty cargo van.

Pro: Competitive price; more efficient and maneuverable than bigger vans; economical four-cylinder engine.

Edmunds Say: The 2015 Nissan NV200 has less cargo space and power than other compact cargo vans, but its low price, efficient engine, around-town maneuverability and versatile interior still make it a good choice for businesses.

Introduction: The 2015 Nissan NV200 is part of a budding niche of compact cargo vans that provide better fuel economy and easier maneuverability than larger commercial vans. Overall, the NV200 is a surprisingly functional and agile option for those who don't need to haul supersized loads, and it's an especially good choice for moving cargo through tight, congested city traffic. These are some of the reasons it earned an Edmunds.com "B" rating. In fact, passenger versions of the NV200 are now being used as taxis in New York City.

The NV200 is based on a car platform, and it provides a less jolting ride on the highway than larger truck-based vans like Nissan's commercial NV models. Gas mileage of 25 mpg combined is in line with or better than that of other compact cargo vans. Understandably, the interior is pretty utilitarian, but it provides a number of useful features, such as a low loading floor, a front passenger seat that can double as a work table and the availability of the NissanConnect infotainment system. The rear doors are split in a 60/40 configuration, with the shorter door on the driver side of the vehicle, minimizing a potential intrusion into the street when open. The NV200 is also less expensive than competitors from Ford and Ram and, for 2015, provides the longest basic warranty in the class: five years or 100,000 miles.

On the downside, don't expect robust acceleration, especially when carrying a full load. The NV200's 131-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is smaller and less powerful than those in some rivals. In addition, the NV200's payload and cargo capacity are relatively modest, even for this class.

There isn't a lot to cross-shop in this tiny category, but each of the available models has its own pros and cons. The 2015 Ford Transit Connect offers a choice of two four-cylinder engines, both of which offer more power than the NV200 does, while returning similar fuel economy. Also available is the new 2015 Ram ProMaster City, which is based on a small Fiat van from Europe. You also should check out the new 2015 Chevrolet City Express, which is basically an NV200 with Chevy badging. Which model works best for you will depend on your needs, but we think that most businesses and fleet owners will find the 2015 Nissan NV200 to be competitive in this class and a good alternative to bigger, costlier cargo vans.

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