Coming in both passenger and cargo varieties, the 2021 Nissan NV full-size van—not to be confused with the front-drive NV200—can handle many different jobs. The people-moving option offers seating for up to 12 passengers, and the available high-roof model makes loading bulky items super easy. Like the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans, the NV uses a sturdy body-on-frame design that allows it to support solid payload and towing capabilities. The compromise is a more truckish ride and clumsier handling than rivals such as the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Buyers can choose from either a V-6 or V-8 engine, but the NV models come exclusively with rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
What’s New for 2021?
On both cargo and passenger models, the NV3500 gains in-dash navigation as standard equipment on SV and SL trims. Otherwise, nothing has changed. Rumor has it that 2021 will be the NV’s final model year before being phased out in North America, so if you or your business needs one, now is the time to act.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
For the most value and capability, we recommend the NV2500 SV with the available 5.6-liter V-8 engine. With 375 horsepower and a base price of $37,575, it represents a solid value in this class. When it comes to the passenger van, we also recommend the available V-8; however, it’s offered only in the top trim level, 3500 SL.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Nissan offers two engines for the 2021 Nissan NV cargo and passenger vans. Less expensive models are powered by a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 261 horsepower. It’s more than sufficient for light-duty work. Above that is the 375-hp 5.6-liter V-8. It’s the same engine used in the brand’s Titan and Titan XD pickups, and it significantly increases the NV’s towing and payload capacities as well as its acceleration. A smooth-shifting seven-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models.
Towing and Payload Capacity
With the V-6 engine, the 2021 Nissan NV cargo can tow a maximum of 6900 pounds. With the V-8, that jumps to 9400 pounds. Although that’s strong for the class, some rivals can tow more. The NV’s payload capacity ranges from 2730 pounds for the V-6-powered standard-roof 1500 S to 3500 pounds for the V-8-powered standard-roof 3500 S. The 2020 NV passenger van can tow 6200 pounds with the V-6 and 8700 pounds with the V-8. Its maximum payload is 2800 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA does not list fuel-economy ratings for commercial vehicles with a gross-vehicle-weight rating of more than 8500 pounds, such as this NV line.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
In cargo-van form with the standard roof height, the 2021 Nissan NV offers a total of 234 cubic feet of space. The high-roof model, at 76.9 inches tall, offers 323 cubes. Your average person can stand up inside without stooping. In the front row, the NV offers about the same comfort and convenience as Nissan’s Titan pickups. The NV passenger van’s second- and third-row seats are removable and repositionable. In the rear, the fourth row can be split 50/50, and you can take out either side or both. Buyers can option leather-appointed seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Nissan NV’s available in-cabin technology is light, even for this class. Both models come with a standard audio system with a 7.0-inch display and Bluetooth. SV and SL models come with in-dash navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio (subscription sold separately), mobile apps, and a 5.8-inch touchscreen. In the dashboard, there is a single USB port and an auxiliary jack. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is not offered.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although most of Nissan’s new cars and SUVs come with electronic driver aids and active safety tech such as forward-collision braking and blind-spot monitoring, the NV doesn’t offer anything of the sort. An electronic stability-control system is standard, along with front and roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags. Nissan lags its competition in this regard; other vans in this class offer many more safety systems. Key safety features include:
- Standard stability control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
At five years or 100,000 miles, Nissan’s basic warranty package on the 2021 NV is significantly longer than the warranties offered on the GMC Savana, Chevy Express, Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, and Mercedes Sprinter. Nissan, however, does not include any scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
More Features and Specs