Following the introduction of its full-size NV cargo van, Nissan is broadening its van lineup with the compact NV200 unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show.
Similar in size and mission to the Ford Transit Connect, the NV 200 has seating for two and a 1,500-lb. estimated maximum payload. The U.S. version has been stretched 7.9 inches for additional cargo capacity, and the load floor is large enough to accommodate a standard 40x48-inch shipping pallet. The interior is fitted with built-in anchor points, eliminating the need to drill holes for shelving or tie downs for cargo.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine matched with a continuously variable (CVT) automatic transmission. No plans for a passenger version have been announced. Comfort and convenience options include Bluetooth, heated outside mirrors, and remote keyless entry.
Already on sale in some 40 countries around the world, the NV200 has a distinctive look that will soon be familiar, whether you like it or not. It’s been selected by New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission to replace the Ford Crown Victoria as the Big Apple’s taxi of choice for the next decade. Other cities are likely to follow NYC’s lead.
The NV200 goes on sale early next year, with taxi duty planned for 2014.