Nissan NV350 goes automatic

Friday, September 28, 2018

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The 2018 Nissan NV350 posts one big upgrade: the availability of an automatic transmission. The feature ensures it continues to be a player in the commercial vehicle market.

Externally it's the same NV350 as the previous year. Shaped like a box, with a few creases for design and aerodynamics, its main function is maximum cargo- carrying capacity.

The Nissan NV350 can be had in a variety of configurations. The two base versions are panel van and a bus configuration that can accommodate 16 individuals. Each of those two has their own options. The panel van can be had in full or half mode. Full mode means all space and no rear windows, with half mode offering a single fold-up row of seats in the cargo area. Five doors are standard allowing loading access from any angle.

The vehicle can be further split into standard and high roof, the latter offering increased passenger comfort as one can stand fully upright within the rear cabin, at the cost of one side loading door. Those plying their trade in more delicate human cargo can rest assured the upgrades from 2017 haven't changed, such as the expected secondary air conditioning system for rear passengers and headrest seating. Regardless of whatever category of cargo the NV350 is used to carry, as long as it's configured properly, it should have no problems handling it.

Those in the driving seat should be at home. The front of the Nissan is comfortable with clear dials and access to all major controls. This becomes even more evident with the five-speed automatic transmission. Whereas the manual version requires a level of driver interaction, once in D the 2.5-litre turbo diesel easily finds its stride, lowering operator effort. The engine's 262lb/ft of torque available at a low 1,500 rpm means the NV350 is never caught wanting for power. It pulls strong, especially uphills where drivers might find themselves having to shift gears in manually. As an automatic, it's just foot down and steer, a boon on long-distance cargo runs.

Final Word: MODEL: 2018 Nissan NV350
ENGINE: 2.5-litre turbo diesel — 173bhp/262lb/ft
DRIVETRAIN: Five-speed/rear-wheel drive
SUMMARY: The automatic transmission makes it
even easier to drive.

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