When we were first told it was our turn to spend a week reviewing the Nissan NV200 Combi, I had visions of a not-so-glamorous panel van with uncomfortable seats and a noisy engine.
The only reason my thinking immediately went there was because I enjoy smaller vehicles and even hot hatches; you know, hop in, nip around town, squeeze in and out of the littlest of parking bays, catch gaps in traffic easily and quick off the line to overtake. But then, in order to really give this combi a fair chance, I need to consider what this vehicle actually is, and who would buy it, hop into it myself and drive it for all the reasons it was built for.
I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised, actually, and I really found myself wanting to drive it.
It’s pretty good looking for a van and incredibly comfortable in its own right. Fitting 7 seats in there comfortably means that transporting a large family, or a small team of staff members is a breeze, and flipping up and folding away the two very rear seats up against the side of the van creates a whole new world of space for luggage. Granted, every seat flips and stows away so you can actually make the entire van a delivery vehicle for whatever you need to transport.
Driving it is actually pretty cool; when you look at the van it seems big and cumbersome but, in fact, is surprisingly nippy for something of its size. This is due to two things; seat height, where you can literally see over everyone and everything in the road, and also the very small turning circle and light steering, which is really unexpected and ensures driving confidence in small, narrow areas.
Decent fuel economy, thanks to the strong diesel engine, gave us an impressive 5.5l/100 over mostly constant highway driving speeds, and around 8l/100 in the rain.
At a low weight of 1408kg’s, the 66kW 1.6l diesel engine, with its 200Nm of torque available at 4 4000rpm is a gem in this combi. Overtaking isn’t necessarily going to happen in a hurry, and you may find yourself needing to give way for quicker cars up hills, but it’s a van that will get you where you need to be in comfort.
Things like ABS, EBD, air conditioning, front electric windows, passenger and front side air bags, ISOFIX child seat anchor points and vehicle dynamic control all work together to keep passengers safe and comfy in the NV200 and, while in transit, the infotainment system makes connecting your phone via Bluetooth easy so that you can enjoy your music, keeping everyone happy.
Since we reviewed the Nissan NV200 in the dead of Winter, the only downside to the van, which is minor but still worth mentioning, is that the van doesn’t have a rear windscreen wiper, and I found it a little worrying driving it in the dark early hours of the morning with very minimal rear visibility. Also, the rear view mirror doesn’t flip down to dim the lights of drivers behind you, so you find yourself struggling a little in that respect.
However, as mentioned, these are points which one can live with and over look in a vehicle which has so much to offer in every other aspect.
At R 293 500 it’s a comfortable, spacious transport van with enough get-up-and-go for its size and it’s pretty good looking, too. Space will never be an issue, whether you’re transporting people, goods or simply hopping into it and popping down the road.
We really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what Nissan come up with in future for this segment.
Along with this vehicle, Nissan offers a 3 year/100 000km warranty, 15 000km service intervals and a 3 year unlimited anti-corrosion warranty.
For more information, visit www.nissan.co.za