Nissan NV300 Review

Written by Andrew Brady

heycar ratingYet another Renault Trafic variant
  • 2016
  • Van
  • Diesel

Quick overview


  • All versions will carry three Euro pallets
  • Powered by Renault's 1.6 or 2.0 dCi diesel engines
  • Backed by Nissan's comprehensive five-year warranty


  • More expensive to buy new than the Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro
  •  Ford Transit Custom is better to drive
  • Relatively rare on the used market

Overall verdict on the Nissan NV300

"The Nissan NV300 is the sister van to the impressive Renault Trafic. Like its French counterpart, it majors on everyday comfort and practicality. However, unlike Renault, Nissan backs its medium-sized panel van with a comprehensive five-year 100,000 mile warranty as standard."

Nissan NV300 front

Available in two load lengths and two heights, the Nissan NV300 will easily carry three Euro pallets or up to 10 plasterboard sheets of 2.5 metres, while a bulkhead hatch - standard on Acenta and Tekna trims - will extend the load length to accommodate a couple of ladders or large planks of wood.

With maximum payloads ranging from 1073g to 1310kg and gross vehicle weights spanning from 2.7 to 2.9 tonnes, the NV300 is hugely capable when it comes to moving considerable loads.

The NV300 is powered by a Renault-sourced 1.6-litre dCi engine, available with 95PS, 120PS, 125PS and 145PS - the two former are single turbo, while the latter pair use a twin-turbocharger. All are linked to a six-speed manual gearbox (there's no auto option) and all of the engines use AdBlue. Claimed economy ranges from 43 to 47mpg.  

In 2020 a 2.0 dCi engine was added to the NV300 line-up, with 120PS, 145PS or 170PS. A dual clutch automatic gearbox was also added, while the 1.6 dCi was scaled back to a sole 95PS version. 

All versions of the NV300 are easy to drive, with nicely weighted steering and a comfortable, car-like, driving position. The ride is excellent and this, combined with the low levels of exterior noise, makes it easy to drive the NV300 for long periods without feeling tired.

Like many modern vans, the interior has a number of features that allow the driver to transform the cab into a mobile office. There's an optional laptop table, clipboard and mounting points for a smartphone and tablet computer. All NV300s get three seats up front, although legroom in the middle seat is a little restricted due to the position of the gearbox, which might make it a tight fit for a trio of large adults.

If the truth be told, the NV300 is not very much different to the Renault Trafic and older Vauxhall Vivaro in the metal. It uses the same body and engines. The interior is almost identical too, bar some slight changes in trim. However, the Nissan is backed by a longer warranty, which makes it much more appealing when it comes to long term running costs. If you're in the market for a mid sized van, also consider the Ford Transit Custom and the Volkswagen Transporter.

Looking for a used van for sale? We've got 100s of Nissan Approved Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from, including a wide range of Nissan NV300 vans for sale.

Comfort and design: Nissan NV300 interior

The NV300 is great for long distance work. The comfortable driver's seat has lots of height and lumber adjustment while there's a central armrest, fitted as standard."

Nissan NV300 front interior

Just like its Renault Trafic and Vauxhall Vivaro equivalents, the Nissan NV300’s high driving position and large door mirrors make it an easy van to park and drive around town.

The single sliding door provides a wide loading space that measures almost a metre in width, while the rear doors open to 180 degrees and lock for simple loading and unloading. The NV300 can also be fitted with a tow bar and pull up to 2.0 tonnes, when hooked to a braked trailer. 

Road and engine noise levels are well-suppressed, while the nicely weighted steering makes the Nissan a rewarding drive on a twisty A or B road. The supple ride also makes it a good motorway van, with the refined body control and low noise levels cutting driver fatigue over a long journey. 

Handling and ride quality: What is the Nissan NV300 like to drive?

"Easy to drive and comfortable, the Nissan NV300 handles more like a large car than a van."

Nissan NV300 driving

The Renault-sourced 1.6 dCi diesel engine is extremely strong and comes with single or twin-turbocharging. The latter providing the best balance between economy and performance. The single-turbo units - with 95PS or 120PS - are not particularly bad, but they can feel a little breathless when it comes to long distance driving with a full load. 

The twin-turbo engines - with 125PS or 145PS - provide a much better acceleration, without punishing you at the fuel pumps. Officially, both will exceed 46mpg, while the higher torque levels - a respective 320Nm or 340NM from 1500rpm - makes them ideal for motorway work, with the van happy to sit in a higher gear for longer. 

All of the engines are linked to a six-speed manual gearbox - there are no automatic options - while hill start assist is fitted as standard across the range. This should help improve clutch life when it comes to pulling away on a steep incline. 

In 2020 Nissan revised the NV300 model line-up by adding a Renault-sourced 2.0-litre diesel. The four-cylinder unit produces 120PS, 145PS or 170PS and meets the Euro6d-TEMP emissions standards. Fans of the old 1.6 dCi engine can still order it with the updated NV300, but it's limited to 95PS only.

MPG and fuel costs: What does a Nissan NV300 cost to run?

"The Nissan NV300 comes with a frugal and well proven diesel engine."

Nissan NV300 side door

The twin-turbo engines - with 125PS or 145PS - provide a much better acceleration, without punishing you at the fuel pumps. Officially, both will exceed 46mpg, while the higher torque levels - a respective 320Nm or 340NM from 1500rpm - makes them ideal for motorway work, with the van happy to sit in a higher gear for longer. 

What equipment do you get with a Nissan NV300?

"Try to avoid base-spec Visia as it's pretty sparse on equipment."

Nissan NV300 back exterior

Acenta models are better and get rear parking sensors, a smartphone dock and a foldable middle seat along with a fixed table backrest, A4 clipboard and under seat storage for a hard hat or work bag. The range topping Tekna trim adds a seven-inch colour touchscreen, navigation and cruise control to the van, along with automatic headlights and windscreen wipers.

Grip control, with settings for mud, snow or sand, is available as a paid-for option, along with an anti-rollover system that automatically applies the brakes to one or more wheels if it detects a potential hazardous situation. A reversing camera - with a display in the rear view mirror - is also available as a factory-fit option.

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

The Nissan NV300 is available as a Panel Van, Crew Van, Combi Van or Platform Cab with choices for length (L1H1 to L2H2).
The standard panel van will hold three (including driver), while up to nine will fit into the Combi variant.
The NV300 comes with a 1.6-litre dCi engine, with Euro 6 emissions standards. Power output ranges between 95hp and 145hp.

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