What Car? says...
The large van sector has always been competitive, so when the Nissan NV400 arrived in 2010 as a replacement for the Interstar it had its work cut out to stand-out from the crowd. After all, this large panel van is a shared product with the Renault Master and Vauxhall Movano – both more established in the market – and is offered with the same number of body types and styles.
Nevertheless, the NV400 stands out from the crowd, chiefly because of its stellar five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Competitors like the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Volkswagen Crafter and Peugeot Boxer don't come with the same level of coverage as the Nissan.
It has other advantages, too: it is available in three wheelbases, with four body lengths and three heights, there’s two distinct trim levels and the choice of five different engine power outputs. Gross vehicle weights range from 2.8 tonnes to 4.5-tonnes and there are both front- and rear-wheel-drive options.
Power comes from a 2.3-litre four-cylinder twin turbo-diesel engine available with 106bhp and 125bhp, or with 140bhp, 160bhp and 165bhp when fitted with a Stop/Start system.
The NV400 has panel van, six-seat crew van and nine-seat combi versions available, as well as platform cabs, chassis cabs, tipper and dropside vehicles.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The engine used in the Nissan NV400 is a shared unit originating from Renault.
Like the higher-powered engines in the smaller Renault Trafic, Nissan NV300 and Vauxhall Vivaro vans, the NV400 uses twin turbo chargers to make its power.
There’s plenty of low-end torque even in the entry-level 106bhp unit, with 214lb ft available from just 1250rpm. That makes it a multi-talented vehicle for both town and motorway work.
It is also economical, with a claimed fuel consumption of 36.7mpg (versus 38.7mpg if you spec stop-start). That makes it the second most efficient model in the range behind the extremely powerful 165bhp unit.
As a result, it is our recommendation for most buyers.
However, with five options to choose from, you really can pick an engine that suits your needs. While additional power can be particularly useful in a panel van, the 2.3-litre unit seems more at home with a lower output.
With some weight on board ride comfort is particularly good, but when at the lighter end of the scales it can feel quite jarring on our badly maintained roads. This isn’t helped by the seat position, which is a little too upright and puts you a fraction too close to the steering column. Nevertheless its’s a comfortable cabin to be in.
The steering is accurate and provides good feedback, but it still lags behind the VW Crafter and Ford Transit, which feel much more connected to the road rather than giving the impression of bumbling over it like you get from the Nissan.