A few weeks back we looked at the Toyota Probox, which during one of our Sunday walks won the title of “most seen”. I guess we live in a Toyota-friendly neighborhood as when we walked through an adjacent area of Tokyo last weekend, the winner was this Nissan NV150, which fills the same market niche; small, compact wagon mainly for commercial fleet sales and for tradesmen – a “work car”…
Here in Japan, Nissan is loath to concede any market space to Toyota, so it’s not surprising they fielded this NV150. The name is a little strange – Nissan has used the “NV” nomenclature for all of its commercial van models, and this is clearly a wagon. Perhaps they wanted to emphasize its “work” role.
Like the Probox, the NV150 has been around for awhile – this version has been in production since 2006, but was given an exterior update in 2016. It uses the Renault-Nissan B-platform which also was used on the previous generation Nissan Note.
Put the Probox and the NV150 side-by-side, and they are almost identical; same length, same width, same 400 kg cargo-carrying capacity, similar 1.5 liter engine and CVT transmission – and AWD is available on both. Like the Probox, the rear seat can be deleted for more cargo space. Per its name, the Probox is a little more “boxy” while the NV150 adds a little Nissan swoop to its exterior. The only major difference is that Toyota also offers a hybrid engine option.
Both Mazda and Mitsubishi sold badge-engineered versions for several years – with the only change being the insignia in the center of the grille.
Unlike the Probox, from 2006-2018 Nissan sold a regular non-commercial version of the NV150 called the Wingroad, with an upgraded interior and exterior.
According to Nissan’s website, a base NV150 goes for around $15K. That’s approximately $1.5K more than a base Probox, but it looks like the NV comes with a few more interior amenities.
Rather than an F150, Ram, or Silverado, here in Tokyo when your insurance salesman, plumber, or electrician come calling, they’ll likely pull up to your house in a Probox or NV150.