2019 Nissan NV Expert Review

Editor's Overview

The 2019 Nissan NV is a sturdy, powerful, albeit aging full-size van. The NV comes in two forms: cargo with a standard or high roof, or as a passenger variant with room for 12. The Nissan NV lacks the fresher tech and features of rivals like the Ford Transit, but it packs plenty of capability at a budget-friendly price.

You'll Like The 2019 Nissan NV If...

If you need a big, powerful cargo van or the ability to carry up to 12 passengers without busting the budget, the Nissan NV fits the bill. Options like a V8 engine and high roof on the cargo version are appealing, as is this van’s 5-year/100,000-mile warranty.

You May Not Like The 2019 Nissan NV If...

The Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter have fresher technology including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, active safety features like lane-keeping assist, and offer diesel engines. The Sprinter can be had with 4-wheel drive, while a Transit can seat up to 15 people. The Chevy Express/GMC Savana duo is ancient but tried and true, and still tows the most.

What's New

For 2019, all Nissan NV models get an upgraded infotainment system with a 7-inch display. Base cargo-van models receive power windows and door locks, and the Backdoor Glass Package can now be had on S and SV V8 cargo models.

Interior Features

Lots of room in a secure package. That’s the reason you buy a big van like the NV, and the Nissan delivers. Unlike the Ford Transit, the 2019 Nissan NV is available in only one length, but it does offer two roof heights, at least in cargo form. In its most spacious high-roof setup, a Nissan NV boasts 323.1 cubic feet of cargo space, about 90 more than a standard-roof model. At 76.9 inches in height, a high-roof Nissan NV will allow even taller individuals to stand up inside, ideal for those who plan conversions to make this van into a work mobile. Passenger versions of the NV are available only with the standard roof, but it still boasts plenty of room. It can accommodate 12 people in four rows, and the rear three rows can be removed or slid to create space. Cargo variants simply have two seats up front for driver and a passenger.

Exterior Features

Form follows function in the Nissan NV, with the big van's slab-sided nature and overall girth giving it the ability to accommodate almost anything you want. It’s hard to call just about any cargo van “pretty,” and the 2019 NV is no exception. It’s designed, literally, for work. As with its commercial van competitors and unlike, say a modern minivan, the NV does not offer dual-sliding side doors, but just a manually operated door on the right side. In back are two doors that can swing out 243 degrees to completely open the rear for easy loading and access. Passenger models include side windows to improve visibility, and the cargo variant offers glass windows in back. The Nissan NV comes only in one length: 240.6 inches.

Driving Impressions

If you’re on a tighter budget and don’t need to test the NV’s max payload limits, the standard 4.0-liter V6 is respectably capable with its 261 horsepower/281 lb-ft of torque. While the NV’s V6 is fine for light-to-medium jobs, it’s hard to go wrong with the big 5.6-liter V8. That upgraded engine’s 375 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque make quick work of the kind of work for which this van is made: hauling loads of stuff and lots of people. As for this van’s driving characteristics, well, it’s a big box on wheels, so don’t get too excited. Its truck-like, body-on-frame construction can feel even stiffer than unibody rivals such as the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster, but it also allows the NV to tow more than those two. And as with the Transit, the NV is rear-wheel drive. You’ll want to be extra careful in corners if you go with the high-roof option, as that also means a higher center of gravity. The NV doesn’t have the more advanced safety features offered in the Ford Transit and even fresher Sprinter, but it has you and your workers covered with the basics like traction control and vehicle-stability control.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Nissan NV has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $29,340, while a base NV passenger version begins at $35,660. Both of those prices are before the $1,395 destination charge. Top-end cargo variants reach nearly $36,000, while passenger variants top out over $42,000. At its starting price, the Nissan NV undercuts most competitors. Cargo variants of the Ford Transit are a few thousand higher, though the Transit passenger variant is similar in price. Starting at a similar price is the cargo-only, front-wheel-drive Ram ProMaster. General Motors’ Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans also start in the low-$30,000 region. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new van. The Nissan NV cargo van’s resale value is about average and in line with others in its segment.

Notable Equipment

Both the NV cargo- and passenger-van models come in three trims: S, SV and SL, with the cargo model further broken into 1500 and the heavier-duty 2500 and 3500 models that can handle more payload. At its most basic, the least expensive 2019 Nissan NV cargo van now comes with basics like power windows and door locks, air conditioning, 4-way manual-adjust seats, and the updated infotainment system with 7-inch display, 4-speaker AM/FM stereo with Bluetooth streaming, and USB/auxiliary inputs. S-trim passenger models come with 12-passenger seating and two features not on base cargo models: cruise control and power-adjustable mirrors.

Notable Options

Stepping up to the SV model adds upgraded wheels, cruise control and power-adjust mirrors in cargo variants, while SV passenger vans get 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 6-speaker audio system and rear parking sensors. Top-line SL models come with chrome wheels and grille, center console with sliding table and lockable storage, and in passenger models leather upholstery, heated front seats, fog lights and dual-zone climate control. A navigation system is available, via a smaller 5.8-inch touch screen. The V8 is optional on cargo and passenger variants of the NV, but the high-roof option is limited to the cargo van. As is the case with other cargo vans, the Nissan NV can be upfitted for the particular needs of a business or commercial fleet.

Favorite Features

Whether you go with the Nissan NV cargo or passenger van, you’ll get a warranty that beats rivals. All new NV vans boast 5-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

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 2019 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 (gross vehicle weight rating). The Nissan NV cargo van’s payload ranges from 2,620 pounds on 1500 models to 3,850 pounds on 3500 variants. If all of this sounds like overkill for light-duty delivery needs, Nissan offers a 4-cylinder cargo van called the NV200 that is small enough to fit inside a garage.

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

The 2019 Nissan NV is a sturdy, powerful, albeit aging full-size van. The NV comes in two primary forms: cargo and passenger. As a cargo van, the NV can be had with a standard or high roof, the latter offering enough room for an adult to stand up inside. In passenger form, the Nissan NV can seat up to 12, good for large families or as a commercial shuttle. Nissan’s NV is built on a rugged body-on-frame chassis and can be had with an optional V8 engine, both of which help it compete against fresher, more sophisticated rivals like the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz’s Sprinter line. With the ability to tow up to 9,400 pounds, the NV trails only GM’s Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana vans.

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