Full-size van; Built in
  • 3-door van
  • 3-door van
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $14,900 – $36,000*


2012 Nissan NV Cargo


2012 Nissan NV Cargo


2012 Nissan NV Passenger


2012 Nissan NV Passenger

Pros:
  • Cargo room
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Maneuverability

The Nissan NV fills an interesting commercial-vehicle gap between old-school domestic cargo vans and the larger, pricier Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner Sprinter. The NV’s design is much newer than the rival vans from Ford and GM, so it feels more refined and up-to-date. However, the NV’s massive size and industrial-grade accoutrements mean it’s strictly a workhorse vehicle, and not for general consumers. In this respect, the NV acquits itself very well, and it’s reasonably priced to boot.

Overview

This full-size, rear-drive van was one of Nissan’s dedicated commercial vehicles. A derivative of the Nissan Titan full-size pickup truck, the NV was offered in Cargo and Passenger variants. The Cargo had seating for two and came in three versions in ascending order of payload rating: NV 1500, NV 2500, and NV 3500. All had a “Standard Roof” with a cargo height of 55.4 inches. The 2500 and 3500 were also available with a “High Roof,” which had a cargo height of 76.5 inches. The Passenger seated up to 12 and was sold in 3500 Standard Roof form only. The U.S.-built NV competed not only with the traditional Chevrolet Express, Ford E-Series, and GMC Savana full-size vans, but also the big Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which also comes with a high roof.

All Cargo and Passenger models were offered in S and SV trim levels; additionally, the Passenger was available in top-line SL form. S versions were equipped with air conditioning, radio with CD player, digital-media player connection, and little else. The SV added cruise control, rear-obstacle detection, power driver seat with lumbar adjustment, and power mirrors/windows/locks with remote. The Passenger SL model received a front-obstacle-detection system, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Options included curtain side airbags and a fleet tracking system, and, for the SV and SL, a rearview camera, navigation system, satellite radio, USB port, wireless cell-phone link, and a tow package.

Two engines were offered: a 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 and a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8. Both teamed with a 5-speed automatic transmission. All NVs were rear-wheel drive.

No EPA estimates were available; vehicles over the 8,500-lb gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) are not required to submit to EPA fuel economy tests. In Consumer Guide testing, an NV 2500 V6 averaged 14.2 mpg in mostly city driving. Both engines ran on regular-grade gas.

All the expected safety features except front side airbags and curtain side airbags were standard. Curtain side airbags were optional on all NVs. The SV came with rear-obstacle detection, and offered a rearview camera as an option. The SL included standard front-obstacle detection.

Yearly Updates

2012 NV
The 2013 Nissan NV was virtually unchanged after its debut for the 2012 model year.
2013 NV
Cargo models benefitted from some added standard features, and the option packages were revised. All V8-powered Cargo and Passenger models now included a standard tow package.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Two engines have been offered: a 261-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 and a 317-horsepower 5.6-liter V8. Both came with a 5-speed automatic transmission. All NVs were rear-wheel drive.

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/241
Engine HP 261
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 281
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

NA/NA

dohc V82
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.6/342
Engine HP 317
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 385
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

NA/NA

1. V6 models. 2. V8 models. Note: Vehicles over 8500 gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) are not required to submit to EPA fuel economy tests so MPG estimates are not available.

Road Test

A V6-powered 2500 High Roof Cargo was the only NV made available for Consumer Guide testing. With the V6 engine, acceleration is decent in around-town driving, but never more than adequate on the highway or with a full load of cargo.

In Consumer Guide testing, a NV 2500 V6 averaged 14.2 mpg in mostly city driving. NVs use regular-grade gas.

Ride quality is not bad, given the workhorse nature of the NV. Sharp ruts and potholes are intrusive, but small bumps are smoothed out reasonably well.

Under way the NV feels every bit as big as it is, and it’s very big. The NV’s extra-large dimensions make close-quarters maneuvering a challenge. The very high roof line and high center of gravity mean that a tippy feeling in corners is inevitable, unless you slow to a crawl before taking a turn. Some testers complained of a heavy steering feel.

The NV’s cargo area has no insulation or interior panels, so it’s an especially noisy echo chamber. Road noise is pronounced at all times, and the engine gets plenty vocal during acceleration.

Dashboard layout is very simple and straightforward; there are no fancy infotainment or luxury features here. Most controls fall to hand easily.

As expected, NV’s interior is very spartan and “industrial grade,” but it also is sturdy and well built.

The front seating area has expansive room overall, though very tall drivers might complain of limited legroom. Forward visibility is very good, thanks to big windows and a tall seating position. Rear visibility is hindered by the rear-door posts and (naturally) the lack of side windows, though the generously sized rearview mirrors with wide-angle inserts help a lot.

Cargo versions have no rear seating. No opportunity to test a Passenger model.

The cargo area is gigantic. A vehicle must have a cargo volume of more than 100 cubic feet to warrant a “10” in Consumer Guide’s official cargo-room rating scale. The NV comfortably exceeds that requirement; the Cargo Standard Roof version has 220 cubic feet, and the High Roof version has 300.

Ratings

Model Tested: NV 2500 S V6 High Roof Cargo Van

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 3
30%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 2
20%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 9
90%
Room/Comfort Rear - 0
00%
Cargo Room - 10
100%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 47

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
146.1 240.9 79.9 83.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
220 28.0 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA
3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
146.1 240.9 79.9 105.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
300 28.0 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
NA NA
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Not tested 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

None
Description:

Recall History

2012-13 NV
Description: Certain 2012 and 2013 model Nissan NV vehicles made between December 20, 2010 and January 4, 2013 and equipped with column-mounted transmission gear-selector levers may have a selector plate lock clip that was installed improperly. Over time, normal road vibration can cause the gear position indicator to not match the gear that the lever is actually selecting.
2013 NV
Description: Certain 2013 model Nissan NV vehicles made between December 17, 2012 and February 20, 2013 and equipped with steering column-mounted transmission gear-selector levers may be able to be shifted out of Park without first depressing the brake pedal.
2014 NV Passenger
Description: Certain 2014 model Nissan NV Passenger vehicles made between March 14, 2014 and May 15, 2014 may have seat belt anchors in the second, third, and fourth rows that are not properly secured.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.