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2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger

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2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger 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2500 HD and 3500 HD – the latter two offering a towering extended roof option – the NV poses a serious threat to the outdated Ford E-Series and Chevy Express.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 Passenger

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 Passenger 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 Passenger Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.7
Out of 10

Based on 15 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Love it!

By on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "price reliability fun to drive"

Cons: "side door heavy with nose down"

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

"I bought mine as a RV conversion and it is everything that I could want. I have the eight cylender version, it is fast maneuverable and so far no problems at 60,000 miles. At first when I saw it I thought it looked funny with that nose sticking out. But it is nice not having a huge cover inside the cab.Engine compartment is huge and if you need to work on it has lots of room to get around in. seating is comfortable and having camera screen in dash is great. Only minor negative is that side door is heavy and if you park nose down can be a bear to open. It is a great vehicle and great buy. Have shown my conversion more than 200 times"

Hands down the best large van for a large family!

By on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Everything, best full-sized van on the market."

Cons: "Rear visibility"

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

"This is our second NV. Our first was a 2013 NV SV which we had for two years and 38k miles. We wanted to upgrade to the 2015 SL for the leather seats and the 100k mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. I was astounded at the trade-in value of our 2013. Additionally, the dealer had our 2013 on their lot for a grand total of 1 day before they sold it - the day it went on their Web site it was sold. We love the 2015 more then our first 2013. Previous to the NV we had a 2011 Chevy Express 2500. Additionally, we have rented a 2014 Ford Transit while on vacation. In my opinion, neither of these vans are even in the same class as the NV. The NV wins in: 1. Size and space 2. Interior features and comforts 3. Technology 4. Warranty 5. Ride comfort 6. Looks 7. Power and towing ease Regarding item 1, The NV is huge. Tons of head room, leg room, etc. With the size though comes some issues. Don't try to fit in most parking garages and plan on parking toward the back of the lot at your local Walmart. When we rented that large Ford Transit for 12 days in 2014, once we returned to the airport and got back in our NV I felt like a midget. Item 2, interior features and comforts. All kinds of cup holders, power outlets and map pockets. While the Ford and Chevy's feel like their only purpose is to cart people back and forth from the airport to the hotel the NV feels like it is meant for a family to drive around town or on vacation in. Now this doesn't mean it has the same level of amenities as say a Toyota minivan but compared to the other vans in this segment it is the clear winner. Item 3, technology. Back-up camera (an absolute must as the rear-view mirror is nothing more than a windshield ornament due to the rear seat head rests), GPS, bluetooth, speaker phone. Again, not comparing the NV to a fancy SUV but compared to the other vans in this segment it has the best tech. Item 4, Warranty. It's not even a fair competition. 100k bumper-to-bumper come on now! We have yet to use the warranty on our 2015 with 12k miles. On the 2013 we had the van in twice for a rattly sliding side door (which seems to be a common issue). Also, the bumper bolts on the chrome bumper were starting to rust and causing rust streaks on the bumper. The front bumper was replaced twice for this. Item 5, Ride comfort. Again, not comparing the NV to a Cadillac but instead to the other full size vans. The ride is not even close. The ride on our Chevy 3500 was like sitting on a skate board down a rode with pot holes at 35 MPH. The Ford we rented was much, much better but still felt like a big truck. The NV rides very nice. No longer do I have to warn the family when we are getting ready to go down a bumpy road. Item 6 Looks. I love, love, love the look of our NV. We have a black SL with chrome wheels and bumpers and tinted windows. When it is all shined up in the summer it looks like a Secret Service or SWAT van. I also like that there are so few on the road and it gets attention. Recently we were 70 miles from home and saw a fried of ours who lived in that town sitting at a stop light next to us. She recognized us from a distance as soon as she saw our van. As far as looks, be prepared for gawkers. I would say that weekly, at the gas station or at the store, someone asks 'what the heck is that'. Finally, Power and towing ease. The Nissan never, ever fells like it is lacking power. We have a 7000 lb 32 foot travel trailer that we pull. With our Chevy, which had a Vortec 6.0L, you knew the trailer was back there. With the NV, I have actually found myself checking my mirrors to make sure I didn't lose the trailer. The NV has power to spare even when pulling a heavy trailer. In summary, my wife and our eight children love this van. It is hard for me to think of any negative comments. Obviously, it could be less expensive or have more tech but when doing an apples to apples comparison of the direct competition it is hard to find even one thing Chevy or Ford does better. If the NV is in your price range I would not even waste my time at the Chevy or Ford dealer!!!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I own this van and it has 62000 miles on it

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Better than the competition."

Cons: "People laugh at the boxy outside."

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

"This is a true sturdy value. It has had no issues. I haul kids, surfboards, dogs...etc. Decent on the gas mileage. If I keep it under 70 mp. I get 20 mpg. seats are truely easy to move in and out. Love it."

59 people out of 98 found this review helpful

Best designed passenger vehicle on the market.

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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: "Best priced. Easy and fun to drive."

Cons: "None. Plenty of Cup holders and space."

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

"Best designed large passenger vehicle on the Market. AC/Heat maintain balanced temps in cold or hot weather. Handling, power, visibility are unsurpassed. Paint, workmanship, minor flaw noticed on roof; but, not anything major. Seating is super. Can adjust for handicapped and equipment. Mileage is great for a V8...Averaged 15MPG on West Coast to East Coast trip loaded w/6 adults and luggage cruising easily at 78 MPH. Smooth as silk."

25 people out of 43 found this review helpful

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."

57 people out of 98 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."

46 people out of 76 found this review helpful

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