2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van Test Drive

?Nissan?s 2013 NV200 Compact Cargo Van: Ideal for work or play?

2013 Nissan NV200 3/4 front view

The 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van rounds out Nissan?s commercial vehicle offerings, and even though it was originally conceived and intended for commercial use, it?s equally well suited to do duty in serving the needs for personal use and activities.

Up until now, Nissan?s commercial vehicle stable consisted of only full size vans: the NV Passenger 3500 HD standard roof model; an NV Cargo 1500/2500 HD/ 3500 HD standard roof van; and the NV Cargo 2500 HD/3500 HD High Roof model. Enter the 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van, which adds a new dimension to the lineup.

2013 Nissan NV200 commercial application

The 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact cargo van is more than 4.5 feet shorter in length and 2.5 feet lower in height than the Nissan NV 2500/3500 High Roof Cargo Van. The NV200 Compact Cargo is designed to be the ?right size? for small business owners and fleet operators in need of smaller, more efficient work vans. It is also ideal for business owners coming from passenger vehicles, thanks to its cargo size optimization and functionality. Beyond that, the NV200 may also be utilized for recreational purposes.

2013 Nissan NV200 surf shop van

The 2013 Nissan NV200 is built on Nissan?s compact commercial platform, providing a high cargo volume capacity in a small exterior package. It is unique for the North American marketplace, with the body having been extended 7.9-inches versus models sold in other global markets. Combining a 115.2-inch wheelbase with a 186.3-inch overall length, along with its compact drivetrain and rear suspension, the NV200 provides an 82.8-inch cargo length, a 54.8-inch cargo width (48.0 inches between the wheelwells) and a 53.0-inch cargo area height. With its low cargo floor liftover height (21.1 inches) and tall roofline, the NV200 Compact Cargo van delivers a cargo capacity of 122.7 cubic feet. Payload is estimated at 1,500 pounds for the S model. which is the base trim level – a more upscale SV model is also available. In addition to the long list of standard features on the NV200 S, the SV model adds power heated outside mirrors, power door locks with auto-locking feature, remote keyless entry with two key fobs, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls and an additional 12V power point in the rear of the center console.


Several option packages are available, including Back Door Glass Package; Bluetooth? Hands-free Phone System; and Cruise Control Package. The Exterior Appearance Package offers body-color bumpers, door handles and outside mirrors, wheel covers and chrome grille. The Technology Package includes the NissanConnectSM with Navigation system, RearView Monitor and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).

Adding to the 2013 Nissan NV200?s versatility and functionality is its appealing good looks ? some have referred to it as ?cute?. In terms of its practicality, the NV200 comes with dual sliding side doors, similar to a minivan, and 40/60 split rear French doors, which may be fitted with optional privacy glass windows. There are six integrated roof rack mounting points as well as cargo area tie-down hooks and six floor-mounted D-rings. The cargo floor is covered with a durable Thermoplastic PolyOlefin coating. The exterior design features Nissan?s signature front grille, aerodynamic front-end design and functional cabin design. Other exterior features include halogen headlights, durable black front and rear bumpers and outside mirrors with wide-angle spotter mirrors and an available heated function. Body-colored bumpers, door handles and outside mirrors are also offered. The NV200 is available in a choice of?? five exterior colors: Blue Onyx, Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Red Brick and Fresh Powder.


Moving to the inside, the cockpit is driver-focused, including both comfort and functional features. The driver?s seat is mounted in a high ?commanding? position with easy ingress and egress, which provides a good view of the road and surrounding environment. The 6-way adjustable driver?s seat with manual lumbar and armrest is designed for durability with outboard vinyl wear patches, while the passenger?s seat features a 4-way adjustable design. Height-adjustable front seat head restraints and front door map pockets are also standard.

The Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo offers ?Mobile Office? functionality with a center console that provides laptop/hanging file folder storage, pen/pencil tray, CD holder and dual cupholders. Recessed storage areas are provided on the upper instrument panel for folders and documents. In addition, the passenger seat folds down serving as a worktop or table, or extending the cargo space for hauling longer items. Passenger seat slide travel is nearly 9.5 inches. The durable 15×13-inch tray built into the seatback can fit most laptops and includes a penholder for use as desk.

The NV200 comes standard with a 2-Din AM/FM/CD with Auxiliary and two speakers. Other audio systems are optionally available which include MP3 with Bluetooth Hands-Free phone system, RDS, Aux and USB, 2 speakers and navigation. SiriusXM is also available. Power windows with driver/front passenger one-touch auto up/down with auto reverse are standard. The SV trim may be ordered with a RearView Monitor and rear door glass defroster. The Navigation system and audio systems are available with Nissan?s Voice Recognition and advanced NissanConnect for up-to-date connectivity.

Safety and security features include: dual stage front air bags, driver and passenger seat-mounted side impact airbags and roof mounted curtain side impact bags. There?s an energy-absorbing steering column, a shift interlock system, TPMS, engine immobilizer, locking steering wheel, Vehicle Dynamic Control and Traction Control along with ABS, BA and EBD.


The 2013 Nissan NV200 compact cargo van draws its motive force from a front transversely mounted 2.0-liter?DOHC, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine that delivers power?to the front wheels via Nissan?s Xtronic CVT transmission. The engine makes?131 horsepower at 5,200 rpm while developing 139 pound feet of torque at?4,800 rpm.

My test 2013 Nissan NV200 was in SV trim and wore a Red Brick exterior complemented by a Grey cloth interior. The base price was set at $20,980 while the Back Door Glass Package, Exterior Appearance Package, Technology Package, All-season floor mats and Destination and Handling charge elevated the final sticker to $23,250.

SUMMARY: Driving Nissan’s 2013 NV200 Compact Cargo is a breeze, as it is highly maneuverable in traffic or when negotiating city parking spaces, thanks to its 36.7-foot curb-to-curb turning diameter. It is easy to get into and out of, and it is ideally suited as a business workhorse with its wide-opening doors and ability to carry standard U.S. 40×48-inch pallets, which enhances its utilitarian nature.


The tall rear doors 40/60-split design, feature the 60-percent side on the right (curb) side for easy access from a sidewalk, while the shorter 40-percent left side door reduces potential intrusion into the street when open. Both rear doors feature dual opening positions of 90? and 180?. The standard sliding side doors are designed for low effort. Side doors are solid (no windows) to accommodate advertising or business, as are the rear doors unless the rear Door Glass package is ordered.

The NV200 delivers a comfortable ride quality and its handling characteristics are nimble and responsive. Acceleration is more than adequate, though my test vehicle was unladen.

In addition to its commercial applications, I see the 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo Van as ideally suited for securely hauling ATVs, motorcycles, serving as a dog show van, antiquing trips, or for fishing and hunting sojourns, with room for bunks, a Port Potty, etc.


The new 2013 Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo is assembled in Cuernavaca, Mexico and available through a select network of certified Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide.
[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Nissan SV NV200 Compact Cargo Van [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $20,980.
Price as Tested: $23,250.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine naturally aspirated.
Horsepower (bhp): 131 @ 5,200 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 139 @ 4,800 rpm
Transmission: Xtronic CVT.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent twin-tube strut with stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-leaf with solid axle and twin tube shocks.

Brakes: Power-assisted front vented discs and drum rear with ABS and EBD.Tires: Turnel America Cargo 185/60 R15 mounted on steel wheels with twin-swirl-spoke composite covers.Wheelbase:115.2 inchesLength Overall:186.3 inchesWidth:68.1 inchesHeight:73.7 inchesCurb Weight:3,255 lbs.Fuel Capacity:14.5 gallonsEPA Mileage Estimates:24 mpg city / 25 mpg highwayDrag Coefficient:0.310 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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