First Look: 2013 Nissan NV350

News I By Brandon Turkus I December 05, 2011
It’s fair to say we like funky Japanese vans here at Winding Road. So when a new one comes out, we get a tad bit excited, regardless of whether it’ll ever arrive on this side of the pond. Such is the case with the Nissan NV350, Nissan’s new cab-over-engine light commercial van.
The NV350 can haul items up to three meters long (9.8 feet) with ease thanks to long-wheelbase and associated cargo area, as well as assorted mounting hooks hidden behind panels in the van’s cargo area. On top of cargo hauling, the NV should appeal to Japanese business owners thanks to its “segment-leading fuel economy.” Unfortunately, what “segment-leading” means isn’t really explained in the release.
Other features include the first instantiation in a commercial van of a push-button start system. Ease-of-use is the name of the game in the NV, with features like a dash-mounted shifter, a floor-mounted parking brake, and an available back-up camera which is part of the in-dash display.
Japanese customers can pickup their NV350 this summer. Nissan doesn’t mention if the NV350 will come to America, only that other markets will follow the Japanese launch. Here’s hoping it finds its way over here. You can never have too many small vans.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Nissan.
Generous capacity. Improved convenience. Contemporary and dynamic styling. Nissan raises the standard for next-generation light commercial vans with the all-new NV350, debuting at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.
At a glance
Segment-leading fuel economy in both gasoline and diesel models
Clean, modern styling that expresses dynamic confidence
Functional interior styled to emphasize spacious feel
Keyless pushbutton ignition, a world’s first in a commercial vehicle
Segment-leading cargo capacity, handles items three meters in length
Japanese market launch scheduled for the summer of 2012; other markets to follow
In the NV350, Nissan introduces a light commercial van that raises the standard for the next generation with contemporary styling, expanded cargo capacity and smart functionality. The NV350 displays clean, modern styling that expresses dynamic confidence. The cargo area is now longer and more spacious for van applications, and allows varied seating arrangements in people-carrier or minibus applications. Generous cabin space adds comfort, while keyless entry, keyless pushbutton ignition (a first in a commercial vehicle) and a foot-operated parking brake improve convenience.
Leading its segment in cargo capacity, the NV350 can carry items up to three meters in length, approximately twenty centermeters more than the current model. Interior side panels have embedded mounting nuts for attaching hooks, shelves or other fittings that can be used to hold tools, equipment or merchandise. This makes it easy to configure the cargo area to suit the needs and desires of the owner.
The NV350 achieves improved fuel economy, thanks to efficient and advanced engine and automatic transmission technology, including clean diesel technology in some markets.
For the Japanese market, the NV350 is designed to appeal to the tradesman or business-owner who pursues outdoor hobbies and has a family.
Combining bold styling and practical performance with convenience, comfort and environmental consideration, the NV350 sets the benchmark for the light commercial van segment.
"The NV350 offers a variety of amenities that are unusual in this vehicle class, including the world’s first keyless pushbutton start function in a commercial vehicle,” said Hideto Murakami, Corporate Vice President of LCV Business Unit, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Superior fuel economy projects the NV350 to be the segment leader and the customizable cargo area can be adapted to different needs. I am confident, whether for business and personal use, the NV350 will exceed expectations."
Powerful presence with a clean and modern look
Large proportions and an extended wheelbase hint at the NV350’s expanded cargo area and enhanced stability. With an angled-strut grille and aerodynamically rounded corner panels in front, split character lines on the side, and subtly concave quarter panels above the wheel well, the NV350 offers modern styling grounded to real-world functionality. Nissan removed the drip channel from the roof edge, reducing wind noise while emphasizing clean lines in a simple form that imparts a distinctively contemporary look. The tailgate shape and rear lamps form a distinctive composition that underscores a modern, stable feel.
The deep tiger eye brown body color, a hue specially developed for the NV350, accentuates the vehicle’s clean lines while augmenting the impression of solidity and elegance.
Functional interior styled to emphasize spacious feel
The instrument panel is color coordinated with black upper and grey lower surfaces to give the front seat a wide and spacious feel. The two-tone color scheme extends to the interior, featuring a textured, patterned seat center with soft, suede-like fabric on the sides.
Positioned for high visibility, the meters light up in blue and white highlighting the cabin’s precision fit and finish. Silver-colored trim on the steering wheel, shift lever, meters and HVAC controls puts the finishing touches on a practical yet upscale interior.
New features go beyond traditional commercial vehicle expectations
Far exceeding expectations for a commercial vehicle, the NV350 is unrivaled in convenience and customizable cargo handling flexibility.
Convenience starts with the keyless pushbutton ignition, a world’s first in a commercial vehicle. Thanks to the Nissan Intelligent Key™ for keyless entry, the driver can lock and unlock the car without needing to take the key out of a pocket or bag. This feature is especially valuable when using both hands to load or unload cargo.
Drivers will also appreciate the new location of the gear shift lever, which has been moved to the dashboard, and the parking brake, which has been moved onto the floor. The multifunction display presents information in a central location with indicators and gauges arranged for high visibility. With the simple addition of a camera, this multifunction display can also show the area behind the vehicle when backing up.
The cargo area is not only spacious but versatile. The rear seat splits 50:50 in the middle, allowing each side to be folded forward to accommodate passengers and cargo. With a rear seat tilted forward, the NV350 can carry items over three metres long. Interior side panels have embedded mounting nuts for attaching hooks, shelves or other fittings that can be used to hold tools or recreational equipment. This makes it easy to configure the cargo area to suit the needs and desires of the owner for both commercial or recreational applications. Epitomizing this versatility is the model displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show — an NV350 custom-configured for the popular sport of canoe fishing.
In the NV350, Nissan demonstrates its dedication to delivering creative and practical mobility solutions that meet diversified customer needs with environmentally-friendly technologies. The Japanese market launch of the NV350 is scheduled for the summer of 2012.

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