Nissan NV200 compact cargo van (Photo courtesy of Nissan North America)
While in San Diego covering the introduction of the new Versa Note recently, I also had a chance to spend a little time in the all-new Nissan NV200 compact cargo van.
I don’t want to brag, but I actually have quite a bit of experience with small delivery vans. Many years ago, I used to help my friend who had a flower shop in California deliver flowers occasionally. Driving her beat-up old Ford Econoline van for those deliveries was always challenging. I remember having to climb up into the driver’s seat to get in and the difficulty of trying to reach flowers in the large somewhat elevated cargo compartment.
Like in the “The Three Bears,” the NV200 seems to be “just right” for easy access. Once inside, the visibility is good and there is even an available backup camera to make it much easier to safely back out of parking places and driveways. With a lower cargo floor, dual sliding doors and an appropriately sized cargo bay, it would a snap to grab flowers or other items from the center section. Another interesting feature is the unique 60-40 split rear door.
To put the NV200 in perspective, it is a few inches longer than the Ford Transit Connect but not quite as tall. The NV200 is also about 4.5 feet shorter than the Nissan NV 2500 and 3500 high roof cargo vans, which are more suited for plumbers and UPS drivers than little flower shops.
Driving the NV200, I appreciated the tight 37-foot turning radius, which makes it much easier for maneuvering in tight parking lots and traffic.
When there is no passenger, the front seatback folds flat for a great work area with mobile office functionality. There are also several power outlets for when the computer or phone need charging and a drawer under the passenger seat to store paperwork.
The technology package option adds other cool features like a navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free phone system and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The system also has Google Send-to-Car, which sends maps direclty to the navigation system.
For those who need to get text messages for work, the system will read or take audio text messages, so you don’t have to do something stupid like try to drive and text. In addition, for people like me who always want to have something to drink at hand, there are plenty of cup holders along with places to store other job necessities.
A 131-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine powers the NV200. Fuel economy is rated at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.
The NV200 comes in two trim levels, the S, which has a base price of $20,835 including the destination charge, and SV, which is $21,925 adding features like cruise control, power locks with keyless entry and a few other handy features. While other packages allow the owner to customize the NV200 for their business needs.
The little NV200 cargo van is fun to drive, more comfortable and less noisy than the old Econoline. But, even with the Nissan van, I think my volunteer days of delivering flowers are over.