First Look: 2011 Nissan NV Full Size Commercial Van

2011 Nissan NV Full Size Commercial Van

At last year’s NTEA Work Truck Show, we took you on a video tour of Nissan’s NV2500 commercial van concept. This year, the company is showing off the production version. It’s the first in a lineup of full-size body-on-frame light commercial vehicles that Nissan is expected to build and sell for the North American market.

The NV Van Series is aimed at the large-van market, long dominated by vehicles like Ford's E-Series and GM's full-size vans, but it’s got some unconventional new features that are likely to attract attention in a segment that sees major model revisions only once every decade or so.

Instead of a conventional short-nose configuration, where part of the engine sits in the cab next to the driver, the NV has a long-nose front end, like a full-size pickup truck. Nissan has positioned the engine ahead of the A-pillar and firewall. That’s not surprising, since the NV is based on a modified version of the Nissan Titan half-ton pickup’s F-Alpha body-on-frame platform. The long-nose layout also makes maintenance easier because most of the powertrain can be accessed under the van’s hood.

“From the seats forward, the NV looks, acts and feels like a pickup,” said Joe Castelli, Nissan’s vice president of commercial vehicles and fleet for North America. “You don’t have to take apart the interior to see the engine, and you don’t have to worry about tucking your work boots into a cramped footwell. But make no mistake, behind the seats the NV is pure, practical van.”

Two roof configurations will be available, depending on job needs. The standard roof offers a maximum 55.4-inch height from load floor to ceiling, and a very tall roof version is 76.5 inches tall inside – enough for most people to stand up and walk around inside without stooping. The standard roof can hold up to 220 cubic feet of cargo, and the high roof can accommodate up to 300 cubic feet.

2011 Nissan NV Van Interior

Although Nissan previously announced that it’s partnering with contract diesel engine manufacturer Cummins and German supplier ZF to develop and build two diesel engines and a six-speed automatic transmission, the oil burning powertrains won’t be available when the vans first arrive. Two gas engines will be the initial choices. There’s a 4.0-liter V-6 that’s shared with the Nissan Frontier midsize pickup and a 5.6-liter V-8 that’s shared with the Nissan Titan. A five-speed automatic transmission will be the only gearbox.

Power figures have not been finalized for the engines, according to Nissan spokesperson Brian Brockman.

The Nissan NV will be available in three models: the NV1500 half-ton, NV2500 HD three-quarter-ton and NV3500 HD one-ton. There’s one 146.1-inch wheelbase.

The front suspension is independent, and the rear uses a live axle and leaf springs.

Eventually, Nissan is expected to develop a heavy-duty pickup based on the same LCV platform as the NV vans.

We’ll have more news and information about the vans live from the show floor of the 2010 Work Truck Show in St. Louis this week.

Nissan NV Van High Roof


That van is fugly , I wish Nissan would get back to making small compact fuel miser pickups this is ridiculous .

I like, deffinatly looks better then the E series vans, and the long nose layout is going to be a big hit I think, with its ease of maintenace and extra room for front passenger/driver

I think this van looks alright actually.

It's no long enough. Who cares about looks when you are using it for a business.

*not* long enough.

If the power figures are better than Ford's (hard bet with Ford's V10 ) it can really work in the RV world. I think the long nose in the delivery van world is a problem. The van will be cumbersome around town.

Nice milktruck, Nissan.

if it comes with a cummins, this will be the end for Chrysler.
heh heh heh.

Hey Mike, do you know if this vans front-end will carry over to the next Titan remodel?

This thing has an ugly exterior, starting to look like Ford. I am quite impressed with the interior though. Very nice compaired to any other full-size fan.

@ Diesel, keep wishing. Give it 3 to 4 months and Chrysler is going to be releasing new/heavily refreshed for 75% of there vehicles. Chrysler is fine.

Now lets keep this threat on topic, no mindless brand bashing.

I like it. Any word on the payload numbers?

Trying to go after the Sprinter market when the diesel arrives.

Boah, the front-end design looks the GMC Sierra/Ford F-150 (grille) similar... Poor design creativity!

What's old is new. This is the first 'panel truck' since about 1970, when GM stopped making them in the C/K series.

This 'van' will need an 8 foot load floor to sell to the trades. If Nissan brings out a longer wheelbase and a diesel engine, they'll have carved out a new niche for themselves. They could even come up with a 'Suburban' SUV version, that could replace the Armada.

I'd want a 6 cylinder diesel version that gets 30 MPG.

Anybody that knows anything about hauling cargo is you want maximum cargo capacity in the shortest platform to maneuver around. That long nose is a waste

Nissan would be wise to re-engineer the front suspension to allow for a 55 degree wheel cut to help negate the long nose. Improved maneuverability would also be a good selling point for their full-sized pickups and SUVs using the same steering components.

If this thing, and their pickups and SUVs for that matter, are particularly nimble they'd be doing a better job carving out a niche that can be associated with their relatively sporty brand image - the engines are already strong, and the powertrain lineup will be stellar once the Cummins diesels are in play.

its a nissan truck, therefore its a joke. they need to get back to their cars and be able to live in that market, but trucks, no nisssan

Props to Nissan for being the first importer to bring a Full Sized van to market. Everyone screams that competition is a good thing so now there's more for this niche.

That said, I agree with those relating to the cargo size. Contractors are used to a full eight feet behind the seat and will expect that in any full sized work van. The question is if Nissan's van does have that capacity, will buyers be willing to sacrafice the maneuverability of the shortnose vans for the ease of maintenence this Nissan van brings.

As for looks, you gotta ask; Would B. A. Barackas drive one?

this sotry goes to show how manual transmissions are going the way of the dinosaurs. i dont get why people complain that manual transmissions are not an option anymore.... yes, it may seem sporty becuase you control when you shify up or down. now manual transmissions get worse mileage than automatic.... and you have added wear and tear such as clutch etc...... why do people miss manuals now?

I don't think the long nose is going to hamper it much, if you look the wheels are still far back and most the extra length is overhang and the wheelbase is still shorter then say an extended cab pickup.

Beautiful looking commercial vehicle but are Nissan concentrating on fuel efficiency as much as they could. Personally I'd prefer something smaller and probably European.

I likey with a passion <3! Time for GM and Ford to update their vans to compete with the Nissan NV (read "envy") and Dodge-Ram Sprinter. Nice start, Nissan...I hope for longer and shorter versions and more varieties to come.

the front end is so so- the interior looks a lot like the late model chev/gm, even a bit like the current work interior of the chev/gm.

what nissan should really consider for the platform for the new titan is the new patrol. they are already considering de-contenting the new patrol for the infiniti QX. i am not going to pretend i know everything about bringing a vehicle to production, but from what i understand that platform is incredible, so that's good. it uses a modified titan engine, putting out nearly 400 hp, and a 7 speed automatic. thats good. the interior is beautiful- which with some black and aluminum would look great in a titan. again this is just a titan driver talking. i love my truck, but it needs a change- why start from the drawing board when you have some big pieces in my opinion that would be great in a new truck. i like the new tow mirrors on that van, and somewhere between the patrol and the van for the front end, but keep it chiseled like a truck should be.

and nissan, please please change your windshield wipers, they are terrible. and for some bling- i'd like to see a moon roof on the king cab, and a power sliding rear window as well as rear windows that roll down. do something with the seatbelts too. they shouldn't be on the back door so when someone opens that they strangle the front seat passenger.

@ allister

If manuals are more inefficent then autos why are all of the companies developing dual clutch trannys. They are the same concept as manuals but shift automaticly by using electronics.

Manuals ARE much more efficent then autos.


That long nose is the best advance in van technology I have seen. If you where a mechanic you would under stand. Short nosed vans are just miserable to work on. Any design that makes a vehicle easier to work on will make maintenence and repaires cheaper for owners. This is a good thing.

@ Allistar
You claim clutch wear as an added cost compared to an automatic. You can replce the clutch in a Dodge diesel twice for the same cost of the option of the automatic tranny. Manuals are far more durable and reliable than an automatic, cost less to maintain, and offer more driver control.

can u mount a ladder rack on it

Those Diesel options could definitely help global Patrol sales.The 400hp Petrol(Gas) engine is fine, but powerful diesel options would be better.

The long nose is a plus when it comes to protecting the occupants from front end collision and injury.

Dr. Dan Batchelor
Batchelor Chiropractic Roswell, Georgia
270 South Atlanta st
Roswell Georgia 30075

If the Nissan durability, and handling engineering is applied then it will be much better the Ford, Chevy, GM, and Chrysler vans. When will we see them at the dealerships?

Im interested on how standard ladder racks will(or won't) mount on the vehicle

I have been a prisoner to Ford for the past 20 years. I am very excited about the NV vans. I own a locksmith business and the reliability thing is what i am most excited about. The rear of the van would be a perfect size. Where do i send my money . can't wait to buy one!

Quigley is working on a 4x4 version

Looks like, extended SUV.

sprinters are garbage this new nissan nv will take the market in expedinging cargo as far as looks its great and different all of the comments i have read is garbage this is a great nv van and far as chey ford vans they are junk also

WHEN WILL North America Get a Real Full Size 4X4 Van????????????????????

Full Size 4x4 Van, Ford/GM, ARE YOU LISTENING???????????

Just placed an order for mine at the dealership in bright red color (NV1500 base model), I will be loving this thing, I am sure! Looks better in person than the pix -- much better!

Don't think it looks so bad,,,long enough for my needs in business, I'm wondering if a all-wheel, 4x4 version would ever be available?

Looks promising, I'll be in the market soon for a new van and the high interrior height is a major plus. Diesel with close to 30 MPG would be nice as well and I shall wait to see if it becomes available. The fact that it has a full frame and should also tow a reasonable sized trailer again is a plus. As for the automatic vs manual debate. That is now a non-starter as traffic density and flow models dictate an automatic as less combersome on the operator. Not worried about 4x4 or conversions as that is again a seperate niche market but with Nissan placing its next truck into the line up it would not surpise me to se a factory 4x4 NV within 2 to 3 years after introduction. Consumer demand will be a driving factor. Corrosion and maintenance issues will also be a factor vs Ford/GM&Chrysler. The lower the projected maintenance costs the better the product will be recieved. So yes I'll keep the NV in mind and if it comes in cheaper than the U.S. Big three I may even make that crossing of the Rubicon with less effort.

looks great...add the 4X4 drive line from the titan and its instantly the only van with 4 wheel drive on the market. Not only will it beat out the Chevy and ford in the northern states when the passenger model comes out why would you by a 60K suburban or expedition. This thing has potential to make a serious impact on the market.

Turning radius is 45'. For maneuverability that puts it right there with the new, smallest Sprinter and ahead of other full size vans. Exactly what one would expect given the wheelbase. (I am going to sorely miss my Sprinter 118 (39'). That thing is like driving a compact car.) The full size Transit is due to hit the US in 2013, and is widely considered the best of the Euro-style vans. This looks to be a step in the other direction. A refresh of the "American" van with a high roof option. And a V8 gas motor. Still gotta drive the new Sprinter first. When you work out of one of these as a service tech and need to squeeze into multiple jobs every day, it's all about the ease of parking. Per the nissan website it not only swallows 4x8 goods, it also takes a 10' pipe. I'm definitely in line for a test drive.

We had a Safari, and given the problems accessing the engine compartment, I think having a longer nose on this vehicle will make accessing the engine compartment much easier for both owner/operator and service people.

When I first saw this I thought I was looking at a Ford Transit with an Econoline nose grafted on. I remember what big news it was back midway through 1974 when Ford first did the unheard-of pushing its engine bay a lot more forward than the competition. The others didn't bother to follow suit for decades, and when the Sprinter came out it seemed like Dodge abandoned the home-grown van market. Perhaps they were ahead of their time? Anyway, perhaps my first thought was closer to the truth, that this is roughly what we will see in America once the Transit washes ashore (as the new E-Series perhaps?)...

The Hi-Top van looks like any other competitor but the low profile van looks great. I would love to own a few of these for my business. One day God willing I will be in a financial position to use these as my fleet vehicles. Keep it coming Nissan and you will have a new customer soon enough.


Do not hold your breath in that the NV van will be a success. Look at the Titan's sales.

for those who whine about turning - you must not be much of a truck driver - long nose awsome panel wagon - great looks and great for maintainance - ask your mickanic which he preferrs and how much time he spends working under a dash - I will take more leg and office space any day - learn to drive a real truck people - I am in line to buy one - yes - better fuel millage would be great on any comercial vehichle but we never do seem to meet other countrys standards - why not boycot - yea - no gas for a week and I bet prices would come down in a hurry -- no gas for a month and I bet those brains could make the same motors like over seas - Hey great idea !!!!

i am a mom , live in northeast. i like to see the same passenger type.

Just bought one of these...amazing delivery truck....puts Ford and Chevy to shame....sooooo much better.

the nv is ugly. Takes 3 times more fuel than the sprinter i drive, has less room and is shorter. And the long nose is bad for turning. On the sprinter it is so short from the driver seat you cant see the hood. But under the sprinters hood everything is well laid out and easy to access. Apperantly nissan had researched what the american market needs for 5 years... I would fire the engineers for a product like that.

Quigley, can you4x4 this thing?

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