2019 Ford Transit Van vs. 2019 Nissan NV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Transit Van has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The NV doesn’t offer child safety locks.

The Transit Van’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The NV doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Transit Van’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The NV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Transit Van uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The NV uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

The Transit Van offers optional SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The NV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Transit Van and the NV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.


There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Transit Van’s warranty.


To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Transit Van has a standard 150-amp alternator (210-amp - Transit Van Diesel and 250 Gas). The NV’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.


The Transit Van’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 14 more horsepower (275 vs. 261) than the NV’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6. The Transit Van’s optional 3.5 turbo V6 produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (400 vs. 387) than the NV’s optional 5.6 DOHC V8.

The Transit Van’s 3.2 turbo diesel produces 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 281) than the NV’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Transit Van has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The NV doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Transit Van stops shorter than the NV:


Transit Van



70 to 0 MPH

184 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

133 feet

141 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Transit Van’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the NV 3500’s standard 75 series tires. The Transit Van’s tires are lower profile than the NV 1500/2500’s 70 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Transit Van has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The NV’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For much better steering response and tighter handling the Transit Van has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the NV.

The Transit Van’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The NV doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Transit 150 LWB’s wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer than on the NV (147.6 inches vs. 146.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Transit 150 MWB’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the NV’s (42.9 feet vs. 45.2 feet).


The Ford Transit Van may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 900 pounds less than the Nissan NV.

The Transit 150 MWB is 1 foot, 8.7 inches shorter than the NV, making the Transit Van easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction makes the Transit Van’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The NV doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Cargo Capacity

The Transit Van’s cargo area is larger than the NV’s in almost every dimension:


Transit 150 MWB

Transit 250 LWB-E






Max Width




Min Width









The Transit Van has a much higher standard payload capacity than the NV:


Transit Van


150 Van

3670 lbs.

2730 lbs.

250 Van

4070 lbs.

3280 lbs.

350 Van

4570 lbs.

3860 lbs.

The Transit 350 has a much higher optional payload capacity than the NV3500 (4640 vs. 3860 lbs.).


The Transit Van offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The NV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Transit Van automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The NV’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Transit Van has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The NV doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Transit Van’s available exterior PIN entry system. The NV doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Transit Van has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The NV doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Transit Van’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The NV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Transit Van offers an optional automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The NV doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Transit Van has standard power remote mirrors. The NV 1500 S doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Transit Van’s power mirror controls are mounted on the door for easy access. The NV’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The Transit Van offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the NV.


The Ford Transit outsold the Nissan NV by over eight to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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