2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo

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2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Expert Review

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

The 2017 Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans are designed to tackle big projects in the most efficient manner possible. Although lacking the turbodiesel engine offered in the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster, there is no getting around the pulling power of the NV’s big new V8 engine. Offering a choice of roof heights and a massive interior cargo bay, the NV can be retrofitted to cater to all manner of mobile business needs. As a passenger van, the 2017 Nissan NV van can hold up to 12 people, and while that’s good, it falls three people short of the Ford Transit’s 15-seat capacity. However, the NV’s sturdy body-on-frame platform delivers a 9,400- pound tow rating, significantly more than its Ford and Ram rivals.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you need a flexible work van, only one offers a tall-roof option, V8 power and a 9,400-pound tow rating. The 2017 Nissan NV comes with the industry’s best commercial-van warranty, and its sub-$30,000 price tag undercuts the competition by a wide margin.

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The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers such coveted features as a diesel engine and all-wheel drive, while the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster also offer a diesel engine and more modern styling. Unlike its competition, the NV comes in only one wheelbase and length.

How It Ranks
2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

For 2017, the Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans receive an improved 5.6-liter V8 rated at 375 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a new 7-speed automatic transmission helping to improve both performance and fuel economy.

Driving the NV2500 HD Cargo
2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

The standard 4.0-liter V6 in the 2017 Nissan NV1500 and NV2500 HD cargo vans proves surprisingly capable, with nearly as much power as the standard V6 engines offered in the...

... Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster. For light to medium jobs, the V6 delivers strong power and decent fuel economy. However, if you require heavy-duty performance, it’s the newly improved 5.6-liter V8 you’ll want. Optional in the NV2500 HD and standard on the NV3500 HD, this big V8’s 375-horsepower has all the might and muscle to pull the heaviest loads without hesitation. While it doesn’t offer the best fuel economy in this segment, the NV’s 9,400-pound tow rating is bested only by the Chevrolet Express Van’s 9,600-pound rating. On the road, the NV’s suspension delivers a comfortable ride with steering and handling that belie its somewhat top-heavy dimensions.

Nissan’s tall-roof option may not look all that attractive, but when it comes to the 2017 Nissan NV cargo van, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The added height allows grown adults the ability to stand upright inside the cargo bay and expands total volume to 420.5 cubic feet.

Knowing everyone from construction workers to florists might buy an NV van, Nissan wisely left it a blank slate, allowing for all manner of configuration. The NV cargo van’s flat-folding front-passenger seat creates a level workstation, while passenger models offer up to 324 possible seating configurations.

2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Details
2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Space is the 2017 Nissan NV's selling point, and there's plenty of it. Cargo models have seats for the driver and front passenger, with the rest of the bay ready to haul goods or get customized for business needs. For those needing the most space, models with the high-roof option expand cargo volume to 323.1 cubic feet, a nearly 90-cubic-foot addition vs. the 234.1 cubic feet in standard-roof models. Passenger models of Nissan's full-size van can accommodate up to 12 people. Seats in the three back rows can be removed or slid to create space for people and gear.

2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo photo

Form follows function in the Nissan NV, with the big van's slab-sided nature and overall large girth the keys to its ability to hold lots of stuff. Standard-roof models look like rectangles on wheels, while those with the high roof appear more like high-top sneakers. The high-roof option is reserved for NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD cargo models. Both cargo and passenger models have a sliding door on the passenger side for loading cargo and people, while the back doors have a 243-degree opening range for easier loading. Unlike some rivals, the NV comes in only one length: 240.6 inches.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base version of Nissan’s 2017 NV1500 cargo van includes air conditioning, dozens of cargo mounts, pre-wiring for electrical upfitting, a tilt (but not telescoping) steering wheel, a 2-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary input, and electronic traction control. Base-passenger models include seating for 12 with a dozen rear heating and cooling vents, eight cup holders/three bottle holders, and four speakers for the audio system. The lowest trims of both passenger and cargo models still use manual windows and door locks. For $650 extra, we recommend the Power Basic Package that rectifies this and adds cruise control and keyless entry.

Optional Equipment

Upgrades for the 2017 Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans include navigation, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, front- and side-curtain airbags, dual-zone air conditioning (passenger models), remote keyless entry and rearview monitor. The SL top-line trim for cargo models includes an 8-way-power driver's seat, chrome bumpers, grille and door handles, a vehicle security system and roof-mounted side-impact airbags. In addition to the high-roof option, cargo models can be equipped with a rear glass door and side windows. Higher-trim versions include a rear sonar system to aid reversing the big van, while top-line passenger models come with leather-appointed seats that are heated in front.

Under the Hood
2017 Nissan NV2500 HD Cargo Engine photo

The 2017 Nissan NV comes with a 261-horsepower V6 engine that’s adequate for most duties. Optional on other models and standard in top trims is Nissan's new 5.6-liter V8 good for 375 horsepower that offers satisfying thrust. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline, with the V6 connected to a 5-speed automatic and the V8 to a 7-speed transmission. All Nissan NV vans are rear-wheel drive. Maximum towing capacity for the V6 is 7,000 pounds (6,200 for passenger models), while the V8 tops out at 9,400 pounds (8,690 for passenger models). The EPA does not supply fuel-economy ratings for vehicles over 8,500 GVWR. The diesel offerings in the Sprinter and Ram rivals are more efficient, while smaller cargo vans like the Nissan NV200 use less-thirsty 4-cylinder engines.

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

5.6-liter V8
375 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
387 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The 2017 Nissan NV cargo van has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $29,000, while passenger versions begin at about $35,000. A well-equipped cargo version can reach over $38,000, while a loaded passenger version can top $45,000. At its base price, the Nissan NV Cargo undercuts the entry prices of the GMC Savana, Chevy Express and Ram ProMaster, and is several thousand less than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. NV Passenger models begin nearly the same as people-ferrying versions of the Ford Transit. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are paying for the Nissan NV. Over the years, the Nissan NV's resale value is expected to be in line with its domestic competitors, none of which hold their value particularly well.

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