7.21.2016

Warehouse On Wheels: The 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL
The 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL.
If you are a tradesperson who believes that form should follow function and you need a lot of room in your business vehicle, the 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL might just be what you need.

It might also help if you're something of a traditionalist, old-school type.




Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL
2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL.
While the NV3500 High Roof seems to be part of the new wave of tall, Euro-style vans like the class-leading Ford Transit (the passenger version of which we reviewed last fall), it actually is much more Nissan's interpretation of the big old American vans like the Ford Econoline.  It is massive. I'm six feet tall and standing beside it looking up to the roof is a vertigo-inducing experience.  And that's just its height.  Based on the Nissan Titan Pickup, it's also very, very wide.  And it is powered by an old-school 5.6-liter, 317-horsepower gasoline V8 with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Aerodynamics?  Non-existent. Look at it.  I swear there's a four-year-old at Nissan Design who roughed this out in crayon, marched it into the marketing department and proudly proclaimed "Twuck!"

So how's all that work out in terms of fuel efficiency?  You'll have to drive it to find out:

Monroney for 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL
2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL. EPA Fuel Economy Ratings Not Required.
I drove it, but not enough to get the usual read on a real-world fuel economy number.  The lighter, V6-powered Ford Transit's EPA number (it's in a different class even though it's a direct competitor) is 14 city/19 highway.  Figure the NV 3500 High Roof will do significantly less.

So why buy it?

Interior view of 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof
2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL interior.
Well, there is a comfortable, if old-school interior,  and excellent visibility from the high driving position and all that glass. In SL trim like our tester, it comes with some creature comforts, including an 8-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar support, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD 4-speaker audio system, rear sonar, air conditioning, power windows and four power outlets (two 12V and two 120V).  But the big reason is the four-fifths of the van that's behind the seats.

Rear view of 2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof
2016 Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL.
That is some serious room.  Tools, supplies, spare parts....heck, a workbench can go in here, because there's enough room for it all....including room for an NBA player to stand inside without having to crouch.

The base price for the Nissan NV 3500 High Roof SL is $35,160.  Ours had extra-cost options, including the back door glass package ($190), the sliding door window package ($70), all-season floor mats ($95) and the Technology Package, which gives you navigation, a 5.8-inch color display, voice recognition for audio and nav, USB and Bluetooth, SiriusXM along with its traffic and Travel Link features, hands-free text messaging assistant and a backup camera ($1,100).  With $995 destination charges, the bottom line was $37,610.

There's no question:  This is a specialty, limited-interest vehicle.  But if you're mourning the death of the big American van, maybe you want a big Japanese one.


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