Not long after Nissan Philippines Inc.(NPI) launched the All New Nissan NP350 Urvan, we were invited to a road trip to get a first hand feel at how it would be a passenger in this fifth generation iteration. Its workhorse predecessors can be seen shuttling people from one end of the metro to another and this would be its successor.
After meeting up at Nissan along Pasong Tamo, we were split up into small groups and went to our designated vans for the trip ahead. Lifestyle media were headed for Pico De Loro and we in the Motoring Media were bound for Anilao.
We headed to Tagaytay Highlands for a manly steak lunch at the Highlander Steakhouse after which we headed to Anilao for some RnR. The idea was for us to just sit back and enjoy the ride, but being the car buffs we were, we decided to take turns behind the wheel. We weren’t about to let Nissan’s drivers have all the fun!
We came out of Sta. Rosa and our leisurely drive took us onto SLEX, through to the Star Tollway to Batangas, it was here where I took over the driving duties and got to experience rush hour traffic in Batangas. Once we got through that, the NP350 easily handled the twisting provincial roads. The front passenger and the driver seating was comfortable as it didn’t get hot at all, unlike earlier generations of diesel vans where it tended to get toasty sitting on top of the engine compartment. Powered by a new YD25 DDTi 2.5L diesel equipped with a variable geometry turbo, same as the NP300 Navara Pickup, its been detuned to 129Ps at 3200rpm and torque of 356Nm at 1400-2000rpm. Which is still a lot more than its predecessor and its current crop of competitors.
As a passenger, I can say that the ride was comfy at best as we were falling in and out of sleep as the trip wore on. The NP350 Urvan rides on 15-inch steel rims and wheel covers with meaty 195/80R15LT tires. It was a bit tight as this was the 15 seater commuter variant, but we were told that more luxurious versions will hit our shores in the near future.
As erratic as the weather was that day, hot in some areas and raining in some, Nissan’s air conditioning kept us cool throughout and the cool air was evenly distributed through its 12 rear air vents making sure every seat was well ventilated. The 2015 Nissan NP350 Urvan’s measurements are 4695mm long, 1695mm wide and 1990mm tall with a wheelbase of 2555mm. it rides on 15-inch steel rims and wheel covers with meaty 195/80R15LT tires. For peace of mind, its built with Nissan’s “Zone Body” principle which translates to a high strength body. It has ventilated front disc brakes with ABS and brake assist and front airbags.
It was evening when we finally got to our resort hotel. We were treated to a yummy dinner and entertainment by Kat Agarado of Sinosikat. The next day was just as enjoyable as the ride where some of us took scuba intro-dives to see the beautiful sea life that lives on the shores of Anilao. True RnR.
I guess Nissan was well meaning to let us experience the drive as passengers, but some of us aren’t really relaxed unless we’re behind the wheel.
On the whole, the ride in the Nissan’s new 15-seater NP350 Urvan was fun, priced at PhP 1,227,000 and available in Apline White and Brilliant Silver, the van lived up to our expectations, it also helped that we were with good company and on any road trip, that’s just as important!
Words and Photos by Neil Pagulayan