First Drive: 2012 Nissan NV2500 HD

Unlike the Titan, however, the NV is offered in three different weight classes. The entry-level NV1500 can handle payloads up to 2590 pounds, while the heavy-duty NV2500 and NV3500 models can lug up to 3142 and 3925 pounds, respectively.Regardless of the model, all NVs ride upon a 146.1-inch wheelbase and measure 240.6 inches in length. NV1500 models are available only with the standard 84-inch roof height, which provides 234.1 cubic feet of cargo room. The 2500 and 3500 models, however, are optional with a Sprinter-like high roof, which measures 105 inches tall, and boosts volume to 323.1 cubic feet.

Those familiar with Nissan's pickup models will likely recognize the NV's engine offerings. NV1500 and 2500 models come standard with a 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6, derived from Nissan's venerable VQ engine family. Optional in the 2500 range and standard on NV3500 models is a 5.6-liter V-8, shared with the Titan and Armada SUV. Regardless of the cylinder count, all NV models send their power to the rear axle via a five-speed automatic transmission.

Different By Design
The NV's pickup roots may be evident upon first glance. Unlike other vans, which traditionally have a cab-forward stance, the NV sports a long, truck-like snout. An unusual tactic, but it does allow Nissan to keep the engine from entering the cabin, which improves both passenger space and routine maintenance.

Commercial clients, however, will be more interested in the attention to detail exhibited throughout the NV's cargo area. A standard step bumper, along with a large doorway-mounted grab handle, help when climbing up through the rear doors -- which, if need be, can open nearly 243 degrees. There's nearly 54 inches of space between the rear wheelwells -- more than enough to accommodate a standard pallet or a sheet of drywall -- and six D-ring tie-downs integrated into the floor are capable of holding up to 1100 pounds.

Owners looking to install interior cargo racks will appreciate the NV's slab-sided design, which allows shelving to be installed without eating into additional cargo room. Better yet, Nissan's provided a number of reinforced mounting points alongside the interior walls, which allow racks, shelving, and other equipment to be installed without drilling through sheetmetal. Cargo area lighting is standard, and accessory power outlets -- including a 120-volt, 400-watt power point in the rear cargo area -- are optional.

Those wondering if it's possible to convert the NV into a pseudo shuttle bus may wish to wait until later this year, when Nissan plans on rolling out a bona fide passenger variant. Officials say the NV-based people mover will be offered only in a standard roof form, and will be able to comfortably seat 12.

Yet another needlessly clunky, clueless design from the "leadership" of Larry Dominique. When will Nissan stop allowing him to pollute our highways with these over-chromed eyesores?!!!

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles