First introduced to the United States market in spring 2011, the Nissan NV Cargo Van remains a true standard bearer in the commercial van segment. The NV Cargo combines innovation with Nissan's exceptional commercial vehicle heritage, which covers 75-plus years and more than 75 percent of the global CV market.
Designed from the ground up, from its rugged ladder frame to the roof rack mounting brackets on the top of the innovatively conceived and styled body, the Nissan NV Cargo is available in three innovative versions: NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD, and in Standard Roof and High Roof body configurations. High Roof models offer most users stand-up walkthrough/work cargo area capability. There is also a choice of 4.0-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engines.
Enhancements for the 2013 model year include the addition of a vinyl seat wear patch to the inside bolster of front row cloth seats (in addition to outside bolster) and a revised exterior color selection with three new colors: Glacier White, Graphite Blue, Midnight Garnet (also offered in Red Alert, Brilliant Silver and Super Black).
"As the first non-domestic nameplate to design, manufacture and sell commercial vehicles in the U.S., Nissan brings more than seven decades of proven durability, quality and reliability to our products," said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "At the same time, we've taken a fresh look at every aspect of business users' van needs here in this market – including size, powertrain, interior features, cost of operation and ownership, dealership sales and service operations and, most importantly, real world customer use and abuse. The result is a vehicle that not only stands up, but that most users can stand up in with the High Roof models."
In developing the NV Cargo, the Nissan planning team employed a wide range of innovative customer research methodologies, including focus groups, on-site visits and concept reviews. The quantitative and qualitative research took place all across America – Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Minnesota, Arizona and other markets. The team met with large fleet owners and managers, small business owners, aftermarket suppliers and converters and rode along with owners of competitive vehicles.
"The NV Cargo is one of the most researched projects ever in the history of Nissan. We touched the market at every point possible, with the findings reflected in every aspect of the NV Cargo design," added Castelli.
Comfortable Seating and Standing
Among the critical research finding was the fact that many van owners have been disposing of their vehicles in favor of light duty trucks – despite the compromise of convenience and utility. In developing the Nissan NV Cargo, one of the overarching goals was to combine pickup truck-like comfort, interior amenities and drivability with a cargo van's capacity and security.
"Looking at the CV market in recent years, there's been a migration of van users to light-duty pickups due to the lack of comfort, image and dependability of the current outdated van platforms," explained Castelli. "Yet many of these truck owners admit they need a van for weather protection, security and the convenience of a tall roof van to carry large items or equipment. With the Nissan NV Cargo, we're giving them the best of both worlds."
Answering one of the major unmet owner needs – driver comfort and roominess – the Nissan NV Cargo interior starts with wide front doors for easy ingress and egress, supportive bucket seating with extensive adjustability, large armrests and a truck-like driving position with ample legroom and foot room. The available center console (removable) provides a range of integrated storage features, while the fold-down passenger seat – which is unique to the segment – adds worktable functionality and enhances the cab's feeling of openness.
Another major contributor to the pickup-like cab is the absence of the traditional van engine "doghouse" that intrudes into the cab due to the setback engine placement. The Nissan NV Cargo utilizes a conventional truck engine layout with out-front engine design. This not only frees up space under the instrument panel and between the seats, it also provides easy under-hood access to the entire engine for routine service and maintenance.
"From the seats forward the NV Cargo looks, acts and feels like a pickup. You don't have to take apart the interior to access the engine and you don't have to worry about tucking your work boots into a cramped footwell," said Castelli. "But, make no mistake, behind the seats the NV Cargo is a pure, practical van."
The NV Cargo's ample cargo area offers a 120.0-inch cargo floor length and 70.2-inch maximum cargo floor width. NV Cargo Standard Roof models offer a maximum 55.8 cargo area height, among the tallest in class. The NV Cargo High Roof provides a maximum 76.9-inches of cargo room height – enough for most users to move about the cargo area while standing up straight.
"Standard Roof NV Cargo models are designed to fit in most garages or go through most car washes and fast food drive-through lanes – along with offering easier reach to access roof racks," said Castelli. "But for so many businesses, the added cargo capacity and the ability to stand up and work inside the High Roof NV Cargo is a priceless enhancement to their everyday operations and productivity."
Smart Functionality and Flexible Layout
Inspired by customer needs and usage, the Nissan NV Cargo offers an array of smart functionality features, including storage pockets, spaces and compartments designed to provide secure access to the typical commercial customers' everyday use objects.
High Roof models offer an available overhead console designed to hold work gloves, legal size binders, safety glasses and system books. The available lockable center console (removable) fits hanging files and laptop computers – and includes a computer or mobile phone charging point, as well as a lid that slides forward to provide a more usable work surface. The storage drawer under the driver's seat is ideal for storing paperwork, tools or other items that require quick access.
"A commercial van must serve many more functions today, including acting as a mobile office for time spent on the road or at a job site," said Castelli. "We've made storage and productivity items integral to the design, rather than tacked-on afterthoughts. The result is a clean, practical and comfortable workspace for a wide variety of professions and businesses."
Along with being conceived as a "mobile office," the Nissan NV Cargo is designed to function as a "mobile workshop" with exceptional utility – thanks to its wide door openings and simple, flexible cargo area layout with a long wide cargo floor, square-top wheelwell housings and nearly vertical sidewalls. The NV Cargo offers room between the wheelhouses to accommodate standard plywood or drywall sheets or pallets. There are also a range of cargo area tie-down rings and ample cargo area lighting.
Along with maximizing cargo space, the NV Cargo is designed to accommodate aftermarket customization and modifications with 57 reinforced integrated attachment points for installation of cargo customization equipment – requiring no sheet metal drilling. The nearly vertical sidewalls accommodate aftermarket storage systems without excessive modification. The cargo area also features a full-length inner panel to prevent cargo from denting the vehicle's outer skin (SV models), as well as a bulkhead behind the driver. The roof attachment points are designed to accommodate installation of various ladder or utility rack systems without piercing holes in the roof, which can lead to corrosion and water leaks.
The cargo area also features standard "upfitter pre-wiring" for easy access into the electrical system, wide-coverage cargo area lighting and available power outlets including available 3-prong 120V outlet in center console and D-pillar locations.
A Workhorse Foundation
Cost of ownership and operation is a critical factor in the CV segment, whether for major fleet operations or individual business owners.
That is why the Nissan NV Cargo is built on a durable fully boxed ladder frame and includes a choice of two engines – a powerful yet fuel efficient 4.0-liter V6 rated at 261 horsepower and 281 lb-ft of torque, or a powerful, torquey 5.6-liter V8 rated at 317 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of toque. Both engines are matched to a standard 5-speed automatic designed for hard use and low maintenance.
Other standard equipment includes heavy-duty 4-wheel disc brakes with 14.1-inch front/14.3-inch rear rotors and 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), engine-speed-sensitive hydraulic re-circulating ball steering system, independent front suspension with stabilizer bar, solid rear axle with leaf springs and stabilizer bar and 17-inch steel wheels and LT245/70R17 all-season tires.
Safety systems include dual-stage supplemental front air bags, 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, available supplemental front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags. Also standard is a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
Three Well-Equipped Models
The 2013 Nissan NV Cargo is offered in three well-equipped models, the V6-equipped NV1500; the NV2500 HD, which is offered with V6 and V8 engines; and the NV3500 HD with a standard V8 engine. All three models are available with the Standard Roof, while the High Roof body is offered in the NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD models only.
A number of option packages are offered, including various window configurations, side and curtain supplement air bags, and a Technology Package featuring SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Nissan Navigation System, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, USB interface and RearView Monitor.
The 2013 Nissan NV Cargo is assembled by Nissan North America manufacturing Canton, Mississippi plant. It is available through a select network of authorized Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide. For more information, please go to www.nissancommercialvehicles.com.
The Nissan NV is also available in a 4-row/12-passenger van version. For information on the 2013 NV Passenger Van, please go to NissanNews.com.
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