• Mar 10, 2010
Nissan NV commercial vans – Click above for high-res image gallery

Historically, America's commercial vehicle marketplace has been dominated by domestic automakers. Besides a small percentage of Sprinter sales from Dodge while under Daimler ownership, the fullsize van market has really only been occupied by Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Nissan is ready to change all that, and its opening salvo in the commercial vehicle marketplace is its NV series of vans.

Nissan's NV series – "NV" rather unimaginatively stands for Nissan Van, for what it's worth – relies on three different designations, NV1500, 2500 HD and 3500 HD, and two different roof heights (the High Roof is only available on the NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD models) to provide a platform for every conceivable need. Opting for the tall version will provide enough room for most people to stand up inside with no need to duck.

Interestingly, Nissan's research indicates that commercial van owners are the least satisfied of any vehicle segment, and as such, the automaker says that the NV design is that of an armored car a 'clean-sheet' approach resulting from one of the most researched projects Nissan has ever undertaken. That research has yielded a vehicle that utilizes a fully boxed steel ladder frame and rear-wheel drive with either a 4.0-liter V6 or an optional 5.6-liter V8. Both engines are mated to a standard five-speed automatic transmission.

No matter which engine or roof style is chosen, the NV will come with a user-definable interior layout that can accept standard-size drywall or plywood or any number of aftermarket cargo solutions. Up front, there are a number of storage pockets and compartments to hold whatever is needed, while High Roof models offer an overhead console for additional storage options.

Pricing is not yet available, but Nissan promises the NV series will hit authorized commercial U.S. dealerships before the end of the year. Want to know more? Be sure to check out our gallery of high-res images below and click past the break for the official press release.



[Source: Nissan]
Show full PR text
2011 Nissan NV Debuts at NTEA Work Truck Show

Breakthrough Design Brings New Thinking to CV Van Segment


Nissan Enters North American Commercial Vehicle Market with Innovative Standard and High Roof Vans Designed to "Help Businesses Run Better"

As Nissan finalizes plans to bring its first production commercial vehicle (CV) to the North American market in late 2010, it is starting with a truly ground up design – from its rugged ladder frame to the roof rack mounting brackets on the top of the innovatively conceived and styled body. Yet the all-new Nissan NV (Nissan Van) also has the advantage of Nissan's exceptional commercial vehicle heritage, covering 75 years and more than 75 percent of the global CV market.

"The new kid on the block, as it turns out, is also a long-time player in the global commercial vehicle market. As the first non-domestic nameplate to design, manufacture and sell CVs in the United States, we bring a more than seven-decade tradition of 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 the CV business – including styling, powertrain, interiors, cost of operation and ownership, dealership sales and service operations and, most importantly, real world customer needs."

The first production models in Nissan's new North American CV lineup are the 2011 Nissan NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. They will be available with a choice of 4.0-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engines and in two body styles, Standard Roof (all models) and High Roof (NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD only) – with High Roof models offering stand-up walkthrough/work cargo area capability.

"It's been too many years since any manufacturer in this segment has taken a 'clean sheet' look at the needs of owners and operators in the CV segment," said Castelli. "We've invested more than five years researching the comfort, style and smart functionality demands that will enable business owners to accomplish more throughout their day. We plan on coming out of the box with segment-busting vehicles, so customer input was essential."

The NV 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 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 final NV design," added Castelli.

Comfortable Seating and Standing

Research showed that commercial van owners are the least satisfied of any vehicle segment, with many van owners disposing of their vehicles in favor of light duty trucks despite the compromise of convenience and utility. In developing the new Nissan NV, 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, we're giving them the best of both worlds."

Answering one of the major unmet owner needs – driver comfort and roominess – the Nissan NV 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 CV engine "doghouse" that intrudes into the cab due to the setback engine placement. The Nissan NV utilizes a conventional truck engine layout with the engine and transmission located ahead of the firewall/A-pillar. 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 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 is pure, practical van."

The NV's ample cargo area offers a 120.7-inch cargo floor length and 70.3-inch maximum cargo floor width. NV Standard Roof models offer a maximum 55.4 cargo area height, among the tallest in class. The NV High Roof provides a maximum 76.5-inches of cargo room height – enough for most users to move about the cargo area while standing up straight.

"Standard Roof NV 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 will be a priceless enhancement to their everyday operations and productivity."

Smart Functionality and Flexible Layout

Inspired by customer needs and usage, the Nissan NV offers an amazing array of smart functionality features, including storage pockets, spaces and compartments designed to provide secure access to the typical commercial customers' everyday use objects. An under seat drawer, for example, fits small tools, stationary or first aid kits, while the deep door pockets fit flashlights, legal-size binders and clipboards. High Roof models offer an available overhead console designed to hold work gloves, legal size binders, safety glasses and system books. The available center console (removable) fits letter size files and laptop computers – and includes a computer or mobile phone charging point.

"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 is designed to function as a "mobile workshop" – thanks to its simple, flexible cargo area layout. Along with offering wide door openings, the NV 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.

The new Nissan NV was also designed to accommodate aftermarket outfitting and modifications. For example, the roof rack mounting brackets are designed for various rack systems without piercing holes in the roof, which can lead to corrosion and water leaks. The available "upfitter pre-wiring" allows easy access into the electrical system.

The NV also offers a full-length cargo area inner panel to protect the outer walls from dents and dings from the inside, and there are multiple weld-nut attachment points for shelving and racks – again requiring no sheet metal drilling. In addition, the NV's nearly vertical sidewalls maximize the usable cargo space, accommodating common aftermarket storage systems, as well as a bulkhead behind the driver.

Three Well-Equipped Models

Cost of ownership and operation is a critical factor in the CV segment, whether for major fleet operations or individual business owners. "From the rugged fully boxed all-steel frame to the body-on-chassis construction, the NV is designed to the highest Nissan standards of durability, quality and reliability," said Castelli. "The NV is designed to be affordable and to stand up to the abuse that real work trucks face everyday."

The new Nissan NV will launch with a choice of two engines – a powerful yet fuel efficient 4.0-liter V6 or a powerful, torquey 5.6-liter V8. Both engines will be matched to a standard 5-speed automatic.

Safety systems include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors), 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.

The 2011 Nissan NV will be offered in three well-equipped models, the NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. All three models will be available with the Standard Roof, while the High Roof body will be offered in the NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD models only. Additional information regarding standard features, trim levels and optional equipment will be provided later.

The new Nissan NV will be manufactured in Canton, Mississippi and available through a select network of authorized Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide. For updates and more information, please go to www.nissancommercialvehicles.com.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      Van Shelving
      • 8 Days Ago

      This multipurpose car is very nice. Its user-friendly features will attract people to purchase it. As it is a clean energy vehicle, it is the most important thing in this vehicle.

      Mossy Nissan ElCajon
      • 3 Years Ago
      if yiou are interetsed in test driving one of these vans or even renting one for a couple of days in San Diego area, call Mossy Nissan El Cajon @ 619-588-0500
      • 4 Years Ago
      Erik,
      Ford's transit Connect is turning out to be a flop !! Only 1,000 units per month!!!Just like the Sprinter was a flop less than 1,000 units a month ....The Dodge real full size van was a good seller outsold the Sprinter by 100,000 units,they last made a real Dodge Ram van in 2003 !! It was the King of the van conversions !!

      People in North America do not like odd looking Euro type vans,I predict this Nissan to be a flop !! If it wasnt so boxy it may of had a chance,if I squint at it some styling changes it could look o.k..?.. maybe ..
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nissan doing vans. Now we need Mercedes-AMG to do superbikes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd be damned before I bought one of these for my business...
      • 4 Years Ago
      What the hell happened here Nissan?! I remember getting honest-to-god excited about the NV when it was shown in concept form. And then there's this, which looks like the awkward teenage-years offspring of a Ford E-Series and the Titan...

      FUGS, Nissan. Fugs.

      Also, I'm calling FAIL on the whole decision to not offer a smallish diesel engine as an option. The success of the Sprinter in the States, as well as the backlash Ford received when the Transit Connect was released with only petrol engines wasn't enough to make this a no-brainer?

      Good thing I still stand by the MAJOR sucess of the Jute, because this big wad of ugly doesn't look like it's going to be setting the independent contracting world ablaze...

      • 4 Years Ago
      I like Ford's new approach to the van market better (Transit Connect). I really think so many van buyers don't need the fully boxed frame and large engine and all the weight and inefficency that comes with it. They just need a large enclosed space that they can move about as efficiently as possible. These NVs look more like the past to me than the future.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Erik, you are comparing apples to kumquats. The Transit Connect is much smaller than the NV. The NV is a competitor to the Ford E-Series vans.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jared, I think you might be missing my point. I am not comparing apples to kumquats. More compating Oranges to Tangerines. After all, NV, Econoline, and Transit Connect are all cargo vans.

        Since the demise of the Astro, Americans looking for a cargo van have had one choice - a full size, truck based body-on-frame with a large engine. Nissan research says that van owners are the least satisfied with their vehicle. They think this is because Ford and GMC do not make a good full size, truck based body-on-frame van with a large engine. They are wrong. The real reason customers are not happy is because they really didn't want a full size, truck based body-on-frame with a large engine, but that was all that was available, so they bought it. What they really wanted was something like a Transit Connect. That's why I think the Transit Connect will be a much bigger success than these NVs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In Europe, vans just like the Transit Connect are all you see in the cities (Tractor-trailers stay on the highways, where they belong!). Vehicles just like the Transit Connect are hardly anything new -- just new to us here in North America. Kudos to Ford for having the insight to tap into the mini-delivery truck market. I've long thought such vans would be a welcome here, and they clearly are.

        This Nissan appears to be much, much bigger than the typical European inner-city delivery vehicle though (plus it's ugly).
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's quite a schnozz.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No thanks, I will stick with the Econoline that is proven, my uncle has 2 at work with over 300,000 miles on them, they get beat on daily and rarely taken care of.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No diesel = No sales
      • 4 Years Ago
      No diesel?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually the Mercedes/Dodge Sprinter had a standard diesel here in the USA.

        I seem them all around here in the S.F. Bay area.

        They also are used on Class C motorhome chassis.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I know!!! I just don't understand the logic of a large gasoline engine in a cargo truck. Only in the US is this a practice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      van truck?
        • 4 Years Ago
        That grille looks straight off a Ranger.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agree with Hackman. It's very hard on the eyes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not a looker, but way less ugly than Ford's new E-Series van nose. Besides, the target demo for this vehicle is more concerned about functionality and durability.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks like a Ford Excursion with a sliding side door.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's exactly what I was thinking. Looks like they took the front end of a Titan and combined it with a Van...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Who cares how it looks? Function over form.

        But why the long nose? Is it really necessary to fit a monster engine in a delivery van?
    • Load More Comments