NISSAN NV300 – ‘THE VAN THAT CAN’.

Nissan have a long and proud reputation as a manufacturer of commercial vehicles – from the Vanette, Urvan & Cabstar to the more recent Kubistar, Interstar & Primastar. However, Nissan’s current van line-up, the NV200 and NV400, have been joined by the new NV300, which is a direct replacement for the hugely successful Primastar van.

The new NV300 is Nissan’s new mid-size commercial vehicle and is the final puzzle piece in the brand’s revitalised van line-up. The new NV300 van shares its platform with the Renault Trafic and Opel Vivaro, as well as the not-so well-known FIAT Talento.  In fact, it’s even built in the same factory as the Trafic, Talento and Vivaro, in Sandouville, France. Other key rivals for the Nissan NV300 include the Ford Transit Custom, VW Transporter and Mercedes-Benz Vito.

One of the most noticeable changes from the Nissan NV300’s predecessor is the exterior design. Nissan says that it deliberately created the new NV300 to look more like its current SUV range. In order to do this, the Nissan NV300 was designed at the Nissan Design Centre in London, where the popular second-generation Nissan Qashqai was designed.

Nissan claims that – since the NV300 is the last of its new line of commercial vehicles to be revealed – the brand has “become a one-stop-shop for every van, truck and pick-up driver.” Even with the NV300 alone, you can choose from a panel van and a crew van that are available in two different lengths and two different heights. There’s also a NV300 Combi nine-seat passenger van available, which will appeal to larger families, hospitality companies and taxi drivers.

Load space for the regular panel van ranges from 5.2m3 to 8.6m3 depending on the length and height of the van in question. The NV300 medium wheelbase, standard roof-height model has an overall length of 4,999mm and a height of 1,971mm – meaning it can easily fit into underground car parks. The long wheel base model is 5,400mm in length and is available in standard roof height or as a high roof model, which adds an extra 520mm to the overall height.

There’s only one engine to choose from – the 1.6-litre dCi that’s used in the Qashqai and X-Trail – but comes in four states of tune. There are two single-turbo versions offering 95bhp & 120bhp and two twin-turbo offerings with 125bhp and 145bhp. All engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox.

My test vehicle was the new Nissan NV300 SV LWB standard roof panel van with 120bhp and an impressive 300Nm of torque. Nissan quote a fuel consumption figure (on a combined cycle) of 6.7l/100km and, in my experience with the NV300, this claimed figure looks very much achievable without too much effort.

Standard specification in the NV300 SV model includes satellite navigation, 7” touchscreen, electric windows & mirrors, remote central locking, cruise control, Bluetooth, under seat storage, drivers seat lumbar support, wide-angle blind spot mirror and 6 reinforced floor anchorage points.

The new NV300 is a beautiful van to drive and it performs with car-like precision. With prices starting at just €22,995 (inc VAT) and with a comprehensive 5-year warranty (up to 160,000km’s) as standard, the new NV300 really is ‘the van that can’.