Nissan's entrant in the medium-sized Crew Van segment is the NV300 Crew Van, the Japanese brand's version of a design also shared with Vauxhall and Renault. It's very competitive in terms of efficiency and carriage capacity and differentiates itself from its rivals by offering a unique-in-segment five year / 100,000 mile warranty.
Four engine options are offered to potential NV300 Crew Van buyers. All use Nissan's trusted 1.6-litre dCi diesel engine - best known from the brand's Qashqai and X-Trail crossovers - with power outputs of 95hp, 120hp, 125hp and 145hp. The two former are single turbo, while the latter pair are twin turbo. All are mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Not all engines are available with all body styles. Renault claims that these power and torque figures are what you would have previously expected from a 2.0-litre engine in this class.
Nissan reckons that this NV300 will feel pretty much like a large MPV to drive and the driving position's as commanding as you would expect. Big door mirrors with convex surfacing on their lower and outer edges are present and correct to help with manoeuvring that can be aided by the neat wide angle mirror fitted to the back of the passenger sunvisor. Further embellishments intended to help you avoid urban scrapes include options like parking sensors and two kinds of rear view camera. This NV300 should prove to be a tough workhorse whatever its working conditions. Maybe that'll involve towing. If so, this vehicle's able, when equipped with a towing hitch, to pull a 750kg unbraked trailer and up to 2,000kg for a braked unit.
We're very familiar with this design now, though more so when it bears either a Renault or a Vauxhall badge. But it still has something of an avant garde look that works well with Nissan's distinctive 'V-motion' front grille. The outside of the NV300 isn't the big story here though.
We reckon users will really like the cabin. Gone are the expanses of uninspiring grey plastics you used to get on this model's Primastar predecessor. Instead, it's much more like a modern People Carrier's interior, with higher-end versions getting a chromed console surround, along with a chromed gear lever knob and chrome-finished front speaker trims, plus lidded dashboard stowage and reasonably high quality upholstery. Much improved seats offer more shape and higher density foam padding. The front bench seat incorporates lateral strengthening for both the seat cushions and passenger seat backs. Comfort is further enhanced by the inclusion of an armrest built into the door panel.
Compared with the old Primastar Crew Van, the driver's seat cushion has been lowered by 36mm, while the seat back is more reclined in order to get closer to the sort of driving position associated with MPVs. Combined with the height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, the number of ways the seat can be adjusted (height, fore-aft and seat back angle) enables the driver to find the most comfortable position.
This NV300 Crew Van certainly looks like a decent step forward over its Primastar predecessor. We like the far more efficient engines, the more spacious load bay, the hugely practical cab and the better quality throughout.
But should you select it with a Nissan badge rather than from a Renault or a Vauxhall showroom? Aggressive pricing matched by a superior class-leading warranty suggests that perhaps you should. A tempting package then, for cost-conscious business buyers shopping in this sector. It won't be the first contender you think of in this segment but it remains one of the more sensible choices you could make.Click here to find out more about our Nissan NV300 range