No, not the minivan market. We’ve covered that at length. We’re talking van vans — the slow-moving ones that used to terrorize your author as a child. (Turns out that media-driven social panic was mostly nothing, but I digress…)
Word comes to us that, as automakers recede from the commercial van segment, Nissan might be prepared to do the same.
It’s Spy Shot Weekend at TTAC. In addition to the Chinese metal driving around Ann Arbor we published yesterday, here are images of what could be a next-generation Nissan NV200 Compact Passenger van plying the highways of California by way of eagle-eyed TTAC reader Felix.
The van in the photos has all the hallmarks of being a Nissan prototype, including similar camo to that used on other Nissan models, explained spy photographer Brian Williams in an email.
Wake up, ladies and gentlemen, and listen to the happy news: we are in an automotive renaissance. The kind of renaissance that comes around but once every decade or two; the kind that’s accompanied by new designs and new powertrains and new features and new competition.
I am referring, of course, to the cargo van renaissance.
I’m not sure if you’ve realized it, but that’s exactly what’s going on around us: a renaissance of cargo vans. An explosion of new models, and new segments, and new powertrains, and new features, and new designs. When we look back years from now, we will all agree that the cargo van segment was forever changed by the years 2014 and 2015.
When Nissan invited me to sample the Versa Note hatchback, tucked away in a corner was the new-to-America Nissan NV200 compact cargo van. No, this isn’t a relative of the NV2500 that started out our commercial week in 2012, instead it’s a purpose-built cargo hauler [very] loosely based on the underpinnings of the Nissan Cube. You may have also seen the NV200 shown as NYC’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” choice, but this NV is all about hauling. (Strangely enough that’s why it makes a good taxi.)
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.
Every now and then a journalist sticks his foot in his mouth, and so it was with me and a Nissan PR person. PR person: we go the extra mile to make sure the press has access to everything we make, we don’t hide anything. Me: (after a long pause) oh yea? What about the NV Passenger van? How about that!? Eh? Why haven’t I seen one before? Hiding something? My Nissan minder whipped out his phone, made a call and a ginormous shiny black box appeared a week later. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I did not, I repeat, did not grovel and beg to Nissan’s top brass to get my hands on a full-size van.
The man-in-the-van makes the world go round but our brothers in white rarely get any love. That’s what this week is all about, it’s TTAC’s first ever commercial vehicle roundup. Plumbers, carpet cleaners, satellite TV installers, couriers, builders, we have heard your cries! Inspired by the lack of decent cargo hauler reviews (one review contained the line: “It has 8 cylinders which makes it a V8” ouch), we have assembled the cream of the commercial crop for your reading pleasure.
Today we have the new comer in the group, the all-new, all-Nissan NV2500 followed tomorrow by GM’s cargo hauler, Ford’s E-Series and Transit Connect and a special left-field review on day 5. Stay tuned! You’re probably thinking I forgot Mercedes’ Sprinter, but I didn’t. Commercial buyers I interviewed thought the Sprinter’s 6-cylinder diesel and high MSRP put it in a niche that didn’t directly compete with the white-vans of America. Can Nissan beat Detroit at its own game?
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- Surakmn Wrong question, for a lot of people even a PHEV has enough range for commute or errands. The problem is lack of a cost effective, speedy and available charging infrastructure. With an ICE you're usually never more than a few miles away from a ten minute fill up. THAT is what makes me comfortable on a cross country trip. Electrics can manage more routes than many people realize but you have to plan it out and allow for charging times and pray charging stations are real and working shopping the way. It's a few years out yet.
- John I had an 87 escort GT that was silver, it was a fun little car and got 35+ mpg average, one time I got 42 average on a turnpike trip.
- Jho65697139 That's going to take a lot of buffing.
- Corey Lewis No need for unique qualifications to care for this thing, it's just a Corolla with a different body on it.
- Jeff S How's you Fiat doing?