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2019 Nissan NV200: New Car Review

The 2019 Nissan NV200 is the prefect solution for small businesses on a budget, offering an economical way to move goods and provide services without the big price tag or fuel bills of a full-size van. Easy to own and operate, the NV200 has a deceptively large cargo hold that can be configured to suit just about any need.

Built from the same platform as Nissan’s compact cars, the NV200 provides nimble handling and a smooth ride, along with a tight turning diameter and diminutive dimensions that allow it to maneuver through narrow alleys and to park in the smallest spaces. Competing with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and the Ram ProMaster City, the NV200 offers excellent fuel economy, a roomy 122.7-cu ft. cargo bay (slightly smaller than the Ford) and a host of innovative features designed around the needs of the small-business owner. Toss the best standard warranty of any commercial van (5 years/100,000 miles limited and powertrain) and it’s easy to see why the NV200 has won over so many small business heart and minds.

What’s New for 2019?

The 2019 NV200 carries over with no major changes.

What We Like

Serious cargo capacity; low base price; good fuel economy; manageable size; car like driving dynamics; excellent warranty

What We Don’t

Lacks the muscle and space of full-size vans; missing some high-tech telematics and work-assist features found on the Transit Connect

How Much?

$23,245-$26,000

Fuel Economy

The NV200 is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 131 horsepower and 139 lb-ft of torque. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic (CVT).

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the NV200 achieves a fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. That’s pretty good for a beast of burden.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Nissan NV200 is offered in two trim levels: S and SV.

The S trim ($23,245) comes standard with 15-in steel wheels, cloth upholstery with vinyl wear patches, adjustable driver lumbar support, power windows, power door locks, Hill Start Assist, a 12-volt power point in the center console, a trip computer, a fold-down passenger seat with a seatback tray table, Nissan’s mobile-office center console (including laptop and hanging file-folder storage, a pen/pencil tray, a CD holder and dual cup holders), 60/40-split rear cargo doors that open up to 180 degrees, 20 interior cargo mounting points, six exterior roof-rack mounting points, a rearview monitor and a 2-speaker CD audio system with auxiliary and USB ports, a 5-in color display and Bluetooth.

The SV ($24,245) adds power-heated mirrors, six floor-mounted D-rings in the cargo area, power locks, keyless entry, cruise control and an additional 12-volt power point.

NV200 options include satellite radio, NissanConnect with navigation, which features a 5.8-in touchscreen display, a navigation system and voice-command functionality. Rear sonar parking assist, cruise control and glass windows for the rear and side doors are also available.

The NV200’s standard dual-sliding side doors make the cargo area accessible from either side of the vehicle. The French-style rear doors split 60/40, with the wider door on the curb side to ease loading and unloading. Both doors open up to 180 degrees so they won’t get in the way. A 90-degree detent is also provided.

Nissan’s compact van owes its cargo capacity of 122.7 cu ft. to the unique extended body for North American models. Elsewhere in the world, the NV200 is 7.9 inches shorter. By comparison, the Ford Transit Connect long wheelbase model offers 149 cu ft., and the RAM ProMaster City offers 131.7 cu ft. of cargo space. Nissan estimates payload for the NV200 at 1,480 pounds.

Safety

The NV200 comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control and six airbags (front, side and side-curtain). It has not been crash-tested in the U.S. as of this writing.

Behind the Wheel

The NV200’s cabin features no-nonsense materials and controls. There’s nothing that looks or feels luxurious, but we suspect the durability factor will prove to be high. Hardworking drivers will appreciate the standard adjustable lumbar support, and the vinyl wear patches should extend the cloth upholstery’s shelf life. The no-frills knobs and buttons feel sturdy and are intuitively laid out.

On the road, the NV200’s car like unibody construction is apparent. You’ll never forget that you have a massive cargo box behind you. Otherwise, though, the NV200 essentially drives like a car. The steering is light yet precise, and the suspension swallows bumps with none of the harshness and clatter you get in larger, truck like work vans. Plus, if you need to make deliveries, the NV200’s compact footprint means you can park it just about anywhere, as this van is smaller than many crossover SUVs.

If the NV200 has a weakness, it’s the mandatory 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, which delivers adequate punch but nothing more. European buyers can specify a turbodiesel 4-cylinder, and we think utility-minded Americans would appreciate the diesel’s superior torque off the line. However, Nissan reps tell us that it was too expensive to get the diesel certified in this country, so the gas-powered 4-cylinder is all we get. Fortunately, its 139 lb-ft of torque manages to scoot the little NV along with reasonable authority, and the gearless CVT delivers eerily smooth acceleration. The 24 mpg city fuel economy is a nice perk, too.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ford Transit Connect — The similar Transit Connect can haul more cargo than the NV200, and it offers more power and configurations, including a passenger van. The NV200, however, is less expensive and features Nissan’s nifty mobile-office storage system.

2019 Ram ProMaster City — The ProMaster City has more power and can be configured as a passenger van, as well. The ProMaster City costs more than the NV200, but the Nissan has better city fuel-economy figures.

2019 Chevrolet City ExpressChevrolet borrows the City Express from Nissan, so it’s essentially an NV200 with a Chevy grille. The upside to buying the Chevy over the Nissan is a bigger dealer network. Unfortunately, you’ll get Nissan’s audio, navigation and apps system, not the superior MyLink system from GM.

Used Chevrolet Express Cargo Van — A 2010-2017 Chevrolet Express model can be had for about the same price as a new NV200, offering more interior room but worse fuel economy.

Autotrader’s Advice

The NV200 offers some interesting optional features, but if we were in the market for a work van, we’d stick with the base S model and save a bundle in comparison to the rival Transit Connect.

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