A clean-sheet approach to designing its mid-sized NV200 van series has handsomely paid off for Nissan.
Introduced to the UK in 2009, the NV200 was derived from a proven car chassis but adapted for its CV role and the result is an extremely capable yet comfortable model which is both good for drivers and deliveries.
Get a FREE quote on your next NISSAN NV200
Click below and save up to 30% on a new NISSAN NV200
It has won three major UK and international awards for Nissan already.
It’s fairly compact and available in a selection of body styles to suit particular roles with rear doors, side and rear doors, fixed bulkhead, tubular bulkhead and five or seven seat combi-chassis, which is the basis for the New York taxi contract it won in 2010.
Engine and specification details
For 2012 under the bonnet you can choose the newer 1.5-litre 110ps or original 85ps diesel engine and five or six speed manual transmissions, but there is no automatic choice. You can choose between E, SE or n-tec trim levels which progressively add more technical or comfort features.
Our test model is the best selling 1.5-litre 85ps engine and middle SE trim, using the twin-sliding side doors and double rear doors. This includes powered front windows and mirrors, a reversing camera and Bluetooth connectivity with additional under seat storage.
This range of doors means you have excellent access to the load area and at over 4.2-litres, it is generous for its overall size.
The back doors open 180-degrees, the cargo floor is low and you have a flat, straight-sided illuminated compartment with tie-down eyelets and only slightly intruding arches.
In the cabin you step up as in most vans but once seated it is very car-like in feel and layout with a high set gearlever and deep fascia including some storage holes for small items.
There are plenty of cubby holes in the doors and under the seat but I found the open shelf on the dash allowed anything to slip off. Between the seats there’s a useful compartment which drops forward to increase capacity.
Air conditioning clears the glass after a while but the heating and ventilation is not a strong point of the NV200. It is noisy but the heat level is modest and it struggles to fill the cabin with inadequate direction and output.
Drive and technology
The powertrain is surprisingly good for an 85ps engine. It starts fairly quickly and pulls well with light load aboard while it cruises effortlessly on the motorway.
A light clutch, short throw direct lever and five good ratios to hand, give it a lively feel and the brakes are good while steering makes it nimble and easy to park, aided by the SE’s rear camera.
Secondary controls are simple and well placed; the basic speedometer is matched by a multi-unit for temperature and fuel which also doubles up as a display for the on-board computer.
This showed we achieved 43mpg overall compared to a suggested 54mpg on the combined cycle.
Apart from the very sensible reversing camera, the visibility out of the NV200 is very good with a low waistline, big mirrors, deep windows, effective front wipers and good lights. You know the engine is working away when you press on the accelerator but the usual mechanical noises are muted, road rumbles and wind are also low.
Even the suspension is not particularly intrusive as it soaks up bumps and potholes with only rougher roads unsettling it. It is not cutting edge suspension but it blunts a lot of normal road shocks.
It does tend to plough on in tight corners but ease off and it all comes back on course in an undramatic fashion and most of the time it is well behaved, near neutral through sweeping bends and it’s not really put off by cross-winds. There is a tendency to roll on tight turns and lift an inside wheel but it is all very predictable and safe.
Overall, the Nissan NV200 in 85ps form is good for light loads, economical and has moderate emissions for tax purposes. Go for the more powerful engine if you need to carry weight or cover long distances on a regular basis.
The enduring features of this van are its smoothness and user-friendliness, particularly in its open-all-areas configuration. Nissan has got it right for so many users.
Nissan NV200 SE 1.5 dCi
Price: basic £12,885, VED+1st reg £265 fee, OTR price £13,150 exc VAT.
Engine: 4cyl 8v 1461cc 63kw / 3750rpm, torque 200Nm/ 2000rpm, 5sp manual.
Suspension: MacPherson strut, lower link and anti roll bar front suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs and rigid rear axle, electric powered rack and pinion steering, powered front disc and rear drum brakes with ABS, EBD and brake assist.
Dimensions: 4.4m long, 1.86m tall and 1.695m wide.
Weight and capacity: GVW 2000KG, 4.2m3, fuel tank 55 litres.
Performance: Max 98mph, consumption 43mpg on test, 137gkm CO2.
Insurance group: 6E T2.