2012 Nissan NV

The 2012 Nissan NV is Nissan’s foray into the passenger and cargo van market. This large work van handles exceptionally well and is one of the new models in the vehicle type that has been dominated by Ford and Chevrolet in past decades.

Though it has a great interior, the NV lacks crucial features found in other models of this vehicle type.


General Info
Vehicle Type: Van Base Price: $25,050.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 28 gallons (106L) MPG: NA
Length: 240.6 in. (611.1 cm) Wheel Base: 146.1 in. (371 cm)
Height: 84.9 in. (215.6 cm) Width: 79.9 in. (202.9 cm)
Curb Weight: 6697 lbs (3038 kg) Ground Clearance: 8.1 in. (20.5 cm)
Max Cargo Capacity: 120.7 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Engine: 24 Valve V6 DOHC Displacement: 4.0 Liter
Horsepower: 261 HP Max RPM: 5600 RPM
Torque: 281 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 7000 lbs (3175 kgs) Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:NV2500 HD MSRP: $26,050; MPG: NA
Option:NV3500 HD MSRP: $28,650; MPG: NA
Option:NV Passenger MSRP: $31,690; MPG: NA


The NV is comparable to that of a full size pickup truck. The cargo van trims are equipped with a 4.0-liter V6 engine that makes 261 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque. The 5.6-liter V8 engine that produces 317 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque is an option for specific trims.

The highest trim, the Passenger NV 3500 HD SL automatically comes with the V8. The V6 is relatively powerful but can be weighed down with heavy cargo. However, this is not a problem with the V8 engine.


Handling and braking for the NV is surprisingly fluid. Most users praise the easy steering and generally comfortable ride experienced while riding the car. Compared to its competitors, the NV can carry less weight and has a lower towing and hauling capacity, even with the V8 engine.


The exterior design scheme adheres much to the distinctive visual appeal of most Nissan cars. What is most impressive about the NV is its interior. It is designed to be both functional and comfortable. Most owners may find that spending a work day in the van can be quite a pleasant experience.


While the cargo trim come with the expected 2 front seat design, the passenger varieties are built to seat 12. A quick upgrade can add a full lumbar support function as well as a multidirectional adjustable seat for the driver.

While the base trims of the NV lack some standard interior features, the higher trims come with the functionalities found in most modern cars. Everything from remote keyless entry, Bluetooth, backup camera and cruise control is installed on higher models of the NV.

The Nissan NV also comes with a small item storage compartment. Innovative storage space is a rarity in most cargo van builds but Nissan manages to integrate this well needed feature.

Safety & Reliability

Because the NV is a low volume commercial vehicle, any extensive safety testing by either the federal government or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet been done.

Nevertheless, the complete set of standard safety features, from multiple airbags, anti-lock brake systems and rear view camera as well a parking sensors guarantee a safe and secure ride.

One downside is the lack of side windows for cargo models which could negatively affect visibility. J.D. Power gave it 3 out of 5 rating for predicted reliability.


  • Fluid Handling and easy steering
  • Built with powerful V6 and V8 engines
  • Excellent interior design, banking on driver and passenger comfort
  • Complete with standard safety features
  • Innovative small storage features


  • Slightly lower towing and hauling capacity than most competitors
  • Complete standard interior features only available on high level trims
  • Lack of side windows on cargo models decrease visibility
  • No extensive safety testing done as of now

Anyone looking for a fully functional cargo or passenger van that boasts superb handling while maintaining comfort will find the 2012 Nissan NV to be an excellent deal despite the slight drawbacks it has against the established makers in the van cargo and passenger category.


The Chevrolet Express (MSRP $32,130; 13 city / 17 hwy) and the GMC Savana (MSRP $28,940; 13 city / 17 hwy) are comparable to the NV Passenger Van.

What others say:

“The NV Passenger van features flexible seating configurations, standard curtain supplemental air bags for all four rows of passengers, standard headrests for all seating positions and integrated seat belts for all rear seating positions.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2012 Nissan NV holds wide appeal to anyone that needs to move a lot of cargo or people, but must also mind the budget. V6 models are priced right, and the vast capability of the cargo van’s configurable cargo bay is staggering.”KBB

“Available high top; simple model and option structure; strong value proposition. No diesel option; hard plastic in armrest areas.”Edmunds