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This year's model

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: September 12, 2012

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Nissan has big plans for vans. Previously a minor player in the LCV sector, the Japanese company's influence in this segment has been slowly growing over the last few years following the well received launch of the compact but surprisingly spacious NV200 model in 2010.

This was Nissan's own work, but the brand has returned to its traditional partners, Renault and Vauxhall, for help in developing the most sizeable model in its LCV range, this vehicle, the NV400.

If you've tried the Renault or the Vauxhall versions of this design, then you'll already know that it's a very competitive platform indeed, up with the class leaders when it comes to practicality and running costs. To this, the NV400 adds sharp pricing, distinctive looks, a huge range of model options and some clever hi-tech gadgetry.

With a huge choice of body styles, load volumes and options, plus an efficient set of Euro 5-compliant diesel engines, it's a class act. There's certainly a huge array of NV400 variants.

As well as the factory-built panel vans and combis, there are crew vans, box-bodies, tippers and dropsides, all built in-house.

The brand also offers a chassis-cab for specialist body builders.

Most customers though, will want a simple van, for which you're likely to pay somewhere in the £21,000 to £27,000 bracket for front wheel drive and somewhere around £26,000-£30,000 for a rear wheel drive model.

That front or rear wheel drive decision is an important one to get right.

Front-wheel drive offers a lower kerb weight for improved payloads, a lower frame height and improved fuel economy.

Rear-wheel drive offers greater choice for chassis cab conversions and, thanks to its high rear axle capacity, is better suited to medium duty applications.

Rear-drive versions are available with single or twin rear wheels.

Next, you've to choose your preferred power output from the 2.3-litre diesel engine, with a 100bhp option for front wheel drive customers, then both front and rear wheel drive models getting 125 and 150bhp alternatives.

Then you've the decision to make on gross vehicle weight – either 2.8, 3.3, 3.5 or 4.5 tonnes. Before you go on to choose one of three height options (H1, H2 and H3) and select between three wheelbases and four lengths (L1, L2, L3 and L4).

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