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April 2012
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Out & About with the Van Man
"Your Commercial Vehicle Headquarters"

Spring is here and the economy is showing signs of improvement. That's good news for all of us; however, if you're a contractor, vendor, or independent business owner it's especially encouraging.

As I get out and about at trade shows, community festivals, and public events, I'm often asked "What is it?" when people first feast their eyes on Nissan's NV. To help answer the question, "What is it?" I am enclosing an article written by Auto Reviewer, Aaron Gold, who took the time to put the NV through its paces recently. I thought many of you who make your living working for yourself, or know someone who does, would find Mr. Gold's review of the NV to be a worthwhile read.
Aaron Gold, Auto Reviewer 
Review of the 2012 Nissan NV Van
Nissan is no stranger to trucks. Commercial vehicles make up 20% of their sales worldwide, but they've never fielded a commercial-grade truck in the US or Canada -- until now. Nissan offers several large vans in Asia and Europe, so why not just bring one of those over here? Nissan did extensive research into the van market, and found that none of their existing products would fit our needs. So Nissan set out to design a commercial van that would suit the needs of North American small business owner-operators -- and that's how the NV came to be.
The NV certainly looks like a vehicle designed by committee. The reasons for the huge schnozzle are twofold: First, the NV is based (loosely) on the Titan pickup truck. Second, van drivers said they don't like having the engine with them in the cab -- it generates heat and robs legroom. Nissan says the long hood makes for easier maintenance.
Nissan NV is Designed for Working and Living
The NV gets a unique cab designed for work rather than leisure. The seats are covered in water-repellant cloth, but the outer segment gets hard-wearing vinyl. Nissan found that because van drivers are constantly getting in and out of their vehicles, they tend to wear out the upholstery at the outer edge of the seat -- hence the vinyl strip. It's simple, smart
On the Road in the Nissan NV - Your spine will thank you!
Without question, the thing I liked best about the NV is the way it drives. I spent most of my time driving a high-roof NV2500, and I was astonished by the smooth ride -- it drives more like a full-size SUV than a cargo van. Later, I swapped for an NV3500, which has a beefed-up suspension to provide greater carrying capacity. The NV3500's ride is more like what I expect from a commercial vehicle; it jolts harder on sudden bumps and floats a bit more over the gentle ones. Even so, I found it significantly smoother and more comfortable than the Chevrolet Express 1500 that Nissan brought along for comparison. Quieter, too -- most cargo vans generate a lot of engine and road noise, but the NV is remarkably sedate.
Journey's End - A New Standard for Full-Size Vans
Overall, I'm impressed with the NV. I like that Nissan's idea of meeting customer needs goes beyond payload and towing targets -- they've sweated the details and come up with a van that owner-operators can live with day in and day out. I wish it weren't quite so ugly, but I'll take function over form every time. Nissan has even put thought into the support structure. In order to sell and service the NV, Nissan dealers are required to build dedicated service bays with high-capacity lifts, stock a minimum supply of spare parts, extend their service hours, and give van customers priority service scheduling -- all to minimize downtime and keep the NV out on the road where it can make money for its owner.
I think it's safe to say that Nissan has the best van on the market. Its homely looks and long length are handicaps, but its low cost, high usability, and attention to buyers' needs make the NV an outstanding vehicle.

Thanks for reading the column this month.
Please come see us this spring and summer as Puyallup Nissan brings the NV and its "Traveling Roadshow" to many community events, dog shows, and street fairs!
Bill Ogden
Commercial Accounts Manager
Direct:  1-855-515-VANS (8267)


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