Nissan Motors has enjoyed good success in the Indian market with the well received and highly successful small car Micra. The car manufacturer riding on this success is planning on introducing a whole range of cars in to the Indian market by the year 2012. One if these is the very impressive multi purpose vehicle the Nissan NV200. Nissan NV200 in India is manufactured with collaborative efforts from Ashok Leyland and when released later this year, should compete with the low end people mover from Toyota the Avanza, as well as Suzuki’s APV. The 2011 Nissan NV200 will be released with both petrol and diesel engines and should suit the MPV market nicely. The Nissan NV200 was the recipient of “International Van of the Year” award in 2010 and will aim to also take on vehicles like the Toyota Innova, Tata Aria and Mahindra Xylo. Expected to start at prices around the 9 lakh mark the Nissan NV 200 will come either as a people carrier or a commercial van. The people carrier will feature rear windows and will be termed as the Wagon 16S, while the commercial van will be recognized as Van GX.
Initial reports coming out of Nissan motor reveals that the 2011 Nissan NV200 will be offered in both petrol and diesel variants. This should suit the Indian market well and offer multiple options though the diesel version is expected to be the better selling one. The petrol version of the NV200 will use a 1.6 liter HR16, 4 cylinder engine and will generate 108 horsepower with maximum torque of 153 Nm. The petrol engine will be a five-speed manual transmission and is the same one that is currently used in the Nissan Micra and soon to be released Nissan Qashqai. The diesel version of the NV200 will use a 1.5 dCi, 4 cylinder engine that will put out 86 horsepower and a peak torque of 200 Nm. It will be configured to a five-speed gearbox and is very zippy when unladen. The torque power in the NV200 is also nice giving it a good power range and allowing for quick acceleration in slow moving traffic. The gearbox in either of the versions is smooth and enables quick shifts, which lets the driver enjoy a comfortable drive. This new entry from Nissan is as easy to drive in congested traffic as well as on the highways.
In city traffic the NV200 feels almost like a car and handles very nimbly and accurately. The response of the steering is direct and precise and the suspension is tuned to provide a comfortable ride. The 2011 Nissan NV200 comes with MacPherson strut suspension in the front and a single leaf spring rear axle. The struts used have cut down on interior noise levels by using a sub-frame mounted system with rubber mounts. Engineers at Nissan have minimized body roll when cornering by fitting a front anti-roll bar which is connected directly to the strut assembly. The ride comfort in the NV200 is further enhanced by the use of ripple control shock absorbers and drivers will love the fact that it also has power steering making it much easier to drive in heavy traffic conditions.
The Nissan NV200 has a fuel tank capacity of 55 litres and is expected to deliver a city mileage of 20 km/l and highway mileage of 23 km/l. The length of the Nissan NV200 is 4400 mm, height is 1850 mm and its width is 1695 mm. The international version of the NV200 is available with 2 person, 5 person and 7 person seating depending on the model. There is no confirmation about the seating capacity of the Nissan NV200 in India yet but the 7 seater will definitely be sold here.
The Nissan NV200 is a great combination of good looks and functionality. You would not normally think of a van in terms of design and style, but with the introduction of the Mercedes R-class styling and design in the van segment have now become a desired feature. The NV200 will be Nissan’s first foray in the MPV segment in the Indian market and it has all the essential features required in a van. Being a van it is likely to be used for a variety of uses and keeping this in mind Nissan have fitted durable plastic in the interiors and exteriors as well.
The front of the vehicle has V-shaped chrome grille that moves into the wide positioned, diagonally slanted headlights. The front fascia has a short hood and the windshield slopes steeply up from it towards the high roof line. The hood is indented with dual lines and the front bumper incorporates the fog lights. The rear of the NV200 is also sweetly designed with a broad tailgate that opens wide and ensures easy loading of any materials. The rear window has a reverse viewing mirror attached to it to allow the driver to see near the rear bumper while reversing.
The interiors of the NV200 as simplistically designed keeping in mind the multiple uses of the vehicle. As I mentioned earlier there is evidence of hard, durable plastic everywhere which is sure to withstand the weight of most cargo. The durable plastic adorns the dash, door panels, centre console a well as the door handles, window trim, rear doors, floor surface and wheel arches. This plastic also helps to give the Nissan NV200 an increased amount of inside space. Mentioning space the NV200 employs a semi elliptical leaf spring at the rear axle and this has a twofold advantage. Firstly it allows for cargo to be spread over the wheelbase and ensures that extra load can be carried. Secondly the leaf spring fitting is compact and increases the amount of cargo space.
The front cabin of the NV200 is designed mainly with a view to maximize driver comfort and the dash is designed just for this purpose. The centre console houses the climate controls as well as the audio controls and the lower part of it incorporates the gearbox. The Nissan NV200 is bigger than its rivals and provides lots of space for all occupants. The telescopic and tilt steering wheel gives the driver every option of getting the most comfortable seating position for himself.
The rear cabin of the NV200 is where the best features of the NV200 stand out. Featuring the best cargo capacity among its rivals the NV200 has a maximum payload volume of 751 kg. The rear cabin also features rear a/c vents that ensure rear passengers enjoy as much of a comfortable ride as the front two. The middle seat at the rear has a 60:40 fold function and all the rear seats can be folded completely to give a larger storage space.
Safety features in the Nissan NV200 has also up to standard with all fleet vehicles on the roads today and the NV200 comes with anti-lock brake system, Electronic Brake Force Distribution with Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), central locking, parking sensors and fog lamps.
Nissan is expected to launch the NV200 at around the 9 lakh marks but depending on features available this could go either way. It will only be available in India with one design and that too has not been revealed. The Nissan NV200 is the most spacious MPV available on the international market presently winning international awards and is most likely to do well in the Indian fleet market. It has all the necessary comfort and safety features that make it desirable as well being sprightly and agile in traffic. The fact that it has a power steering will really entice buyers in India who find the congested traffic a real pain in the proverbial behind.
The Nissan NV200 is also very fuel efficient and this is another fact that will make potential owners happy as it is expected to give 20 km/l in the city and 23 km/l on the highway. Ride and handling is also one of the best in its class and the vehicle responds well no matter what sort of road surface. The Nissan NV200 looks likely to continue the success enjoyed by the Micra and it seems that Nissan has really done its homework when it came to introducing its range of models to the Indian market. They have ticked all the right boxes concentrating on fuel efficiency as well as pricing to attract Indian buyers. Only time will tell if Nissan is to become one of the best-selling car manufacturers in India, but till now it sure looks like it.