2018 Nissan NV Expert Review

Editor's Overview

In the world of big passenger and cargo vans, it doesn’t get much bigger or more capable than the 2018 Nissan NV. With its optional V8 engine, body-on-frame construction and rear-drive layout, the NV can carry and tow more than its front-drive competitors. However, with no diesel engine in the lineup, the NV can’t match its rivals’ fuel economy.

You'll Like The 2018 Nissan NV If...

If you need your next work van to have a modern design but old-fashioned V8 power and towing ability, Nissan’s NV for 2018 has you covered. Need more? How about a $30,000 base price and an unbeatable 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

You May Not Like The 2018 Nissan NV If...

If you’re looking for a more fuel-efficient diesel option and/or all-wheel drive, only the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers both. You can get a diesel engine and more modern conveniences on the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster, plus a range of body lengths and wheelbase options.

What's New

For 2018, the Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans gain more standard features including a rearview camera, 5-inch color display plus Bluetooth streaming for phone and audio. The base S trim now comes with power window, power locks and remote keyless entry.

Interior Features

Space is the 2018 Nissan NV's selling point, and there's plenty of it. Cargo models have seats for the driver and front passenger, with the rest of the bay ready to haul goods or get customized for business needs. For those needing the most space, models with the high-roof option expand cargo volume to 323.1 cubic feet, a nearly 90-cubic-foot addition vs. the 234.1 cubic feet in standard-roof models. Passenger models of Nissan's full-size van can accommodate up to 12 people. Seats in the three back rows can be removed or slid to create space for people and gear.

Exterior Features

Form follows function in the Nissan NV, with the big van's slab-sided nature and overall large girth the keys to its ability to hold lots of stuff. Standard-roof models look like rectangles on wheels, while those with the high roof appear more like high-top sneakers. The high-roof option is reserved for NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD cargo models. Both cargo and passenger models have a sliding door on the passenger side for loading cargo and people, while the back doors have a 243-degree opening range for easier loading. Unlike some rivals, the NV comes in only one length: 240.6 inches.

Driving Impressions

Provided you’re not hauling the NV’s maximum payload limits, Nissan’s 4.0-liter V6 proves a surprisingly capable choice. Standard on the NV1500 and NV2500 HD cargo vans, this engine delivers slightly less horsepower than the V6 engines in the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster but has more torque. While the NV’s V6 is good for light-to-medium jobs, those with big projects in mind require the hauling power of Nissan’s 5.6-liter V8. Optional on the NV2500 HD and standard on the larger NV3500 HD model, the engine’s 375 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque permit it a payload of up to 3,540 pounds and the ability to tow up to 9,400 pounds. Fuel economy is far from best in segment, however, and while its ride is fairly composed, responsive steering and agile cornering are not the NV’s strongest attributes. You’ll get better traction from a front-drive Ford Transit or all-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, but the latter costs significantly more.

Pricing Notes

The 2018 Nissan NV 1500 cargo van has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $30,000, while 3500 passenger versions begin at about $36,500. A well-equipped cargo version can reach over $38,000, while a loaded passenger version can top $45,000. At its base price, the Nissan NV Cargo undercuts the entry prices of the GMC Savana, Chevy Express and Ram ProMaster, and is several thousand less than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. NV Passenger models begin nearly the same as people-ferrying versions of the Ford Transit. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are paying for the Nissan NV. Over the years, the Nissan NV's resale value is expected to be in line with its domestic competitors, none of which hold their value particularly well.

Notable Equipment

A base version of Nissan’s 2018 NV1500 cargo van includes air conditioning, dozens of cargo mounts, pre-wiring for electrical upfitting, a tilt (but not telescoping) steering wheel, 17-inch steel wheels, AM/FM/CD stereo with 5-inch color touch screen, front side and side-curtain airbags plus Bluetooth connectivity. Also standard are power windows, power door locks and remote keyless entry. Cruise control is standard on all but the NV 1500 cargo van. Base-passenger models include seating for 12 with a dozen rear heating and cooling vents, eight cup holders/three bottle holders, four speakers for the audio system and side-curtain airbags covering all four rows.

Notable Options

Upgrades for the 2018 Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans include navigation, dual-zone air conditioning (passenger models), and a rear-window defroster. The SL top-line trim for cargo models includes an 8-way-power driver's seat, chrome bumpers, grille and door handles and a vehicle security system. In addition to the high-roof option, cargo models can be equipped with a rear glass door and side privacy windows. Higher-trim versions include a rear sonar system to aid reversing the big van, while top-line passenger models come with leather-appointed seats that are heated in front.

Favorite Features


We don’t think the high-roof NV is going to win any awards for streamlined beauty, but it may pick up a couple medals for functionality. The roof’s additional height permits occupants to stand upright while working inside the truck, expanding the NV’s total interior volume to a massive 420.5 cubic feet.


With a need to be attractive to construction workers and catering services alike, the NV’s cargo hold is a fairly blank canvas outfitted with plenty of mounting points and electrical connections to allow easy customization. Passenger versions offer 324 different seating configurations.

Under the Hood

The 2018 Nissan NV comes with a 261-horsepower V6 engine that’s adequate for most duties. Optional on other models and standard in top trims is Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 good for 375 horsepower that offers satisfying thrust. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline, with the V6 connected to a 5-speed automatic and the V8 to a 7-speed transmission. All Nissan NV vans are rear-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity for the V6 is 6,900 pounds (6,200 for passenger models), while the V8 tops out at 9,400 pounds (8,700 for passenger models). The EPA does not supply fuel-economy ratings for vehicles over 8,500 GVWR. The diesel offerings in the Sprinter and Ram rivals are more efficient, while smaller cargo vans like the Nissan NV200 use less-thirsty 4-cylinder engines.

4.0-liter V6

261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm

281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

5.6-liter V8

375 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm

387 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Editors' Notes

Introduced at a time when Ford and GM dominated the full-size van market, Nissan’s NV van for 2018 now finds itself up against a host of newer, European-inspired designs. To its credit, the Nissan NV manages to combine the best of old and new, offering a taller cargo bay than Chevrolet’s Express Van and a potent V8 engine not available on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster. As a work van, the NV can be configured to suit all manner of businesses, while in passenger form it can accommodate up to 12 people. The NV’s body-on-frame design and rear-wheel drive allow it a 9,400-pound tow rating, a number bested only by the aging Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana vans.

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