The Nissan NV300 is a highly competent, practical and comfortable medium-sized panel van with economical engines and generous safety equipment. The sister van to the Renault Trafic, Vauxhall Vivaro and Fiat Talento, it's backed by Nissan's comprehensive five-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
The car-like design belies its van-like heart – it can carry a payload of up to 1,310kg or 8.6 cubic metres, which in cargo terms is three euro pallets or ten 2.5m plasterboards. A sliding side door almost a metre wide is big enough to get a euro pallet through, and from Acenta trim up, the full steel bulkhead comes with with a load-through hatch to accommodate ladders or large planks of wood. The NV300 can also tow up to 2,000kg. It's very versatile, coming in two lengths and two heights as a panel van, as a six-seater crew van or nine-seater combi, and as a platform cab for conversions.
The driver's seat is comfortable and has lots of height and lumbar adjustment, so it's easy to find the right position. All NV300s get three seats up front, and the cab has up to 89 litres of storage – Acenta trim comes equipped with a smartphone dock, a passenger seat which folds into a table, an A4 clipboard and storage space under the seats. A DAB radio with Bluetooth, aux, MP3 and USB connectivity is standard across the board.
The NV300 is rewarding to drive, with nicely weighted steering, good ride quality and body control, and low road and engine noise. All of which means you can take it on long journeys without feeling tired - it's at home on twisting country roads, on motorways, and around town, where it's easy to park and manoeuvre thanks to the high driving position and large door mirrors. It's powered by a choice of four strong 1.6-litre diesel engines delivering up to 143bhp – the two more powerful versions are twin turbos – and delivers fuel economy of up to 50.4mpg if you're really frugal. The engines use AdBlue, a liquid which causes harmful nitrogen oxide to be converted into harmless water and nitrogen, to reduce pollution.
Standard equipment includes electric front windows, electric heated mirrors, power steering, remote central locking and an alarm and immobiliser. Acenta trim adds air conditioning and parking sensors, while Tekna trim adds the Nissan Connect seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation.