By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 7.9
The 2014 Nissan NV is a full-size van available in cargo or passenger form. The NV is part of a new generation of full-size vans that are replacing or taking market share from stalwarts such as the Ford E-Series and GM's Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana twins. Like the new Ram Promaster and Ford Transit, the Nissan NV touts better efficiency and more contemporary – if not dazzling – design. Cargo versions of the van offer value and enormous cargo flexibility thanks to a choice of two roof heights, while passenger models can accommodate up to 12 people while boasting over 300 seating configurations. Each is rear-wheel drive and offered with a V6 or powerful V8, the latter of which can tow up to 9,500 pounds.
Starting under $27,000, the 2014 Nissan NV provides a lot of vehicle and flexibility for the money. If you have a large family or need to shuttle up to a dozen people regularly, the Nissan NV passenger van does it with more freshness than the Ford E-Series and GM twins, and at less cost than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.
If you want your van to have a diesel engine or all-wheel drive, look to Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter, the Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana, or the Ram Promaster, or, for all-wheel drive, the Chevy/GMC models. If you need to seat more than 12, the Ford and GM vans can accommodate up to 15.
KBB Expert Ratings
Among the minimal changes for 2014 Nissan NV models are that tow mode, a Class IV receiver hitch, 7-pin connector pre-wiring, and heavy duty battery become standard on V8 models.
Driving Impressions The standard powerplant in the 2014 Nissan NV1500, NV2500 HD cargo and NV3500 HD passenger van is Nissan's trusty 4.0-liter V6 that proves surprisingly capable in this big hauler. With...... 261 horsepower, it is more powerful than the V6 in GM's cargo vans and out-ponies the base V8 in the Ford E-Series. Even with a full crew aboard, the V6 pulls strongly, though it does tend to labor a bit once up to speed. Those needing more power to easily haul or tow heavier loads should look to the bigger 5.6-liter V8, standard in the NV3500 HD cargo and the top NV passenger model, and optional on other models. That engine enables the 2014 NV to tow up to 9,500 pounds and grants a payload capacity of over 3,900 pounds. The Nissan NV's ride and handling are about what you'd expect from a massive box on wheels. That said, we do laud its suspension, which did a good job stabilizing this big rig.
INTEGRATED SEAT BELTS
If you've ever had to wrangle your way past a web of ceiling-mounted seat belts to reach the back of a shuttle, the Nissan NV's clever way of integrating the belts into the seats is a welcome solution.
The NV offers not just a lot of interior space – it offers that room in a smart way. The front passenger seat in cargo versions of the van, for example, folds forward to create a work station, while passenger models boast 324 seat configurations.
The 2014 Nissan NV is available for hauling cargo or people, and its interior aesthetics fit the function at hand. In cargo models, the NV seats just a driver and passenger, with the rest of its bay ready for boxes or customization. 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. The NV Passenger models can accommodate up to 12 people with two bucket seats in front followed by a pair of 3-seat benches and a 4-across bench in the back. The rear rows can be removed for owners needing to haul fewer people but more stuff.Exterior
In profile, the Nissan NV looks like either a rectangle or a high-top sneaker on wheels. The former look comes with the standard roof height and the latter with the high-roof option, only available on NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD cargo models. With the high-roof option, a 6-foot-3 person can stand upright in the cargo area. Both cargo and passenger models of the NV have a sliding door on the passenger side for loading cargo and people, while the back doors have a 243-degree maximum opening range for easier loading.
A base version of the 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 crank windows and manual doorlocks, (for $650 extra, we recommend the Power Basic Package that rectifies this and adds cruise control and keyless entry).
Upgrades for the 2014 Nissan NV include a navigation system, Bluetooth wireless communication, front and side-curtain airbags, dual-zone air conditioning (passenger models), a power driver's seat, remote keyless entry, and a rearview monitor. In addition to the high-roof option, cargo models are offered 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. Those who need to tow can add a Class IV tow hitch receiver, which is standard on the highest trim.
The 2014 Nissan NV comes with a 261-horsepower V6 engine that easily out-powers the V6 offered in the GMC Savana and Chevrolet Express. Optional on other models and standard in top trims is Nissan's 5.6-liter V8 good for 317 horsepower that also out-powers the comparable V8s offered in vans by Ford and GM. Both engines run on regular unleaded gasoline and are connected to 5-speed automatic transmissions. 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 9,500 pounds (8,700 for passenger models). The EPA has yet to supply fuel economy ratings for the NV.
261 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
281 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
317 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
385 lb-ft of torque @ 3,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A
The 2014 Nissan NV cargo van has a Manufacturer's Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $26,665, while passenger versions begin at $33,235. A well-equipped cargo version can reach the high-$30,000 range, while a loaded passenger version can top $40,000. At its base price, the 2014 Nissan NV cargo undercuts the entry prices of the Ford E-Series, GMC Savana, Chevy Express and Ram Promaster, and is several thousand less than a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book 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.