The Nissan NV200 is marketed across the world, but in the UK the variants offered straddle two existing van groups, with as much load space as a bigger class of van but also featuring the compact dimensions expected of the smaller segment. Intended as a replacement for the Nissan Primastar, the NV200 was originally released in Vanette, Combi and Passenger variants, all of which featured a leaf-spring rear axle and isolated strut-type front-wheel suspension. A Family model variant followed in 2010. These models had either a 1.6l petrol engine providing 108HP or a 1.5dCi diesel engine offering 86HP. Transmission was five-speed manual, and a rear-view camera for parking assistance was offered as an optional extra.
Only one van body was originally available, with a wheelbase of 2,860mm, body length of 4,400mm and roof height of 1,360mm. The NV200 features 4.2m3 rear load space - enough to fit two standard Euro pallets - and a payload of 739kg. The Combi variant can seat five or seven people, depending on the configuration, and while the rear seating row cannot be removed, it can be folded forward and down against the front seats to provide up to 2.3m3 of load volume for the five-seater configuration or 2.1m3 for the seven-seater.
The NV200 has received numerous updates through the years since its first release. The 2010 version featured the engine, load volumes and sizes mentioned above, along with sliding doors on both sides and rear double doors. The 2010 NV200 E came with a CD player and an aux-in jack and featured central locking. The more expensive SE variant came with electric windows and steel bulkhead as standard.
The 2010 Combi also came in two variants: the NV200 Combi S had five seats and lots of safety measures, such as ABS and EBD and airbags for both front seats, along with CD player, electric windows and mirrors. The more advanced Combi SE could seat up to seven and included alloys, body colour coding, air conditioning and the rear-view parking camera. The Combi also featured sliding doors on both sides, which open to reveal the 60:40 split bench. Load capacity in the Combi reached 3.1m3. The 1.5l turbo-diesel engine used across the range offered 53.3mpg.
The NV200 saw changes in 2011, with the upgraded 1.5l dCi engine offering 110HP and six-speed transmission with only slightly higher emissions than the lower-powered 85HP engine previously on offer. The 2011 NV200 SE featured new technology such as a sat nav, cruise control and an adjustable speed limiter. The SE van was also provided with an optional Versatility Pack upgrade, offering a bulkhead that moves around the folding front passenger seat to boost internal load length to 2,800mm. Bluetooth functionality was introduced throughout the range.
In 2012, after criticism from EU regulators regarding the safety of the vehicle, an updated version of the NV200 was launched with a three-point seatbelt for the rear middle passenger seat and a strengthened sliding door.
2013 Nissan NV200 model
The Nissan NV200 has been called a ‘segment breaker’ by some due to having the greatest load length and volume in its class while still maintaining a compact van profile. The 2013 model increases the size a little, with an extended wheelbase coming in at 2,926mm, making for a longer body length of 4,729mm and a slightly wider build at 1,730mm - a bigger van, but one that retains its compact van footprint.
The cabin is spacious, and the high position of the driver allows for excellent visibility. Besides the vast load-carrying capacity, the interior boasts lots of smaller storage locations, pockets, cup-holders and the ‘concealed’ upper glovebox compartment for storing special documents or valuables. Optional add-ons include ESP, a rear-view camera for reversing, Nissan’s trademark Intelligent Key and power windows. The Nissan NV200 competes easily in size terms with the likes of the Citroen Berlingo and the Volkswagen Caddy.