For the past ten months, our long-term 2013 Nissan NV200 seams to be the staffers' choice of transportation when it comes to buying or selling large items. The NV200's rear cargo floor sits low, with a liftover height of 21.1 inches for the rear barn doors and a step-in height of 19.2 inches at the side slide doors. For comparison, our long-term Ram 1500's bed with the air suspension sits at 32.8 inches in park mode.

Motor Trend Art Director William Walker wanted to get his 1979 Honda CT90 motorcycle up and running as his new daily driver. But before he can drive it, he took it to a shop to get it tuned up using the Nissan NV200 as a bike hauler. "Toward the beginning of the year, my long-term Volkswagen GLI departed our garage. To fill the void of dependable transportation, I decided to finally get my loved but neglected 1979 Honda CT90 motorcycle running again." Walker continues, "In order to transport the little beast to and from the mechanic, I borrowed our equally beastly Nissan NV200 van. I joke about its beastliness, but the NV200 is a great little van. It drives very car-like and has more than enough room to stow my little moto-scooter-cycle and parts -- even with the installed work rack! I do wish we had decided not to install the wire divider, because you can't access the cargo area without exiting the vehicle. That said, the NV200 is a nice little work van and now my Honda 90 is running like a dream."

Motor Trend Creative Director Alan Muir recently helped some friends move their washer/dryer and BBQ to their new apartment. "Uploading a fullsize washer and dryer was easy, and the low loading-bay height helped hugely. The large sliding door on both sides made loading/unloading in a tight side alley really easy. Driving the NV200 with full-load or empty are two different experiences. Empty it feels very light and I couldn't help wondering if the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 130 hp could cope with a full load. Surprisingly it did, felt more stable, and didn't feel underpowered under full load." Muir added, "For it's intended purpose, I give the NV200 cargo van a 8.5 out of 10."

Jason Gonderman, Truck Trend's editor-in-chief, learned how handy the NV200 with his many trips to the hardware store over a span of several weekends. "The Nissan NV200 is an interesting little animal. I recently had the opportunity to jump behind the wheel for a couple days and put the utilitarian cargo van to work." Gonderman continues, "From the driver seat, you quickly notice the simple nature of it. The seats are comfortable, except for the lack of a passenger armrest, and the ergonomics are great with all of the controls in logical places. There is no comfort lost driving for long periods of time, which is exactly how a work van should be. The engine and transmission combination leave a bit to be desired but get the job done adequately."

"Where the NV200 really shines is in its utility. The double sliding doors and rear barn doors make loading a breeze from any angle. I loaded it down with all sorts of home-improvement items, ranging from kitchen cabinets (but not the sink) to tile and grout. We even stacked 20 two-cubic-foot bags of garden mulch, floor to ceiling."

"No matter how full the cargo hold got, the NV200 seemingly continued to ask for more. And at full capacity, the NV200 showed little sign of reduced braking or accelerating ability."

"I do, however, wish the four-cylinder engine would provide a bit better economy. Handling at slow speed is decent, but once you reach highway speeds, the NV becomes a bit darty and almost erratic. There is no doubt the small tires play a part in its handling shortcomings. One of the few downsides I found was the NV200's 6-foot cargo length, which relegated the purchased 2x4x8s to the roof rack. Also, loading and unloading at night is a chore due to the lack of adequate lighting in the cargo area."

"Overall, the NV200 is well suited to a life of an around-town delivery or work van. It's not the largest, most powerful, or most efficient cargo van but it certainly gets the job done. At the end of the day, its a cargo van and hauling cargo is what it does best."


2013 Nissan NV200 SV
Service life: 10 mo/ 20,574 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