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2012 Nissan NV Review

This review was written when the 2012 Nissan NV was new.

Test drivers say the 2012 Nissan NV has great interior features, a strong optional V8 engine and good handling, especially for a work van.

Reviewers are impressed with the Nissan NV, which is new to the U.S. for the 2012 model year. This class is dominated by ancient work vans like the Ford E-Series, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, so auto writers are excited to see newer models like the 2012 NV, which have modern interiors, comfortable seats and better fuel economy.

Not only does the 2012 Nissan NV have a nicer interior than many of its rivals, but reviewers are surprised by its power and maneuverability. Though its base engine likely won’t be great for hauling lots of people or towing big loads because it lacks power, the NV’s optional V8 engine has more than enough power for most shoppers. Popular Mechanics even says “the NV feels more like driving a large pickup or SUV.” That’s high praise for a big work van.

The 2012 Nissan NV isn’t perfect though. It lacks features like all-wheel drive and can’t seat as many people as some of its rivals. But overall, test drivers say the Nissan NV’s price, utility, ease of use and interior comfort make it a top pick.

Other Vans to Consider

You should also consider the Chevrolet Express and the GMC Savana. Their exterior designs are dated compared with the Nissan NV, and their interiors aren’t as nice, but they offer four different engines, and are the only work vans that have an all-wheel drive option. Plus, they can seat up to 15 people, while the NV Passenger van can only seat up to 12.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is also a good choice if you need more space than the NV offers. The Sprinter can hold over 100 cubic feet more cargo than the NV can, and reviewers say it’s easy to drive despite its large size. The Sprinter costs a lot more than the NV, and its interior doesn’t have the luxury trappings we usually associate with Mercedes-Benz vehicles, but if your budget allows it, test drivers say the Sprinter will serve you well and is pretty fancy for a work van.

Details: Nissan NV

The 2012 Nissan NV is brand-new to the U.S. market. It is available as either a Cargo van or a Passenger van. Cargo vans are available as 1500, 2500 HD or 3500 HD models, and come in either S or SV trims. Passenger vans seat up to 12 people and are only available as 3500 HD models, though they can be configured in S, SV or SL trims.

See the full list of 2012 Nissan NV specifications.

  • "I can absolutely imagine the Nissan NV serving as a comfortable and practical vehicle in which to spend a day delivering packages, cakes, furniture, or whatever else was in the back of the big van.” -- Automobile Magazine
  • "A tall roof option, a pair of capable engines, relatively pleasant driving dynamics and attractive pricing make the 2012 Nissan NV a solid new entry into the commercial van market.” -- Edmunds
  • "Apart from the high load floor and longish snout, this van is easily the equal of the domestic rigs functionally; while its base V6 is up to the task for everything but seriously heavy cargo.” -- Consumer Guide
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

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