Nissan NV Van Can Now Carry Up to 12 Passengers
In Nissan's bid to develop a full-fledged competitor to the successful Ford E-Series (formerly called the Econoline/Club Wagon) and the less-successful Chevy Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, the carmaker has added a passenger version to the relatively new NV cargo van.
Simply called the 2012 NV3500 HD Passenger Van, the vehicle has four rows of seats to accommodate up to 12 passengers. Although this model is geared mainly to big livery operators such as airports or hotels, Nissan says it will also be sold for personal use.
The NV3500HD has full airbag coverage for all four rows of occupants with its full side-curtain airbag array; other large vans usually limit side curtain protection to the first three rows or less. Side curtain airbags are critical in the event of a rollover, something that tall truck-based vans are more prone to during emergency maneuvering. Driver and front-passenger airbags, electronic stability control and traction control are also standard. The seat belts for rear passengers are integrated into the seatbacks, making it easy to access the many seating positions without dodging around ceiling-mounted three-point belts on other vans. Every seat position also gets its own headrest to protect against whiplash.
This mammoth people mover comes with two engine choices: a 261-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 or a 317-hp 5.6-liter V-8, each mated to a heavy-duty five-speed automatic transmission.
Amenities include a rear ventilation system that hits all four rows. Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch touch-screen navigation system, satellite radio and a backup camera are available. Seventeen-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights and rear privacy glass are standard.
The second and third row of seats can be removed, and the 50/50-split fourth row can be partially or completely removed, Nissan says.
The 2012 NV3500 HD Passenger Van goes on sale next spring.