First drive: Nissan NV300 Acenta 1.0t L1H1 1.6 dCI 125 van review

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Nissan’s new NV300 van may struggle to establish itself in the marketplace. That is because the exact-same model is also marketed by Renault as the Trafic, by Vauxhall as the Vivaro and is on sale in Fiat Professional dealerships with a Talento badge.

It is a scenario Nissan has encountered before. Primastar, which the NV300 has belatedly replaced, was a rebadged version of the old Trafic/Vivaro while the larger NV400 is a rebadged and modestly-restyled variant of the Renault Master/Vauxhall Movano.

So how is Nissan ensuring that NV300 stands out from its stablemates? Different front-end styling helps, but, on its own, is not enough. What the manufacturer has also done is introduce NV300 with a five-year/100,000-mile warranty in line with the rest of its range. That puts the newcomer ahead of its close cousins although any one of them could, of course, respond by extending their warranty to match.

Nissan is also working on beefing up its network. It is targeting its latest offering at small- to medium-size fleets rather than major corporates.

Power comes courtesy of a 1.6-litre dCi diesel at 95hp, 120hp, 125hp or 145hp married to a six-speed manual gearbox.

The two most powerful variants are fitted with twin turbochargers and come with stop/start and an eco-mode switch.  They also feature Energy Smart Management which enables energy to be recovered during braking and deceleration.

Euro 6 compliance is achieved through the use of AdBlue and a 20-litre tank is installed. A particulate filter is fitted, too.

Four sizes of van are listed: L1H1 (5.2cu m load area); L1H2 (7.2cu m); L2H1 (6.0cu m) and L2H2 (8.6cu m). Gross payload capacities range from 1,075kg to 1,270kg dependent on the model selected and NV300 is additionally produced as a six-seater crew van at two different lengths, as a nine-seater combi at two lengths and as a platform cab.

Three levels of specifications are on offer on NV300 vans – Visia, Acenta and top-of-the-range Tekna.

Visia gets you most of the basics including electric windows, electrically-adjustable and heated exterior mirrors and a full-height steel bulkhead.

The Acenta has manually-controlled air-conditioning and rear parking sensors among other goodies, and the back of the middle seat folds to turn into a desk. Also provided is a load-through facility that allows extra-long items to be pushed through a flap at the base of the bulkhead.

Opt for Tekna and the package includes a seven-inch multimedia touch-screen, satellite navigation, cruise control, a speed limiter and 17-inch alloy wheels on some models.

Service intervals are set at two years/25,000 miles.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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