19 June 2013
Nissan introduced the NV200 to the European market as a concept at the Hanover Motor Show back in 2008 and the production model has set the tone for its future LCV line-up. The NV200 is a nimble package but it also looks good. Important for fleets who like their vehicles to have a bit of character.
The NV200 we had on test was powered with a 1.5dCi turbo diesel engine, developed by alliance partner Renault. With 86PS to play with, the NV200 is sprightly when unladen. Torque power is good too, 200Nm at 2,000rpm, this gives the van a good amount of power across the rev range. Ideal when the need is there to overtake slower traffic. The NV200’s power plant is mated to a five-speed gearbox. Shifts are smooth allowing for a pleasurable drive. Whether you are driving the NV200 on motorways or B-roads, the newcomer from Nissan feels at home on either type of road.
On the road the NV200 feels really good, it is almost car-like in its handling. We drove it on a mix of roads and the van responded well. The engineers have used a MacPherson strut front suspension and a single leaf spring rear axle giving a wheelbase of 2725mm in length, this in turn contributes to NV200's large load area. They have also isolated road noise and vibration by using a sub-frame mounted strut-type system with rubber mounts. The Nissan team has also used a front anti-roll bar, this is attached directly to the strut assembly for more effective control of body roll under cornering, ride comfort is enhanced by the adoption of ripple control shock absorbers. Another bonus for prospective owners/drivers is the power steering; in town, the steering is light while it ‘weights’ up once you get onto the open road.
The NV200 not only looks good it seems well built. The scenarios that this LCV will be used in are bound to be varied, and the plastics look to be hard wearing. They are made to cover the wheel arches, rear interior panels, sliding side door, rear doors and as an anti-sliding floor surface. The plastic does not impact on load space, this in turns aids in giving the NV200 class leading interior room.
Safety is always a concern for fleet managers and Nissan has listened to these concerns by adding anti-lock brake system (ABS), Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), while, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) can be added as an option. To keep the occupants safe in the event of a crash, a driver airbag comes as standard, while a passenger airbag is available either as standard or as an option depending on the model. Side airbags for occupants in the front are also optionally available. A cost option that may be of consideration, is the reversing camera that is offered by Nissan. This is the first time that it has been offered on an LCV. It should, be a no-brainers for many fleets as this could keep your van free of scratches and on the road. Nissan claims that to make the option more affordable, the full colour rear-view screen has been installed in the instrument binnacle rather than as part of a satellite navigation display.
The NV200 uses a semi-elliptical leaf springing for the rear axle. This is for two main reasons – it helps to spread the load that is carried in the vehicle, the second reason is that this system is compact and does not reduce the load space. Slightly bigger than its rivals, the NV200 is the biggest in class, it has a maximum volume of up to 4.2m3, this makes it 1.2m3 bigger than the Ford Transit Connect. The payload makes for good reading, the NV200 can carry up to 751kg, this shades rivals like the entry-level Citroen Berlingo and the Renault Kangoo as they have payloads of 622kg and 667kg respectively.
You will be pleased to know that the 1.5 dCi is Euro IV compliant, this results in the NV200 emitting 137g/km of CO2 emissions. A eco-friendly LCV – surely another tick! On the combined cycle Nissan claims that the NV200 will return 54mpg. The LCV has a braked capacity of 1100kg while the capacity for an unbraked trailer is 640kg, this is the same load weight in both the panel van and the combi version of the NV200. The Nissan NV200 1.5 dCi SE we had on test was priced from £12,590. Options fitted to our van included the Comfort Pack (Aircon) at £575 and metallic paint at £350. This took the price (excluding VAT) to our test van up to £13,515.
Submitted: 04/03/2010 11:48:09
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