Nissan takes a new step in its Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) strategy by unveiling a renewed and rebranded all-star line-up to succeed its current offering in the market with the Interstar, Primastar, and all-new Townstar.
The Townstar will be available with either a gasoline or full-electric drivetrain, but there will be no option for diesel, which has dominated the commercial van market for decades.
The Townstar will be built at Renault’s factory in Maubeuge, northern France, as will a variant from Mercedes-Benz, the Citan. Like the Kangoo and Citan, it will be available in passenger and commercial versions. The launch date and price were not announced.
Nissan is streamlining its LCV portfolio in Europe with these three models to help customers better navigate the sector with a product range that provides efficient mobility solutions with business customers at the core of the strategy.
The Japanese manufacturer has also updated their LCV nomenclature, with the Primastar and Interstar nameplates being introduced, replacing the “NV” line, with light updates to what were the NV300 and NV400.
With the NV400 updated to Interstar, Nissan reiterates its presence in the large van segment. The NV300 with a sharper look and feel will be reimagined as Primastar for a medium-size option, and the compact van segment will be now covered by the all-new Townstar, with both fully electric and petrol variants.
“By introducing the all-star LCV line-up, Nissan will continue to support business owners, today and for years to come. With versatile conversion options, the refreshed offering provides a solution to many business challenges. From the large tailor-made Interstar van to the versatile and convenient mid-size Primastar and compact, innovative all-new Townstar, we’re listening to our customers and remain committed to addressing their evolving needs,” said Emmanuelle Serazin, LCV & Corporate Sales Director, Nissan Europe.
The Townstar’s gasoline option will be a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine (co-developed with Daimler) that produces 130 hp. The full-electric version will have a 44-kilowatt-hour battery producing the equivalent of 122 hp. Nissan estimates that the range will be 285 km (177 miles), pending homologation.
Nissan has added advanced safety and driver-assist features, including a 360-degree camera view and, on electric models, the brand’s ProPilot system, which incorporates adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping in highway driving. Vehicles with ProPilot can negotiate gentle curves and slow to a stop without input from the driver. The interior features an 8-inch central touch screen and a “floating” console that allows for more storage areas under the gear shift.
The electric version of the Townstar will succeed the e-NV200, one of the first, and most popular, full-electric delivery vans in Europe. The e-NV200 has recorded about 42,000 sales since its introduction in 2014, according to Nissan. It has long been the most popular small electric van in Europe, along with the Renault Kangoo ZE.
The Townstar, like the Kangoo and Citan, is built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-C/D platform for compact and midsize vehicles. It will be distinguished by its front styling, which Nissan said takes cues from the coming Ariya full-electric compact SUV.
The Kangoo offers a wider choice of drivetrains, including two gasoline, three types of diesel, a full-hybrid (in 2023), and a full-electric model. It will also come in two lengths.
The biggest electric van markets were France, with 9,209 sales, and Germany, with 8,830 sales. The UK recorded 5,266 sales in 2020, according to ACEA.
Sales by the model are difficult to track, but Renault sold 4,735 full-electric Kangoos in the first half of 2021 in Europe, according to the automaker. Renault sold 9,919 electric Kangoos in Europe in 2020 and 10,111 in 2019.