2012 Nissan NV1500

  • 2012 Nissan NV1500 S Cargo Van

    S Cargo Van

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.0L V6
    • MSRP
  • 2012 Nissan NV1500 SV Cargo Van

    SV Cargo Van

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.0L V6
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2012 Nissan NV1500 Review

The worst thing about the NV is that no one knows about it.

Reviewed by Automotive on

The Nissan NV full-size van brings some serious competition in the commercial van segment. The modern design was developed with customer feedback in mind. Offered in NV1500, NV2500, and NV3500 trim levels, Nissan offers the NV with a choice of a 4.0-liter V-6 with 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque or a 5.6-liter V-8 with 317 hp and 381 lb-ft of torque. Both come linked to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Not to be confused with the smaller NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow," the NV is built on the same rear-wheel drive truck chassis as the Titan full-size pickup. By using that platform rather than a short-nose dedicated van chassis, Nissan offers more front legroom than many of its competitors in a much newer design. With either a standard roof or high roof extension, the NV provides as much as 76.9 inches of height in the cargo area in addition to a fold-down front passenger seat in case more space is needed than its already expansive 120-inch cargo floor length.

With features unique to its class like an available overhead clipboard holder, under-seat storage bin, and mounts atop the NV's roof for racks and carriers so they don't have to be drilled into the sheet metal, the NV brings some freshness to a segment that hasn't had any real movement for some time.

The Range

Body style: Five-door van
Engines: 4.0-liter, V-6; 5.6-liter, V-8
Transmission: five-speed automatic
Models: Nissan NV1500, Nissan NV2500, Nissan NV3500

What's New

With the NV, Nissan hopes to make the lives of contractors and working professionals easier. Between practical features not offered on many competitors like an in-dash navigation system that doubles as a backup camera and Bluetooth hub and time-saving features like factory-installed cargo racks, hooks, and visors, it seems as though Nissan has tried to think of everything the discerning contractor could want. But Nissan also allows buyers to have their vans show up at dealerships with no-cost vinyl wrapping with company logos or other custom designs on it already installed through logo wrapper ordering software, saving the businessperson time and money process.


It's big, it's boxy, and it's not going to win any beauty contests. But if you're holding a beauty contest, you can fit everything you need for it inside. Sharing Nissan's corporate truck grille with the Titan and smaller Frontier pickup, the NV has a rugged appearance. In addition to having mounts for racks atop the roof, the NV comes prewired for any additional electronics a commercial vehicle owner may need to install outside the van. Unlike many commercial vans with rear doors that swing out to a 90-degree angle from the body, the NV's rear doors come out a full 243 degrees to meet the sides of the body. On steep grades, people using them can rest assured they the doors won't swing back on them because there are magnets built into the body to secure the doors.


Swallowing between 234.1 and 323.1 cubic feet of cargo, depending on what roof height is selected, the NV is designed to carry just about anything that a commercial vehicle driver could imagine. Coming standard with water-proof, stain-resistant charcoal-colored cloth seat trim, the seats are designed to be large and accommodating with a removable center console separating the front buckets. With a truck-like layout, foot and leg room aren't compromised, which also helps in that the engine is forward of the cab, allowing for easier service without having to remove the dashboard panels to access the engine.

Performance & Handling

The NV rides much like the Titan; that is to say that it is confident, sure-footed, and remarkably easy to drive given its size. It doesn't feel tricky in cross-winds, and while the ride is a bit stiff, it's not jarring. With either the V-6 or V-8 engine, acceleration is peppy, and while it has almost three tons of unladen weight to haul around, the NV can still manage to tow almost 9500 lbs. when equipped with the available trailer hitch. In 3500 trim, the NV can haul a payload of 3925 lbs.


The NV comes standard with front driver and passenger airbags, traction control, stability control, and tire pressure monitoring. Available on the NV are seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted head airbags.

EPA Fuel Economy

Not rated.

You'll Like

  • Cargo capacity
  • Flexible storage options
  • Cargo space
  • Customization
  • Legroom
  • Features

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • No wheelbase length options
  • Lack of aftermarket support (for the moment)
  • Windowed passenger van not yet available

Sum Up

The worst thing about the NV is that no one knows about it.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
  • Ford Econoline
  • Chevrolet Express
  • GMC Savana
  • Ford Transit Connect
  • Ram Cargo Van

See the New 2016 NV1500.

Front & Driver Side View

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