Nissan Jumps Into Full-Size Passenger Van Market for 2012
On the heels of a successful launch into the commercial van business with its NV commercial van series, Nissan has announced it is debuting the new NV3500 HD Passenger Van in the spring of 2012. It's designed for both family and fleet use.
Nissan says the NV3500 HD Passenger Van features the most flexible seating configurations (four rows/12 passengers) in the full-size passenger van segment, along with one of the highest standard horsepower and torque ratings. Probably as important, it comes with a 28-gallon fuel tank.
The 2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van will be offered in a choice of two engines, a 261-horsepower DOHC 24-valve 4.0-liter V6 with 281 lb-ft of torque or a 317-horsepower DOHC 32-valve V8 with 385 lb-ft of torque. Both engines include Nissan’s Continuous Valve Timing Control (C-VTC) for improved efficiency and are matched with a refined, heavy-duty 5-speed automatic transmission.
The Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van is built on a foundation of a rugged fully boxed ladder frame with independent front strut/solid rear axle with rigid leaf springs suspension, heavy-duty disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and engine-speed-sensitive power steering. In addition, the Nissan NV3500 features SUV-like maneuverability and easy access for serviceability due to its pickup truck-like front engine/full hood design.
“Just as we did prior to shaking up the commercial van category with the highly innovative Nissan NV, we first did our homework in the full-size van segment by studying the real-world needs, wants and desires of both families and fleet operators,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “As a result, we’re delivering a vehicle that offers everything owners are looking for – enhanced usability, driver and passenger comfort, flexible storage, dependability, durability and an affordable cost of ownership. Then we’ve topped it all off with signature Nissan style, performance and value.”
Who knew the passenger van marketing was heating up? The move by Nissan (as well as Mercedes-Benz and Ford) is to compete for a rapidly changing limousine business that has opened up in the wake of the demise of the Lincoln Town Car. Limousine operators (which include the ubiquitous livery cars populating airports everywhere) are scrambling to find suitable replacements. Many will probably turn to vans as replacements. They're not as glamorous but they can be more comfortable and handle multiple passengers with ease – something the Town Car cannot do.