2012 Nissan NV 2500 V6 SV Standard Roof new car reviews

Nissan's new van is a little bigger than a Miata.
Multi-story buildings and this van are both built on a similar scale.
The rear doors open very wide, making loading and unloading easy.
You can even order this van pre-wrapped with your own logo. Here's our idea for the next GRM van.
Our editor was eating a burrito when he envisioned this slightly different design.

Better than: GRM's own Ford E250
But not as good as: A box truck
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 57.06

The first thing we noticed when this van pulled into our parking lot was its size. It is gigantic! That's a good thing, though, because this van's job is to carry lots and lots of stuff. This van offers a a very competitive alternative to the now-ubiquitous domestic offerings from Ford and Chevy.

Besides being slightly larger than its competition, this van also boasts more passenger comfort and customizable interior configurations (based on vocational demands) direct from the factory. You can even have the vehicle custom-wrapped by Nissan before you take delivery.

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Other staff views

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin

With one mightily ugly leap, Nissan has jumped into the massive cargo van arena. Now don't get me wrong, most vans aren't the prettiest things to look at, but Nissan seemed to go out of their way to make this behemoth as hideous as possible. To Nissan's credit, the NV 2500 doesn't look like anything else on the road, but of course, the Pontiac Aztek had original styling too.

It operates well enough, with a lusty V6 and a well laid-out interior put together with durable looking materials. Curiously, the hood extends much farther forward than most big vans, hurting forward visibility. Fortunately, this big box had a back-up camera which comes in handy if you are trying to avoid squishing neighborhood rug rats, and assorted other creatures. Nissan is also offering in-house customization for those that will be using this as a work truck, which is a nice touch.

This big van handles acceptably well, is comfortable enough, and does all of the things you'd expect a massive cargo van to do. (except towing huge loads---need the V8 for that) What this van doesn't do is provide a compelling reason to buy it, as opposed to the longstanding sales champs from Ford and Chevy. If I was in the market for a new van I"d certainly see how flexible Nissan dealers are with pricing, because a lower price would be the only reason I'd choose this ugly duckling over the slightly less homely offerings.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Looks like the Nissan van is priced close to a Ford E-250. I wouldn't say that the Nissan is the most beautiful vehicle on the highway, but I liked some of its touches—like the rear doors that open all the way. And for a large truck, it goes down the road well.

Would I want this as a daily driver? Of course not. But if I needed a new work van, I might have to investigate further.

A side note, too. I liked Nissan's site. It definitely has tools for commercial buyers. I'm curious, will they make a dent on Ford's domain? I guess we'll see what the next plumber I call parks in my driveway.

Alan Cesar Alan Cesar

Driving dynamics? Let's just say we didn't take this one on the skidpad. But compared to the '90s-era Ford E-series vans I'm familiar with, it's clear Nissan took some time to think about how people use these vehicles and how to make them work better.

There are big, useful surfaces up front for the driver to stash things like clipboards. There's plenty of clever, useful storage, too. Sitting in it, I can easily see where things will go and how I'd use them as a regular delivery driver or garage door repairman, for example.

The back doors, after you unclip the catch, swing out 270 degrees and, thanks to rubber stops with magnets inside, they stick to the side of the van and stay there. If you've ever disconnected a door catch on a windy day, you know how nice a feature this is.

It's a tricky thing to break into the truck market thanks to strong brand loyalty, but perhaps Nissan can make inroads with more open-minded fleet owners—so long as they can live without a V8. This van certainly has some good, practical solutions for the market.

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