The Nissan e-NV200 can be very easy on the wallet if you use it around town, but, due to its van origins, you’ll have to put up with some compromises
If you want an all-electric family car with up to seven seats, there’s nothing quite like the Nissan e-NV200. However, its price puts it in the same bracket as conventionally powered MPVs such as VW Touran, Kia Carens and Citroen C4 SpaceTourer.
The Nissan e-NV200 was first introduced in 2014 and is based on the petrol-powered Nissan NV200 van. It got an update in 2018 with a bigger battery which improved claimed range to 120 miles.
What wasn’t updated in 2018 was the interior. It still looks fairly outdated – and will look familiar if you’ve been in an original Nissan Leaf. You also get interior plastics that are very similar to those you’d find in the the e-NV200 Van, so scratchy and utilitarian.
If you do buy the e-NV200 for utilitarian purposes, it does a fair job of transporting passengers, although it’s not really impressive. Specifically, there is good space up front, a bit less in the middle row and considerably less in the third row. The excuse is that the e-NV200s batteries are under the floor which in turn reduces interior space.
When it comes to boot space, even though the e-NV200 is based on a van, it’s not as practical as, say, a similarly priced VW Touran. Thankfully, the shape of the e-NV200 boot is as square as it gets and is fairly tall, too. That said, you don’t get much in terms of nets or hooks or an adjustable boot floor. You can fold the seats down, but they are not removable, which means you can’t use the e-NV200s van body to its fullest.
The e-NV200 makes perfect sense for transporting people over short distances, but conventional MPVs are better all-round cars
If you do buy the e-NV200 to silently ferry people about, it’s good to know that it has more than enough torque to cope in and out of town, but you’d never call it outright speedy. The drivetrain is very similar to the one you’d find in a Nissan Leaf and with a 40kWh battery, Nissan is claiming a 120 mile range. Your actual range will vary based on outside temperature and other factors, but if you use the e-NV200 on short trips with a charging point on each side, you shouldn’t worry about running out of juice.
If you want to make the most of the battery, you have to drive the e-NV200 in regenerative mode. All you have to do is put the gear selector in the B position and once you let off the throttle the electric motor starts slowing the car down. This gives you a couple of benefits. One, you’re using your brakes less so they last longer, and two, anything that the engine regenerates gets stored back into the battery.
So, the e-NV200 is beaten by conventional MPVs on quality, driving characteristics, passenger space and practicality. But, if an electric car fits in with your daily life and you can take advantage of all the electric car incentives, the e-NV200 might be worth investigating for that alone.