text and images by michael a. marrs
What often starts out as a good idea can be the basis for a great idea. When Nissan brought the NVCargo van to the market in 2011, it brought in a commercial package that has several designs and features that are specifically for a commercial vehicle. Along with setting up a mobile workstation, there are different roof heights available that allow for a variety of cargo materials to be carried in a commercial application. From that good idea came the NV200, a compact commercial vehicle that was first introduced in 2013, taking on many of the features and traits for commercial applications that have been proven in the NVCargo.
The NV200 starts with two trim levels that use the same powertrain. Under the hood is the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is backed by the Xtronic transmission – a CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission. The NV200 rolls on a set of steel 15-inch wheels and tires that do appear small in this day of 17-20 inch wheels becoming the norm. The low floor profile of the NV200 makes for ease of loading through sliding doors on both sides, as well as a 40/60 rear door that makes loading curb side ideal for small local commercial carriers or fleet operators. Along with the available cargo space, the driver cockpit is designed for daily use with seats that are slightly raised so that the drivers view through the massive amount of glass becomes even more useful. There are storage spaces for binders, papers, or even notebooks around the cab area. Multiple power outlets offer power at key points, and the passenger seat back folds down to form a flat work surface suitable for a laptop. With any commercial vehicle, driver comfort is also important during a long day, and the front seats are offered with heavy duty side panels to reduce the effects of wear on the power adjustable buckets that have optional heating. There are several feature packages that can be added on such as the Rear Glass package that really should be standard on a cargo van, although the Technology package does bring in a rear view camera that improves safety. The NissanConnect with Navigation is also part of the package, as well as Satellite Radio. These same attributes and features that are so useful in a cargo vehicle are also being used to make the NV200 a versital vehicle.
With the underpinnings of the NV200 compact commercial van that has a proven commercial background, the migration to a taxi format is not as hard as it might seem. Of course, the first thing noticed is the bright yellow coloring with black signage that leasves no doubt that this is a taxi. On the interior, the ‘wall’ between the front and rear passenger space is the first thing noticed as there is a large plexiglass filled viewing area for viewing, then there is an intercom for talking, rear air controls, a passthrough portal for passing items through, and a credit card port similar to what a fueling station might use. In addition, there is an available large screen built into the wall that can be configured for a variety of entertainment or news items. The side doors do have small windows that open within the larger windows for outside viewing, and with the standard roof glass, the compact doesn’t feel like a compact. The rear seat is nicely covered in the black and yellow color scheme, and while rated for three people, they should be friends on a quick trip. The seat is comfortable and mounted on a set of slides for adjusting the passenger space so that viewing out of the available glass makes for an open feeling. .
As a NY Taxi, or for that matter, a taxi almost anywhere, the NV200 provides space for luggage or packages in the rear while providing passengers with a smooth ride that is conversation quiet, which can be climate control, and is easy on the back in the case of traffic congestion that changes that quick trip to a long trip
For more on the Nissan NV 200, visit your local Nissan dealer or online at www.nissan.com