The Nissan NV Passenger van, a relatively new player in a segment dominated for decades by the Ford E-Series and Chevrolet Express, comes packed with innovative features to make it an attractive choice for livery services, businesses, and those consumers simply needing a ton of usable space.
Seating up to 12 passengers with any of 324 possible seating configurations, Nissan says, the NV is high on utility. Though it doesn't come in the long-wheelbase 15-passenger variant of its competitors, the NV does offer a well-thought-out seating area and an available high-roof option. Time to haul some cargo? Remove all the rear seats and you'll find 234 cu.ft. of cargo space, accessible through rear doors that swing 243 degrees, and stay open thanks to magnets built into the body sides.
Buyers will find the choice of a 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V6 or an advanced 5.6-liter DOHC V8 with 317 horsepower. The EPA has not released official mpg estimates for the NV Passenger, but owners have reported efficiency of between 13 and 18 mpg for the V8 version. Towing capacity is up to 9,500 lbs.
The NV3500HD comes in S, SV and SL variants, each offering a little more in the way of creature comforts. The base and SV models feature cloth seating with vinyl wear patches, while top-spec models come with full leather interior and such niceties as multi-zone climate control, front and rear sonar park assist, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, and more.
As for pricing, the NV Passenger is quite competitive with American offerings, and costs far less than the similar Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The base S model starts at $31,990 with pricing topping out at $37,690 for the SL. Load that up with the Technology Package, which brings GPS, USB ports and more, and you're looking at around $40k.
The 2013 NV lineup is available now, with 2014 models expected by the end of the calendar year.