Cargo vans, the kind of vehicle your plumber or remodeling contractor might use, used to be the exclusive province of the Big Three, but that’s changed sharply. The cargo or passenger van is no longer a noisy welded body plopped atop frame rails that could support a Norfolk Southern freight. Vans today are global-design vehicles, with several manufacturers offering compact vans that were designed outside the United States. One of them is the Nissan NV200, built on the B platform that it shares with Renault, which has underpinned the Nissan Cube on our shores and the Renault Clio across the Atlantic. Called the Vanette in Japan, our version is built in Jiutepec, Morelos, Mexico.
The NV200 enters 2021 newly outfitted as the only compact van in the North American market to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment, along with a 7.0-inch central touchscreen display that’s the largest in this vehicle class. The standard engine is Nissan’s 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC inline-four, which will produce 131 horsepower. It’s linked to a standard Xtronic automatic transmission. Starting MSRP is $23,530.