Best passenger Van for large family

Sand Dunes at Formby, Merseyside, England - June 2013

Performance Comfort Fun-to-Drive Interior Exterior Build Quality Reliability Value

62 of 73 people found this review helpful

By deltasierra on


2013 Nissan NV Passenger 3500 SL 3dr Van (5.6L 8cyl 5A)


With the expected arrival of our 6th child, our Toyota Sienna minivan was going to be too small for our needs. The thought of diving a huge 12-passenger van did not appeal to us. The choices for a long time have pretty much been either Ford or Chevy, which have limited features, and the Mercedes van, while nice, is just too expensive. So we were very pleased to learn that Nissan has started selling 12-passenger vans, at about the same price as the Ford and Chevy vans. When we saw all the options available on the NV, we started to get more excited about it. And after about 2200 miles, we've been very pleased with it. It drives surprisingly well for a large van. I highly recommend the NV.

Best Features

We really like the ability to customize the rear seating. In the Nissan, the seats are split (50-50 in the back row, 65-35 in the middle rows), so you can remove part of the seating in each row. With all the seats in, there isn’t much room for storage in the back. But removing half of the last row seats gives more storage room in the back, while still keeping plenty of seating space. Other nice features: a sliding side door; rear doors open about 225 degrees, with magnets that attach to the van’s side to stay open; a huge center console between the front seats; rear back-up camera; sonar front and back; powerful and smooth V8 engine; convex mirrors, 2 120V outlets; plenty of cup holders.

Worst Features

We have had a problem with the power locks on the sliding door. We know another NV owner who had the same problem, so it's not a completely isolated issue. Gas mileage is terrible, though this is to be expected with a 5.7L V8. We have averaged 13.5 mpg, with half city/half highway driving. The LATCH system is only on the center seats of the middle rows, and not on the outside seats, which is where you would want to position car seats to help children buckle in more easily. The overhead lighting in the rear cannot be controlled from the front. Visibility through the center rear view mirror is restricted by headrests (though the large side mirrors help make up for this).
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