NEW FOR 2013:

– All-new model.

The compact commercial vehicle market has effectively been Ford’s for the taking with the Transit Connect. Buyers flocked to the purpose-built cargo-hauler for years, but now, there’s a new option from Nissan.

Called the NV200, this little front-wheel-drive machine is a global product. It rides on a derivative of Nissan’s small-car B-Platform, but has been optimized to handle greater payloads than your average city car – it’ll hold a 40×48 pallet and has 20 cargo bay mounting points. Unlike the Transit Connect, the NV200 isn’t branching into the people-moving business; it’s only offered as a two-seat cargo van.

The NV200 comes powered by a simple 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 131 hp and 139 lb-ft of torque. It comes paired to a CVT transmission. It’s not the most pleasant of powertrains around, but it offers owners low operating costs.

The NV200 is offered in two trims: S and SV. Both can be had with an optional Rear Door Glass Package that adds rear doors with privacy glass, rear defroster, and a rearview mirror for $200.

Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, black bumpers, black door handles, black exterior mirrors, silver grille, dual power heated exterior mirrors, six roof-rack mounting points, 60/40 split rear cargo doors, 180-degree rear cargo doors, dual side sliding doors, splash guards, air conditioning, 20 integrated and reinforced cargo mounting points, telematics pre-wiring, overhead map lights, cargo area light, hardboard interior cargo panels, rear cargo floor protector, power windows with one-touch auto-down, cruise control, intermittent wipers, trip computer, Mobile Office centre console with laptop storage, upper dash bin, passenger under-seat tray, front map pockets, 12-volt DC power outlet, cloth upholstery, driver’s armrest, six-way manual driver’s seat with lumbar support, four-way manual flat-folding passenger seat, AM/FM/CD stereo with two speakers, aux-in jack, and tire-pressure monitoring system.

Bluetooth package adds Bluetooth and MP3 capable stereo.

SV adds 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, body-colour bumpers and mirrors, chrome grille, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, six floor-mounted D-rings in cargo area, remote keyless entry, power door locks with auto-lock, dual 12-volt power outlets, and an MP3-capable stereo.

The Technology Package adds 5.8-inch navigation display, reverse camera, USB audio input, text-messaging assistant, and satellite radio.

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