Cars > Peek

The Nissan Townstar is kind of like the Vanette of today

This van will thrive in Europe’s tight city streets

Europe's van market is a big deal for car manufacturers. PHOTO FROM NISSAN

Remember the Nissan Vanette? I personally liked the automaker’s compact-van entry in our market because of its good looks and cool features (like a refrigerator in some variants). Well, the Japanese car brand has just launched what could be the (spiritual) successor of this model—the Townstar. Let’s see what makes this LCV shine.

The Townstar comes with an electric motor or an efficient 1.3-liter engine. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

Riding on the Alliance CMF-C platform, the Townstar has a different look from the Nissans we see today especially up front. Here, there are Ariya-inspired slim LED headlamps flanking the unique V-motion grille. The side profile looks like a conventional van, with a tall roofline for better interior space. Passenger versions have a single-piece tailgate, while the cargo van has split rear doors.

The interior is a nice place to be. Everything is well within reach, and the materials used seem nice. Gasoline-powered variants get conventional gauges, while EV models have a 10-inch digital instrument cluster in addition to the eight-inch infotainment screen that’s compatible with Apple and Android phones. Despite its small dimensions, the Townstar is rather roomy. The panel van has 3,900L of cargo space that can carry up to 800kg, and a towing capacity of 1,500kg.

The cargo version's split rear doors allow easy access to the load bay. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

There are two power units for the Townstar. The gasoline version has a 1.3-liter engine good for 128hp and 240Nm, and is Euro 6d-compliant. The electric one has 121hp and 245Nm. Its 44kWh battery has an intelligent energy management feature and a unique cooling system. This gives the compact van a driving range of 285km.

In Europe, even budget vans come with several electronic driver aids. PHOTOS FROM NISSAN

The Townstar is loaded with advanced features. Side Wind Assist and Trailer Sway Assist come standard. There is Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Junction Assist, Hands-Free Parking, and Intelligent Cruise Control. Both versions have Around View Monitor, while the electric Townstar has some autonomous driving capability courtesy of ProPilot. Best of all, the vehicle comes with a five-year (or 160,000km) warranty. The batteries on the EV have an extended eight-year warranty.

The Townstar will be available in Europe as it is important to Nissan’s LCV strategy in the region. But wouldn’t it be nice if the model were sold here as well?

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.