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Jan18

2012 nissan nv2500 Price, Review, Specs

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2012 nissan nv2500, what car reviews, Nissan has been full of little surprises in the utility-vehicle realm lately—the Rogue, the Cube, the Juke—and here’s another, although the word “little” doesn’t apply in the case of the NV cargo van. Not when the subject vehicle stands 105 inches tall, with a cargo hold capable of swallowing a couple of basketball teams—or maybe three or four juvenile giraffes—standing at full height.

The surprises here are multiple: first, that Nissan chose to play in this game at all. The full-size-van market amounts to about 300,000 units in most years (although it dipped sharply in 2008 and ’09), and it’s dominated by Ford (about 50 percent) and General Motors (around 45 percent). The Sprinter, which has been sold here wearing Mercedes-Benz, Dodge, and Freightliner badges, has hitherto been the only tall van in this segment and accounts for the other five percent. So, it’s a relatively small market that is 95-percent owned by domestic makes whose loyal customers are hard to seduce. Apparently, Nissan took that as a challenge.

2012 nissan nv2500

2012 nissan nv2500 specs

Engine performance, then, is pretty good for a vehicle in this size and weight class, and fuel economy is about what you’d expect. The EPA doesn’t require mpg ratings for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) above 8500 pounds, and the NV tested here carries a 9100-pound GVWR. We logged 11 mpg during the van’s two-week stay—not impressive, but that did include almost 400 miles of towing to and from GingerMan Raceway in western Michigan.

Deliberate Dynamics
This van’s dynamics also are what you’d expect. The suspension manages that towering aspect ratio surprisingly well, but this isn’t the kind of rig you take to your weekend autocross. The steering is slow—4.0 turns lock-to-lock—and transient responses tend toward ponderous.

Pickup Power
Although the underpinnings are new, the powertrains are familiar, as both are from the Nissan pickup inventory. The base van with the high or standard roof is propelled by a 4.0-liter V-6 (261 hp, 281 lb-ft of torque) from the mid-size Frontier. The optional engine is the Titan’s 5.6-liter V-8 (317 hp, 385 lb-ft), which is standard in the top-spec 3500 and powered the example tested here. Both engines transmit power to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. There is no four-wheel-drive option. At the test track, this powertrain plus a 6220-pound curb weight added up to a 0-to-60-mph time of 8.4 seconds—not exactly thrilling, but much quicker than the 11.6 seconds recorded by the last Sprinter we tested. The NV also trumped the Sprinter’s passing times: 4.2 and 5.9 seconds to accelerate from 30 mph to 50 and 50 to 70, respectively, compared with 5.7 and 9.0 seconds. There didn’t seem to be much degradation when we hooked up some 4500 pounds of trailer and race car and loaded a few hundred pounds of spares inside, either.

2012 nissan nv2500 price

Base prices for a standard-roof NV range from $25,570 for the base V-6 1500 model to $30,770 for the 3500 HD SV, giving Nissan’s standard vans pricing parity with domestic equivalents. Although the NV lacks a diesel option, as well as the range of body sizes offered by the Sprinter line, it does come to market with a price schedule that undercuts its high-roof competition by a significant margin. Our test unit—a well-equipped 2500 HD SV high-roof model, had a base price of $31,470.

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