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2019 Nissan NV Cargo

$29,440 - $37,960
Price Range (MSRP)
Nissan NV Cargo

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Review: Reliable Workhorse

by Jared Rosenholtz

If you're looking for an affordable, functional cargo transit vehicle, the Nissan NV Cargo should definitely be on your shortlist. While it doesn't offer as much cargo space as some larger, more customizable rivals like the Ford Transit, it still provides enough for most applications. With a choice of two powerful engines – a 261 horsepower V6 or a 375 hp V8 – that move the van without too much effort, even when fully laden, and providing decent handling, the NV a reliable workhorse. Two roof options and three payload configurations add further versatility, but with only one wheelbase, things aren't quite as versatile as they are in rival vans. While it is light on both safety and infotainment features, it is also light on price, with a starting MSRP of $29,440.

Read in this review:

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 NV Cargo?

The NV Cargo enters 2019 with only minor adjustments to its kit. Standard features now include a seven-inch touchscreen display, a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack, Bluetooth audio streaming, voice recognition, and an interface for iPods or other compatible devices. The S and SV models equipped with V8 engines also gain access to the Backdoor Glass Package.

Pros and Cons

  • Handles well for its size
  • Comfortable seats
  • Choice of two body types to suit specific needs
  • Ergonomic and accessible controls
  • Interior feels cheap
  • Limited standard features and dated tech
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Only one body length available

NV Cargo Exterior

In an oddball mix between van and pick-up truck, the NV Cargo has come out looking like a butter-block on wheels. Unique, yes, but stylish, definitely not. The large grille on the front doesn't feature the usual V-frame that is common on most Nissan vehicles, and it is bordered by brick-like halogen headlights. 17-inch steel wheels are standard, with styled steel wheels and chrome-clad wheels available on upper trims. Black-accented body features are standard, with chrome-accented highlights replacing them on the SL and NV3500 variants. There is also a choice of a standard or a high roof, that will significantly alter the van's appearance.

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Front Angle View
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Side View
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Rear Angle View
See All 2019 Nissan NV Cargo Exterior Photos

Dimensions

As a full-size cargo van, the NV has the dimensions to match. It measures in at 240.6 inches long and 79.9 inches wide. With the standard roof, it has a height of between 83.9 - 84.9 inches depending on the variant, while the high roof increases this to 105 - 106 inches. A 146.1-inch wheelbase is standard across the range. Curb weight also varies depending on model and body configuration. The NV1500 and NV2500s that use the V6 engine weigh between 5,817 - 5,971 lbs. The high-roof NV2500, S and SV, range between 5,982 - 6,120 lbs. The standard roof V8 NV2500 and NV3500s tip the scales anywhere from 6,034 to 6,194 pounds, while the high-roof models have a total weight range of 6,197 - 6,357 lbs.

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Exterior Colors

  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Glacier White
  • Cayenne Red Metallic
  • Arctic Blue Metallic

NV Cargo Performance

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Front Angle View
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Rear Angle View
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Engine Bay

Engine and Transmission

Two engine options are offered across the range. The NV1500 and NV2500 variants are equipped with a 4.0-liter 24-valve V6 engine paired with a five-speed automatic transmission; it delivers 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. This powertrain gives the vehicle enough pep to drive around town, but particularly heavy loads will slow it down significantly. These variants can tow 2,000 lbs as standard, and 6,900 lbs when equipped with a tow hitch receiver.

Optional on the NV2500 but standard on the NV3500 trim, is the 5.6-liter V8 engine mated to a seven-speed automatic gearbox. With 375 hp and 387 lb-ft at its disposal, this powertrain is able to tow up to 9,400 lbs when equipped with a tow hitch receiver. With this engine, even a fully loaded van will still have enough punch to maneuver through traffic.

The gearbox is nothing state of the art, but it's a good old fashioned workhorse that can take a beating, making it a good fit for either of the engines on offer.

  • Engines
    4.0-liter V6 Gas, 5.6-liter V8 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Automatic, 7-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

For what is essentially a box on wheels, the NV doesn't handle all that poorly. In fact, many other large vans offer much worse handling dynamics; that is not to say it particularly fun to drive either, though. Steering is a bit slow, especially when you consider the vehicle's large 45.2 ft turning radius. The brakes handle well though, stopping the hefty van in 147 feet from 60 mph. But careful driving is still suggested since the safety suite is limited to the absolute basics. The van is neither fun nor relaxing to drive as a result of these limitations, making it more functional than anything else.

Ride comfort is above average, despite the middling upholstery quality. If there is one thing Nissan does get right, it's comfortable seats. This complements the relatively quiet cabin to provide a ride that is as smooth as it is silent. The suspension isn't particularly firm, but it does get firmer as gross weight increases, making the ride that much more stable.

Overall, the NV gets the job done without falling too short in other areas, but many rivals can claim better performance and nimbler dynamics without sacrificing in other areas.

NV Cargo Gas Mileage

The NV Cargo van has not been evaluated by the EPA for its fuel economy, but real-world reports show that it achieves an average of 13-14 mpg in mixed driving conditions. Naturally, these figures will vary based on the choice of engine and how big a payload you're hauling. With a 28-gallon fuel tank, this means that the NV should manage up to 392 miles before refueling. At least the van uses regular gasoline, so this thirsty engine isn't as expensive to run as it could be.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    28.0 Gallons
* 2019 Nissan NV Cargo NV1500 Standard Roof V6 S

NV Cargo Interior

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Front Seats
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Dashboard
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Armrest
See All 2019 Nissan NV Cargo Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The interior of the NV Cargo is designed with functionality in mind; the seats remain comfortable even over extended periods of driving, but the cloth and optional vinyl upholstery are not particularly high-quality. Similarly, the controls on the dash are laid out for optimum ease of use, but the extent of the features is extremely limited. The cabin is well-built too, despite the presence of lots of hard plastics. It would be nice if the armrests and optional center console featured some sort of padding.

  • Seating capacity
    2-seater

NV Cargo Trunk and Cargo Space

With two body types on offer, the van supplies various cargo space configurations. When equipped with the standard roof, a maximum capacity of 234.1 cubic feet is provided, while the high roof increases this to 323.1 cubic feet. The standard roof variant does require you to crouch down when maneuvering inside, but adults of up to 6 ft 3 in tall can stand upright when the high roof is equipped. Multiple attachment points around the cargo area allow you to customize it to your taste with shelves, ladder racks, and the like. The maximum cargo length is 120.6 inches, while the peak width is 70.2 inches. The maximum height is 55.8 inches with the standard roof and 76.9 inches with a high roof. The standard roof can support 500 lbs worth of cargo weight, while the high roof can support only 300 lbs. With these dimensions in mind, the maximum payload capacity for the NV1500 is 2,730 lbs on the S; for the NV2500, 3,280 lbs can be hauled by the S; while the NV3500 S can handle 3,850 lbs of cargo. Figures vary based on trim and engine.

Space in the front cabin is far more limited, though. A glove compartment comes standard with door pockets and two small cup holders. However, small-item storage capacity is improved significantly on the SV and SL trims with six cup holders as standard, and a multifunction center console big enough to store a laptop and clipboard A storage tray under the driver's seat is available on all but the base model.

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Trunk Space
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Trunk Space
2019 Nissan NV Cargo Trunk Space

NV Cargo Infotainment and Features

Features

Very few features come standard on the NV Cargo. There are no advanced safety features aside from the rearview camera and vehicle dynamic control with traction control, while comfort is covered by no more than basic air conditioning. In terms of convenience, there are keyless entry, power accessories, and a 12-volt power outlet at the very least. The cargo area receives a work light, pre-wiring for electrical upfitting, six floor-mounted D-rings, 36 integrated reinforced cargo-mounting points, 11 points for a bulkhead partition, and 10 points in the ceiling for interior ladder rack installation. Moving up the trim levels, a rear sonar system and cruise control are added to the driver-assistance suite, while an eight-way power driver's seat, rear door storage, a multifunctional center console, an additional 12-volt power outlet, two 120-volt power outlets, extra cargo area lights, and storage options are added throughout the interior.

Infotainment

Infotainment on the NV Cargo is almost non-existent. The basic audio system comprises two speakers and a seven-inch touchscreen with AM/FM/CD playback, Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, a USB port, and an auxiliary input jack. Two speakers are added from the SV up, and the system gains MP3 playback capability, along with SiriusXM.

NV Cargo Problems and Reliability

The NV Cargo has not been rated by J.D. Power for reliability, nor has it been subject to any recalls. Standard bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties with a new purchase will cover the van for five-years/100,000 miles. A three-year/36,000-mile roadside assistance package is offered as well.

NV Cargo Safety

Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has put the NV Cargo through crash testing, so no ratings can be given at this time. Standard safety features comprise vehicle dynamic control, traction control, two-wheel active brake limited slip, front seat belts with pretensioners, and six airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain.

Verdict: Is 2019 Nissan NV Cargo a good van?

While it is far from being a class leader, the NV Cargo is a decent cargo van. It offers admirable performance and decent handling, but it is quite a bit more compact than rivals like the Ford Transit. The Nissan's 323.1 cubic feet of cargo space is considerably tighter than the Ford's 487.2 cubic feet, but you can get the NV for significantly cheaper.

Nissan wastes little attention on infotainment and gives only marginal attention to advanced safety features. Whether this is to the car's detriment or not is debatable. With the van having similar fuel economy to rivals, the decision to purchase the NV will often come down to initial cost - and this is where it shines: at just $29,440 MSRP for the entry-level model.

For any cargo van to really be considered a great vehicle is a bit of a stretch, but the Nissan NV performs admirably where it counts. However, there are better vans out there if you are willing to make the investment. And if you are going to be moving significantly larger loads on the regular, the NV with just one body length simply won't cut it.

What's the Price of 2019 Nissan NV Cargo?

Compared to rivals, the Nissan NV Cargo is quite affordable. The entry-level NV1500 S starts at $29,440, while the SV goes for $30,430. Neither variant can be equipped with the high-roof body.

The NV2500 provides more variety; standard roof V6 models go for $30,440 (S), $31,430 (SV), and $ $32,550 (SL). Installing the more powerful V8 will add $1,600 to your bill, while the high roof will cost you $2,150 more.

With the same body options, the NV3500 is equipped with the V8 as standard and will cost you $33,740 (S), $34,730 (SV), or $35,810 (SL). Without any additional packages, the high-roof NV3500 SL will cost $37,960. These prices are MSRP and do not include tax, registration, licensing, and Nissan's $1,395 destination charge.

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
NV1500 S
4.0-liter V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$29,440
NV1500 SV
4.0-liter V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$30,430
NV2500 HD S
4.0-liter V6 Gas
5.6-liter V8 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$30,440
NV2500 HD SV
4.0-liter V6 Gas
5.6-liter V8 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$31,430
NV2500 HD SL
4.0-liter V6 Gas
5-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$32,550
See All 2019 Nissan NV Cargo Trims and Specs

What Nissan NV Cargo Model Should I Buy?

Your choice of NV Cargo van will come down to your requirements. If all you want is a basic cargo van that won't need to haul particularly heavy loads or pull trailers, the NV1500 S is more than adequate. The rear parking sensor on the SV trim is a nice add-on, but not much else comes with upgrading. However, if you need to haul/tow larger loads, you should consider the 2500 and 3500 variants. There is still little reason to look beyond the S trim, besides those already mentioned. The NV Cargo is a very basic van, no matter the trim level, so there is little need to spend more than is absolutely necessary.

Check out other Nissan NV Styles?

2019 Nissan NV Cargo Comparisons

2019 Nissan NV Cargo
2019 Nissan NV Cargo

2019 Nissan NV Cargo vs Ford Transit Cargo Van

If you're looking for an affordable van than can move a decent amount of cargo, then the Nissan NV is probably all you'll need. But if you want to move even larger loads, and do so more efficiently, the Ford Transit wins hands down. The fact that it also comes with much better safety features and a respectable infotainment system, doesn't hurt its appeal either. True, the Transit will set you back quite a bit more, but it could easily end up being a better investment in the long run. There is a reason that the Transit is the most popular van in the US, and it isn't just its class-leading cargo capacity. This hardy van won't disappoint, so if you can afford it, it is the better choice.

See Ford Transit Cargo Van Review

2019 Nissan NV Cargo vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van

The Sprinter is a premium choice that may seem exorbitant to many buyers. It provides an upscale, well-equipped interior and more than modest cargo dimensions. However, you may feel that you are paying far too much for comfort and tech in a vehicle whose primary function is to move cargo from point A to point B. The Sprinter will certainly appeal more to private contractors or fleet owners who care about the comfort of their employees, but the Nissan does offer enough basic comforts for a day of work-related driving, at a significantly lower cost. Still, you can get a sparsely equipped Sprinter for a moderate cost, getting superior comfort without breaking your bank, but the more economical choice is definitely the NV.

See Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Review

Nissan NV Cargo Popular Comparisons