Nissan NV200 Looks to Challenge Class 1


Nissan introduced the NV200, a commercial player in a segment that includes the Ford Transit and Ram C/V. The little NV is already a solid player in the European and Japanese commercial market, but Nissan hopes to take advantage of an existing platform in a growing segment. In fact, Nissan predicts that over the next four years the number of commercial owners moving to smaller cargo vans will grow by four times what it is today. 

The NV200 will use an existing 2.0-liter dual-overhead-cam I-4 engine now used in the Nissan Sentra, with the production of the work van slated for Mexico, as soon as the plant gets reconfigured.

The front-wheel-drive NV200 will have a maximum payload close to 1,500 pounds and offer close to 123 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The platform is extended by eight inches to allow for more floor length, but we're told it still will not hold a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood with the offset rear doors closed. 

The NV200's diminutive size does have its advantages, though. Nissan says the model will offer the "best possible fuel economy and an affordable price."

The final options list has not been finalized, but the model comes standard with dual sliding doors, 40/60-split rear doors, a six-way manual adjustable driver's seat, power windows, file hanging storage and 12-volt outlets on the instrument panel and rear console area.

Available features will likely include a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, backup camera and a multimedia system. The model goes on sale in early in 2013. Exact pricing, fuel economy and performance specifications were not made available at its Chicago debut.


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