Our 2013 Nissan NV200 might be fully loaded but it still rides on black steel wheels with plastic hubcaps. Nissan currently doesn't offer a wheel or tire option for the NV200 cargo van, so we contacted the pros at TireRack.com to see if they could help us make our van look more professional and less plastic. Shockingly, this wasn't going to be an easy task.

Assumedly to avoid over-complicating things, our Nissan NV200 is equipped with 185/60R15C 94/92T Euro-metric commercial tires made by America Cargo paired with a 15x5.5-inch steal wheels with a 5x114 bolt pattern. Due to the euro-metric OEM tires, we learned that at time of writing this update, there isn't a single U.S. tire manufacturer that offers a tire that can match the euro-metric commercial tire load needed for our van. Our tire size isn't the issue. You can get P-Metric P185/60R15 tires from any manufacturer, but our van needs a commercial rated tire and this is where it can get tricky.

P-Metric Vs. Euro-metric Commercial
P-Metric tires have two ratings: Standard and Extra Load. Standard ratings are used on passenger vehicles with limited payloads, whereas the Extra Load rating is used primarily for light trucks with limited payloads. Euro-metric tires have higher load-carrying capacities than their dimensionally equivalent P-metric and LT-metric tires in North America. Load-carrying capacity is the amount of weight a tire can support according to the tire's load index (the higher the tire's load index number the greater its load carrying capacity), and they also require higher tire pressures for the rears to carry heavy loads. It is not recommenced to switch from Euro-metric to P-metric.

Why is this important?
The load rating of the tire affects your payload capacity. Our NV200 cargo van has a stock payload of 1,477 pounds, and with our racks and shelves adding 132 pounds to the cargo van, our payload capacity drops to 1345 pounds. Factor in 200 pounds for a driver, and you're left with a maximum capacity of 1145 pounds for your cargo.

According to our NV200's tire size (185/60R15C 94/92T), the van's load index is "94/92" (1389/1477 pounds). A P-metric tire size of P185/60R15 with a load index 84 will roughly drop our load-carrying capacity to 1003 pounds -- and that's before we factor in the racks, shelves, and driver weight. See where I'm going? Putting P-metric tires on a vehicle that requires Euro-metric load-rated tires can dramatically reduce your payload capabilities.

So with this in mind, we decided to stick with our OEM tires to retain the value of our van's cargo-carrying abilities while upgrading our van's exterior appearance with set of alloy wheels. Since no U.S. tire manufacturer carries a tire to fit our load-index needs, we had to purchase a new set from our local Nissan dealer ($714). With the help of the guys from TireRack.com, we went with the 5-spoke MSW Type 19 15x6.5-inch silver wheel. It is an inch wider than the OEM steelies but will still fit on our van's narrow wheel wells. The MSW Type 19 15x6.5s retail for $91 each and include installation hardware. With our van filled with fresh rubber and new wheels, we went to 2 Brother's Tire & Wheels in Gardena, California to have the wheels and tires mounted (with stock TPS sensors), balanced, and installed for $70. Now we are stylin'.

2013 Nissan NV200 SV
Service life: 9 mo/ 18,465 mi
Avg CO2: 0.83 lb/mi
Energy cons: 145 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems: None
Maintenance cost:$157.49 (2-oil change, tire rotation, inspection)
Normal-wear cost: $0
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ: 24/25/24 mpg
Average Fuel Econ: 23.3 mpg