Nissan enters compact van market

By Jack Roberts on

Nissan unveiled its new NV200 compact commercial van Feb. 8 at the Chicago Auto Show.

The NV200, which has an estimated 1,500-pound payload capacity, will be priced “substantially less” than competitive vans, said Joe Castelli, vice president for Nissan Commercial Vehicle and Fleet.

“The U.S. commercial vehicle market is only just moving toward the compact van as a business solution, and we believe the NV200 will become the gold standard in the commercial van market,” Castelli said. “We expect this market segment to double in the next few years as fuel prices rise and businesses seek smaller vehicle solutions for more efficient operation in congested urban environments.”

While the NV200 is new to the North American market, Castelli noted the van is sold in over 40 countries. It was named “2010 International Van of the Year” by a panel of European journalists.

The vehicle’s exterior takes its design cues from existing Nissan truck and van lines and includes an aerodynamic front end and large, low-effort, dual sliding side doors. It has tall, 40/60 split-opening rear doors with dual opening positions of 90 and 180 degrees.

Up front, you’ll find a 2.0 liter, 16-valve dual, overhead cam four-cylinder engine teamed with Nissan’s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission. Other standard features include anti-lock brakes and an electronic brake force distribution system.

Nissan designed the NV200 with an overall length of just 186.2 inches sitting on a 115.2 inch wheelbase. The cargo dimension between the wheelhouses allows for loading standard U.S. 40-by-48-inch pallets. Standard integrated mounting points allow the installation of racks and shelves without drilling into the sidewalls. Six available floor-mounted cargo hooks allow for secure cargo securement in transit.

“There is an increasing need for a ‘right-sized’ van that optimizes cargo space while offering the best possible fuel economy and an affordable price — the exact sweet spots of the NV200,” Castelli added. “Businesses today are looking for vehicles that represent their brands in the best light — smart, innovative and professional. The NV200 does all that and much more.”

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts is executive editor for CCJ and equipment editor for its sister magazine Overdrive. Roberts joined Randall-Reilly in 1995 as associate editor of Equipment World magazine and began covering both heavy-duty and light trucks in 1996. In 2006 he was the founding editor of Total Landscape Care before joining CCJ's staff in 2008.

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