As a more nimble offering than Nissan's full-size NV cargo van, the NV200 makes a practical impression with its carlike driving experience and convenient features geared toward its mostly small-business buyers who deliver packages, flowers, or plumbing services.
The unibody NV200 provides seating for two, 122 cubic feet of cargo area, and 1,500 pounds of payload capacity. It was designed as a competitor to the Ford Transit Connect, and after Ford's 2014 redesign of its compact van, now offers a more affordable choice ($20,290 for the base model).
The van is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder paired with a CVT that doesn't announce itself while maneuvering through the city streets of Torrance, Calif. We tested the SV model with a back-up camera, hands-free calling, and navigation system. The back-up camera doesn't offer audible alerts.
While the NV200 lacks the muscle of its full-size NV sibling, it does provide a driver compartment with features designed for fleet drivers, including a central console with plenty of room for hanging files or a small laptop or tablet. The passenger seat folds down nicely to act as a mobile workspace.
The van provides an LCD fuel read-out in the gauge cluster, which can be helpful as a quick visual indicator for fuel level. And the door handles inside the van are high and well positioned to allow quick opening of the sliding doors from the inside to facilitate speedier deliveries. The cargo area offers plenty of well-placed mounting slots for interior setups, including shelves.
The fuel economy rating for the NV200 may be its most impressive feature, as it offers 24 miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway. We'll be interested to get behind the wheel of the 2015 Chevrolet City Express, a GM version of the NV200 that will offer a side window package on the cargo van.
Editor's note: View a full photo gallery of the Nissan NV200 cargo van here.
Originally posted on Automotive Fleet