Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Nissan NV200

Alex L. Dykes
by Alex L. Dykes
chicago auto show 2014 nissan nv200

If the Transit Connect isn’t your bag but you’re looking for a small cargo carrier (or a New York Taxi), Nissan is finally bringing their NV200 to the USA. The small cargo hauler has been on sale in Japan and Europe since 2009 but due to the success of the Transit Connect Nissan has decided to bring it our way. What do you need to know? Click past the jump to find out.

The NV200 is based on the same platform as the Cube and Versa but stretched for American cargo duty. This means the vehicle has car-like ride aspirations, a 2.0L gasoline engine and, you guessed it, a continuously variable transmission. Nissan kept the MacPherson struts up front but swapped the torsion beam setup in the rear for commercial-style leaf springs to bring the payload capacity up to 1,500lbs. Note that an official cargo carrying capacity has yet to be announced.

Nissan tells us that a standard 40×48 inch pallet can be accommodated in the rear, and thanks to doors that fold flat with the sides of the van you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a forklift in there to do the lifting. Just make sure it’s not a heavy pallet. Cargo carrying is helped by a load floor that is flat all the way to the front, a notable change from the Transit Connect that has a load floor higher than the passenger floor. This means it will be more practical to remove the front passenger seat in the NV for more hauling room.

Interior bits come from a variety of Nissan products with a unique dashboard and Nissan’s low cost nav system can be added as an option. The last, and perhaps most important thing to keep in mind is the engine. The 2.0L four is borrowed from the Sentra but Nissan hasn’t released power numbers yet. Some are suggesting that we should expect it to be detuned for cargo duty to around 135HP, but I hope they are wrong. Also not clear is whether the NV200 will be getting the newer CVT with 2-speed gearset which broadens the ratio spread of the CVT.

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  • Sbunny8 Sbunny8 on Feb 09, 2013

    I just looked up the fuel economy; it's 25 mpg highway and 24 mpg city. That's a mediocre number for highway (comparable to the 1996 Ford Windstar 3.0L, 1998 Plymouth Voyager 2.4L, 1993 Eagle Summit Wagon, 2004 Toyota Sienna, etc.) but that's a very good number for city driving. I've rarely seen a minivan that can do better than 20 mpg in the city. It's certainly a helluva lot more efficient than the Chevy Astro or the Mazda MPV. Still, not exactly what I would call impressive, fuel-wise. Nissan sells a clean-burning diesel version of the NV200 in Europe which gets about 45 mpg but here in the USA we're stuck with the version that uses twice the fuel. Thanks a lot. I wish Toyota would make a minivan version of the Prius.

  • Ibizaguy Ibizaguy on Feb 09, 2013

    It is actually Fiat Doblò size albeit narrower. To me, it really looks ankward in real :(

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).