Nissan NV400 van review

Category: Large Van

The NV400 is an often overlooked large van, but one with ample abilities and plenty of flexibility in the
range. Equipment levels are generous and the warranty cover the best in the market.

Nissan NV400 action
  • Nissan NV400 action
  • Nissan NV400 side on view
  • Nissan NV400 interior
  • Nissan NV400 load bay
  • Nissan NV400 side on, door open
  • Nissan NV400 action
  • Nissan NV400 side on view
  • Nissan NV400 interior
  • Nissan NV400 load bay
  • Nissan NV400 side on, door open


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.

Read more: How we test vans


The NV400 is an often overlooked large van, but one with ample abilities and plenty of flexibility in the range. Equipment levels are generous and the warranty cover the best in the market.

  • Interior storage
  • Five-year warranty
  • Good range of twin turbo engines
  • Not as comfortable as rivals
  • Drab interior
  • Limited number of options

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.

Nissan NV400 image
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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.

Nissan NV400 side on view


The interior layout, fit and finish

Although not much to look at, the interior of the Nissan NV400 is among the most practical in the segment.

For starters, there is so much storage you begin to forget where you put things. This includes two tiered trays below the centre console and four open sections in the top of it. There’s overhead storage, underseat storage and pockets in the door that have been thoughtfully designed to hold both small bits and pieces and large items like bottles.

The styling does look a bit dated, and the switches, vents and controls are from the bottom of the shared Renault parts bin, but they are in keeping with the overall hard-working, hard-wearing ethos of the van.

Entry-level trim is called E and gives you the basics, including sun visors and a driver’s arm rest. There’s also a foldable middle seat that doubles as a fixed table.

More equipment can be found on SE models, which get a swivel table in the middle seat, one-touch electric windows, electric mirrors, cruise control, a trip computer and rear-parking sensors.

SE should suit most buyers, but if you need even more comforts there’s the suitably named Comfort Pack, which includes air-conditioning, front fog lights, automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

Nissan NV400 interior

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

When it comes to moving stuff, the NV400 has it all figured out.

Volumes range from 8m3 to 17m3, which is on par for the sector and comparable with a Mercedes Sprinter van, while payloads range from 911kg to 1566kg for the 3.5-tonne panel vans.

The van’s overall length ranges from 5048mm to 6198mm, giving a maximum load length of 2583mm to 3733mm. It has maximum body widths of 2070mm externally and 1730mm internally.

Heights range from 2303mm to 2749mm, with a useable load height of between 1700mm and 2144mm. Loading height is a maximum of 564mm, while side door apertures measure 1050mm on the short-wheelbase vans and 1270mm on all other variants. An additional sliding door is available as an option.

The NV400 has a towing capacity of 2500kg-3000kg, depending on the model.

A digital tachograph is standard on all 4.5-tonne GVW models but available as an option on 3.5 tonne vans for owners who wish to tow.

Nissan NV400 load bay

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Our recommended SE trim option not only adds extra kit, but also stability control and advanced traction control as standard. These not only help detect and correct skids, but also alter the van’s behaviour based on how much weight is in the vehicle. Other safety features include Hill Start Assist and Trailer Swing Assist.

Add in its five-year, 100,000 mile warranty, five-year roadside assistance, 12-year corrosion warranty and five-year paintwork warranty - all of which eclipse the class average - and the case for buying an NV400 continues to build.

Service intervals are, however, fairly low at 25,000 miles compared to 30,000 for a Volkswagen Crafter and a two-year variable (up to 37,500 miles) intervals on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

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About the author

George Barrow is one of the leading van and truck reviewers, and is the UK’s only representative on the prestigious International Van of the Year jury. He has written about vans and commercial vehicles for the past 15 years, and can be found in titles including The Sun and What Van?, alongside What Car?.

Barrow is well regarded in the commercial vehicle industry, securing access to the latest models – and the people who made them – long before other titles.


Nissan NV400 side on, door open