2012 Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van
Keith Griffin's picture

Nissan Jumps Into Full-Size Passenger Van Market for 2012

Look out Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan is coming to market with the new NV3500 HD Passenger Van to take you on. Lurking on the sidelines is the Ford Econoline Van, a stalwart of multiple passenger vans. No pricing was announced.

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.

The Nissan NV3500 HD Passenger Van includes:
• integrated seat belts for all rear seating positions; standard headrests for all seating positions; and segment-exclusive standard side curtain air bags for all four rows of passengers
• 12-person seating capacity with up to 324 possible seat configurations; large 1st row seats to optimize comfort, completely removable and repositionable 2nd and 3rd row seats; 50/50-split 4th row seat than can be partially or completely removed as needed
• large center console with storage for laptop computer and charger, business cards, hanging files, pens and paper; available 120V outlets; seat wear patch; fold-down front passenger seat with underseat storage; no engine intrusion into the cabin area
• low step-in height, easy ingress and egress without intrusive seat belts (integrated into rear seats); wide door openings; rear 50/50-split French doors with 243˚ rear opening
• rear HVAC system, available personal lamps for 2nd, 3rd and 4th rows; rear cargo lamp behind 4th row; available 3rd row 12V outlet; numerous cupholders and bottle holders
• available navigation system, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, telematics pre-wiring, XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription required, sold separately); and integrated rear view camera

Three Models

Designed to be affordable and to stand up to the abuse that full-size passenger vans face everyday, the new Nissan NV3500 HD is available in a range of models and option packages to fit a range of owner needs and uses. The 2012 Nissan NV3500 HD is offered in three well-equipped models, the NV3500 HD S, the NV3500 HD SV, and NV3500 HD SL (V8 engine only).

A number of option packages are offered, including a Power Basic Package (S models only), with power windows and door locks; a Tow Package (V8 only), with extendable heated outside mirrors and Class-IV receiver hitch, wiring and heavy duty battery; the Power Basic Package + Tow Package (S-grade V8 only); and the Technology Package with Rear Camera (SV and SL only), featuring XMÒ Satellite Radio (XMÒ subscription required, sold separately), 5-inch touch-screen SD navigation system, BluetoothÒ Hands-free Phone System (standard on SL-grade) and RearView Monitor.

The new Nissan NV3500 HD will be manufactured in Canton, Mississippi and available through a select network of certified Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide.

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