2013 Nissan NV Van Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 29, 2013
  • Choice of cargo or passenger van
  • Standard and high-roof options available
  • 2- or 12-passenger seating
  • Up to 323.1 cubic feet of cargo space
  • Offered in S, SV, and SL trim levels


First introduced to U.S. buyers in early 2011, the full-size Nissan NV is available in 1500, 2500 HD, and 3500 HD model designations, 2-passenger cargo and 12-passenger van configurations, standard- and high-roof body styles, and three trim levels.

For 2013, changes are limited to new colors and more durable cloth upholstery on the front seats.

Exterior Features

In passenger-van guise, the 2013 Nissan NV is offered in 3500 HD S, SV, and SL trim levels. Among the base S model's standard features are 17-inch steel wheels, black exterior trim, split rear cargo doors that open to 243 degrees, sliding passenger-side door, rear privacy glass, daytime running lights, and the standard-roof body style with an overall height of 83.9 inches. The mid-level SV adds chrome trim, power-adjustable outside mirrors, and rear park-assist sensors. Nissan differentiates the top-of-the-line NV 3500 HD SL passenger van with fog lights and front park-assist sensors.

The NV cargo van's lineup is comprised of 1500 S and SV, 2500 HD S and SV, and 3500 HD S and SV variants. All are equipped with 17-inch steel wheels, the rear split and passenger-side sliding doors, and 10 rooftop mounting points for accessory racks. SV models also feature chrome trim, power-adjustable outside mirrors, and rear park-assist sensors.Interior FeaturesInside the 12-passenger 2013 NV passenger van are front bucket seats, 3-passenger second- and third-row seats, and a 4-passenger fourth-row seat. The three rear bench seats are removable; Nissan claims this setup allows for 324 different configurations. All seats are covered with cloth upholstery, including vinyl bolster patches for extra durability.

In 3500 HD S trim, the 2013 Nissan NV passenger van's interior also serves as host to a 4-speaker sound system with an audio input jack, air conditioning, and a tilt steering wheel. The 3500 HD SV passenger van offers a few extra creature comforts, such as power windows and door locks, keyless entry, power driver's seat with 8-way adjustment, cruise control, dual 120-volt power outlets, and a large, lockable storage bin between the front seats. Those amenities are found on the top 3500 HD SL trim level, too, and are further complemented by Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery and trim, and heated front seats.

Standard features are similar for the 2013 Nissan NV cargo van lineup, which can be had with the standard roof or the high roof, which has an overall height of 105 inches. All models include air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, and a 2-speaker audio system. With a nod to its more utilitarian purpose, the cargo van's interior is fitted with reinforced mounts for shelving and various other provisions associated with commercial use. The NV cargo van SV trim level is upgraded with an extra pair of speakers, power driver's seat, and a rear floor protector. Cargo volume in the NV measures up to 323.1 cubic feet.

Optional Features

Buyers have their choice of several options for the 2013 Nissan NV, with highlights including a navigation system with a 5-inch touch screen, Class IV tow package, rearview camera, and satellite radio service.

Under the Hood

The standard power plant fitted to NV1500 and NV2500 HD cargo vans, as well as NV3500 HD S and SV passenger vans, is a 4.0-liter V-6 engine that delivers 261 horsepower and 281 lb.-ft. of torque. Output is directed to the rear wheels via a 5-speed automatic transmission. For NV 3500 HD cargo and NV 3500 HD SL passenger van models, Nissan has selected the Titan pickup truck's 5.6-liter V-8 that generates 317 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft. of torque. The EPA does not provide fuel-economy estimates for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) above 8,500 pounds.

All NV vans feature a double-wishbone front suspension, solid rear axle with leaf springs, front and rear stabilizer bars, and hydraulic recirculating ball steering. The NV cargo van can tow up to 9,500 pounds and accommodates a 3,925-pound payload, while the passenger van is rated a bit lower, able to tow 8,700 pounds and carry 2,700 pounds.


Nissan equips all 2013 NV models with dual front air bags, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist. The passenger van adds standard front side and side curtain air bags for all four rows.

As this preview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2013 Nissan NV.
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