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Nissan NV400 SE
Now you can add a third marque to that last pairing, as Renault’s alliance partner Nissan finally gets its hands on the big van chassis, grafting on its own corporate front end to produce the NV400. To be fair, the Nissan grille and lights look like they were designed to be there from the start and the NV400 is a handsome van.
You get all the usual models, so a choice of front and rear drive, multiple body lengths and roof heights and gross weights up to 4.5 tonnes. The vans are powered by a choice of three 2.3 litre dCi engines, pushing out 100hp, 125hp or 150hp, all of which drive through a six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automated manual is available as an £800 option on the mid-range 125hp models in both front and rear drive.
Nissan is also coming to market now with a number of conversions and chassis cabs, further extending the options available. As with other models in the range, Nissan tends towards a fairly high specification, to put some clear air between itself and the other two suppliers of the van. You can have your NV400 in E or SE specification, though the E is only available on 100hp front drive models, so is really an entry-level van.
The SE level that we have here, gets you ESP on both front and rear drive models, unlike some competitors who still have the safety system on the options list on front drive vans. You also get standard superlocking, rear parking sensors and a driver’s airbag.
Inside the cab drivers will be pleased to see that Bluetooth is standard, along with powered windows and mirrors. You also get cruise control and a trip computer, along with a Radio/CD with Aux input. The clever folding centre seat with built-in rotating tabletop also comes as part of the SE trim.
Our 125hp front drive test vehicle was also fitted with a comfort pack of air conditioning, front fog lights and a pollen filter for the cab (£750), along with Nissan Connect by TomTom sat-nav (£650), metallic paint (£350) and carpet mats (£35). All in, that takes the standard on the road price of £23,960 up to a total of £25,745, excluding the VAT. With a 3,682mm wheelbase and that high roof, the internal load volume of our test van was a useful 10.8m3, while the available payload including driver tips the scales at 1,620kg.
Despite that substantial footprint, the NV400 is easy to drive through city traffic and makes light work of country roads too. It is also an accomplished motorway companion, the high riding stance providing good visibility above the traffic in front.
It is also a very quiet van, the cruise control reducing driver effort over longer journeys. Indeed everything in the cab has been well thought out to make life easier for the driver, with plenty of well-positioned storage, easily accessible controls and a comfortable driver’s seat with armrest.
Running costs are acceptable, with Nissan claiming a combined fuel figure of 34.45mpg. Trips to the dealer come every 25,000 miles or two years, and you get three years/100,000 miles of warranty. Nissan has big plans for its LCVs and the NV400 should help to push the company into new fleets. Certainly being able to offer up to date vans across the whole range now will help.
NV400 is a good very van. With the backing of an expanding business centre network, it deserves to do well. Nissan is aiming for around 80 business centres across the UK, 20 more than last year.
18 Jun 2012 15:09