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2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Cargo

Overview
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2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Cargo Review

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For 2012, Nissan is jumping into the commercial van market with its full-size "made in America" NV cargo and passenger vans. Until now, customers looking for a full-size work or passenger van could only turn to Ford, Chevy, or Mercedes-Benz. Nissan sensed an opening for an all-new, affordable van designed to accommodate the special needs of customers in a way no previous domestic van can match. Available in cargo van form as the NV1500, 2500 HD and 3500 HD – the latter two offering a towering extended roof option – the NV poses a serious threat to the outdated Ford E-Series and Chevy Express. There is also an NV3500 HD passenger van offering a number of unique features regarding passenger comfort and safety.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 Nissan NV holds wide appeal to anyone that needs to move a lot of cargo or people, but must also mind the budget. V6 models are priced right, and the vast capability of the cargo van's configurable cargo bay is staggering.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Nissan NV van for 2012 isn't quite as handsome as its Ford and Chevy rivals (if a van can be considered handsome), and it doesn't have their long repair and reliability history either. If you're looking for diesel power or all-wheel drive, you'll have to look elsewhere.

What's New for 2012

New for 2012 is the NV3500 HD passenger van series. Built from the same platform as the NV cargo van, the passenger version offers configurable seating for 12 with integrated seatbelts, and side-curtain airbag protection for all rows.

Driving the NV3500 HD Cargo

Driving Impressions Standard on the 2012 Nissan NV1500, NV2500 HD cargo and the NV3500 HD passenger is a 4.0-liter V6 engine that is surprisingly capable. Even with a full crew on board,...

the engine pulls strongly, although it does labor a bit once up to speed. The big 5.6-liter V8 is probably preferable for those who care more about utilizing the NV's 3,925-pound maximum payload or its 9,500-pound tow rating, and less about fuel economy. Ride and handling are about what one might expect from a massive rolling brick, but we must say the NV's suspension does a good job stabilizing the big van in the turns, and its 45.2-foot turning diameter, while not tiny, is a few feet better than the Ford E-Series or Chevy Express. As for acceleration, the NV can easily keep up with its rivals from Ford and Chevy, but it will just as easily outrun (and overtake) the slower, but more fuel efficient, turbodiesel Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

INTEGRATED SEAT BELTS
For anyone who's had to fight past the web of ceiling-mounted seat belts to reach your shuttle's rear most seats, the NV's clever solution of integrating the belts into each seat will be a welcome sight.

PRE-DRILLED ANCHORING POSITIONS
Available on the cargo vans, numerous pre-drilled and reinforced anchoring positions allow customizers to add all manner of shelving, tool racks and accessories without damaging the cargo bay's steel walls.

2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Cargo Details
Interior

Both the cargo and passenger variants of the 2012 Nissan NV go out of their way to please the customer. On the NV3500 HD passenger vans, there are numerous storage and cup holders, as well as overhead lighting, heating ducts in the floor, and 65/35 split/removable rear seats. The 65/35 divide allows for more flexible cargo and seating space. In the cargo van, Nissan created a cargo bay with an available 120-volt 3-prong outlet, a level load floor and flat-top wheel-well housing to aid stacking, and multiple pre-drilled anchoring points in the floor, walls and roof.

Exterior

The most noticeable exterior feature on the Nissan's 2012 NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD van is the available extended roof. This option increases interior ceiling height by 21 inches, allowing a 6-foot person to stand upright in the cargo hold. Access via the sliding side door is easy, thanks to its 40-inch-wide opening, while the split rear doors can swing open to the standard 90 degrees, or be moved back a full 243 degrees, held in place by a magnetic stopper. Nissan specifically made the NV's lower rear opening wide and flat enough to accommodate a forklift loading pallets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment for the 2012 Nissan NV includes 17-inch wheels, tilt steering wheel, folding outside mirrors, rear step bumper, water-repellant seat fabric, AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary audio input jack, and air conditioning. The passenger van adds power outside mirrors, privacy glass, 12-passenger seating, and an under-seat pull out storage tray. Standard 2012 NV safety equipment: electronic traction and stability control, front airbags and, on the passenger van, front side-impact and ceiling mounted full-length side curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Options for the NV cargo van include front side and side-curtain airbags, power windows, power driver's seat, cruise control, remote keyless entry, two 120-volt outlets, 8-way power driver's seat, rear door glass, in-dash navigation radio with USB port, Bluetooth hands free phone connectivity, XM satellite radio, rear sonar system, in-mirror rearview monitor, and Nissan's Fleet Telematics tracking and recovery system. The NV3500 HD passenger offers such premium items as chrome clad wheels, power heated extendable tow mirrors, front and rear sonar system, dual-zone front air conditioning, heated front seats, leather appointed seating, 6-speaker audio, and Nissan's Vehicle Immobilizer system.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Nissan NV van comes standard with a 261-horsepower V6 engine and 5-speed automatic transmission. This engine easily out-powers the V6 options from Ford and Chevy, and nearly matches those vans' small V8 engines. Still, for the really big jobs you'll want the 5.6-liter V8, which is standard on the NV3500 HD cargo and available on all but the NV1500 series. Although not as torque-laden as the diesel engines from Ford and Chevy, this V8 is impressive in abilities to tow and haul, and its operation is free from harsh noise and unwanted vibration.

4.0-liter V6
261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: TBD

5.6-liter V8
317 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: TBD

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2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Cargo Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.6
Out of 10

Based on 11 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.6/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

I am very happy with my Van.

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Can not controle the lighting"

Cons: "great off road truck. Great on the highway too"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I'm very happy with my van. I only have a few I thing I dont like. You can't turn of the day time head lights. You can't controle the inside lights in the back from the drivers seat. I live in arizona. I don't want to open the door to look over my sholder to check something in the cargo area when I'm parked. But I have to. also no over ride switch to kill the dargo lights during the day if I want the power for the 110 outlet. I have to turn off each light one at a time and then reset them when i'm done. Way to drop the ball on that one Nissan. Everything else is great."

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

My All Anything Vehicle

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good ride, lots of room"

Cons: "Wish it was set up more for an easy rv conversion"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought my 2012 Nissan NV 2500 high top in 2012 used-certified. I am doing some conversion on it now so we can use it as a travel/overniter. Added a jacknife sofa, bathroom, galley, roof a/c to come. This vehicle drives nice. I get an avg of 17-18mpg around the hilly area I live and 20+ on interstate at 68mph. Pulls an 18' boat just fine and still gets 16mpg. Very happy with the v-6. Very happy with this van. RV like seating for driver and passenger. No major problems so far still under warranty then a drive train warranty to 100k. I would recommend for work or play."

26 people out of 47 found this review helpful

Love this van!

By on Sunday, January 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Space, comfort and decent mileage."

Cons: "1 of my heat setting buttons occasionally sticks!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought the NV1500S with 25,000 miles on it, within one year I've put 20,000 more miles on it without one problem. Highly spacious cargo area allowed me to built custom cabinets for it and still allow me to transport tools & the custom cabinets I build. The height also allows me to load sheets of plywood standing up (try that in an e-series!). I also can fit 2-24' ladder's in it easily with a compound sliding miter saw & stand, table saw, compressor and extending plank. The cab is very comfortable and is put to the test in the 3+ hour commute's I make into Boston. Mileage is decent in the V6, 16mpg average loaded up (lots of traffic). I couldn't be happier with it, great van!"

13 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Best van out there

By on Sunday, July 14, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "4x4 would be sweet"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had every kind of cargo van they make. I work in home remodeling and Nissan really came out with a van for a contractor. I can't think of one complaint I absolutely love my van. Nissan just got a life long customer with this one. Any other van I had left me scratching my head wondering why they did it that way or why they didn't . Everything about this van just makes sense they definitely had the contractor in mind while designing this van. I would absolutely reccomend the nv to anyone. Thank you Nissan"

13 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Superb Quality/Great Value/Excellent MPGs

By on Sunday, July 07, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I wanted a large Sprinter-type van, but could not afford 50,000 + dollars. I decided to check out the NV2500 HD, and I'm very happy I did. It had all the options: The power driver's seat is great, and maybe the most comfortable driver's seat I've ever had. I got this with the intention of turning it into a mobile Big Metal Tent for traveling. I'll be able to stand upright in the back, and I expect to be able to fit everything necessary for a cross country trip back there (no toilet, or plumbing) . I don't drive very hard, or fast, and on the freeway, out of the mountains, I get 20+ MPG....Average 18 altogether...I expect to have a long and happy relationship with this, my (hopefully) last retirement road trip machine...."

17 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very comfortable and very good work van.

By on Saturday, May 04, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,796

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Ride and room"

Cons: "gas mileage...loaded need v8"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I brought my V6 hightop used with 36,000 miles. Empty I got about 18 mpg. Since I have loaded the van with my tools and equipment. I am now getting 13 mpg. This van is the best work van I have owned. The ride is smoothe and firm. I have a lot of leg room and head room in my van. The V6 is strong and qiuet. The only thing I wish for was a v8."

14 people out of 18 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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