Nissan NV300 review

Category: Medium Van

Section: Introduction

Star rating
Nissan NV300 van on the road
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  • Nissan NV300 van on the road
  • Nissa NV300 van rear
  • Nissan NV300 van interior
  • Nissan NV300 rear load space
  • Nissan NV300 van wing mirror
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What Car? says...

The Nissan NV300 is the replacement for the Primastar, which went off sale in 2016. While the name might be different, much is the same – in principal at least. Like the Primastar, the NV300 is a joint-engineered version of the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro. It’s built in the same factory as the Primastar was and it’s doing the same job as the Primastar did.

That job is to compete against the Ford Transit Custom, Citroen Dispatch and, of course, it’s brothers and sisters that are based on the same underpinnings – the Trafic, Vivaro and Talento. You might think that not much has changed then, apart from the name? Wrong. But first, a little about that new name…

Nissan’s naming structure is simple. NV stands for Nissan Van and the numbers then refer to the size of the van. So, there’s the junior city-van NV200, followed by the NV300 middle-child and, finally, the big daddy NV400. But it doesn’t stop there. Nissan NT stands for Nisan Truck and NP is Nissan Pick-Up, so there are the NT400 and NT500 chassis cabs as well as the rugged NP300 Navara.

Back to vans, and the NV300 is powered by a 1.6-litre diesel made by Renault and shared across the partner vans. It’s the same engine used in the Nissan Qashqai and is available in four different outputs, with 94bhp and 119bhp from a single-turbo engine, or 123bhp and 143bhp form a twin-turbo unit.

No automatic gearbox option is currently available, although Nissan is considering adding one. Other versions include a double cab van with as much as 4m3 load space and six seats, or a minibus with space for up to nine.

Whilst the NV300 is made using a shared platform, crucially there is one major difference to Nissan’s offering: the NV300 comes with a five-year, 100,000 mile warranty that includes roadside assistance and is transferable between buyers.

Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Just like in the Renault Trafic or Vauxhall Vivaro, there is a notable difference between each of the four engines. We’d recommend avoiding the 94bhp engine for anything other than light duty or city work, but the 119bhp version is a big improvement.

The engine you really should be aiming for though is the twin-turbo. The 123bhp unit is one of the most economical on the market, with a 47.1mpg claimed economy, and has a wide power band, with 236lb ft of torque from just 1500rpm. If you need more power the 143bhp engine is equally impressive.

The NV200 handles well, and although it’s not as engaging to drive as a Ford Transit Custom, it holds the road well, with very little body roll, and feels sharp and nimble going around bends. The ride is on the firm side, but it’s not too harsh; with weight on board its genuinely comfortable. With more than a tonne of weight capable of being carried in the back, braking performance, as with all modern vans, is exemplary.

You won’t hear much in the way of road or engine noise as sound deadening is impressive. Visibility is also great, and made better still with the option of a wide-angle passenger mirror within the sun visor.

Nissa NV300 van rear

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