The first-generation NV Passenger Van was introduced back in 2012, and little did Nissan know that it would wear the crown of the ugliest car on US roads for the next eight years. Yes, it's not a looker, but the 2020 Nissan NV Passenger Van does bring a lot to the table. It's a no-nonsense people carrier offered in three trim levels with two powerful engine options, including a 5.6-liter V8 gas engine producing an impressive 375 horsepower and 387 lb-ft of torque. For 2020, the NV Passenger sees no updates and goes head to head with competitors such as the Ford Transit Passenger Van and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Passenger Van. But a low price, strong engines, and the reliability inherent from its Nissan Titan underpinnings mean this passenger van, which seats up to 12 occupants, has more than enough going for it, even if it is just as a regular prop in any movie as prisoner transport.
The Nissan NV van has been with us in its current form since 2012 and enters the 2020 model year with no major updates. Nissan has increased the price of the 2020 Nissan NV Passenger Van by $450, with the base model starting at $36,110. 2020 models include the standard seven-inch infotainment display that was introduced in 2019.
See trim levels and configurations:
Nissan offers the 2020 NV Passenger Van with two strong motors that give the big NV decent performance. The base models are powered by a robust 4.0-liter gasoline V6 engine producing 261 hp and 281 lb-ft of torque. This rear-wheel drive van channels its 6-cylinder power through an old-school 5-speed automatic transmission that plates up reliable and predictable shifts. Fully loaded, this engine can take some strain. The larger 5.6-liter V8 engine kicks out 375 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque and sends its power to the rear via a 7-speed automatic transmission, while chugging away at gas at some rate. The V8 van has a towing capacity of 8,700 lbs when fitted with the correct tow hitch receiver, beating all major competition.
The Nissan NV was only ever designed to do one thing: carry stuff. Nissan has now tasked it to carry the most precious cargo of all, and it manages, but not without a few drawbacks. Firstly, if you care anything about style and looks, then this vehicle is not for you. Secondly, do not expect the ride comfort and handling of a luxury SUV; this is still a cargo van, only now it has a few seats in it. The good news is that there are over 340 ways to configure those seats, although a 15-seat option is notably absent. The interior is simple and easy to use, and you can even get luxuries such as dual-zone climate control and satellite radio in an otherwise sparse features list. Under the hood, both engine options shine, but the V8 is the star of the show and gives this review of the 2020 Nissan NV Passenger Van a big highlight: the highest towing rating around. It's an honest working van with the reliability of a mule and the face of a natural disaster.
There are only three trims to choose from, and if we're honest, you can't really go wrong with either. Your most significant decision will, however, be what engine to go for. We would suggest going straight for the V8 option. This, of course, means going for the top-of-the-line SL. Not only does this add a 5.6-liter V8 engine with 375 hp, but it adds luxuries such as leather interior, navigation system, and dual-zone climate control system. The SL will set you back $42,860.
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