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Expert Review

Nissan Interstar Panel Van (2022 - 2024) review

Nissan’s Interstar large van is a relatively new entrant in the large van marketplace, built on an ageing platform. Can Nissan make inroads into a marketplace that’s already dominated by established players? Auto Trader’s Tom Roberts reports.

Tom Roberts

Words by: Tom Roberts

Published on 22 April 2024 | 0 min read

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


Big and tough - it’s the best way to describe the Nissan Interstar. It’s a large van that ticks some boxes, but it’s up against pretty stiff competition in the sector - the Ford Transit in particular - and that does mean it gets judged quite harshly. It excels in load carrying and interior space, but safety equipment is a key area that needs to be addressed. That said, for the right deal the Interstar could be a solid workhorse.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickExcellent payload carrier.
  • tickPowerful 2.3-litre diesel engines.
  • tickLong 5-year warranties available.

At a glance:

Cargo & practicality

The business end is accessed by twin rear doors and a wide side loading door. The load bay is designed with functionality in mind, with straight sides optimising the volume that the driver can actually use when loading boxes and cartons especially. Nissan states that there’s a choice of 10 cargo volumes ranging from 8 cubic metres right up to a huge 17 cubic metres. Load lengths range from 2.6 metres up to 4.4 metres in the L4, which can take 5 euro pallets. Even with the largest and heaviest Interstar there’s 1040kg of payload available, but if you need weight over volume the L1H1 can carry almost 1600kg - which is up there with the best in class. There are a huge number of variants available. The van is offered in 3 GVMs - 2.8t, 3.3t and 3.5t - 4 lengths (L1 to L4), 3 heights (H1 to H3), you can specify front or rear wheel drive, and you can choose between 4 trim levels and 6 engine options. Variety is the spice of life, but I prefer to keep things simple.
Expert rating: 4/5


This cab is big and roomy. The Interstar is known for this and, if you’re regularly carrying 2 passengers, you’ll appreciate the space available. Gone are the days where these platform sharing vans had a bland interior - the Interstar sports a modern dash with a quality feel to it. It doesn’t try to be gimmicky or clever, everything is where you’d expect it to be with a crystal clear instrument panel, a centre-mounted multimedia screen and straight forward heater controls below it. The gear lever is located directly in front of the handbrake, so there’s no embarrassing encounters with a passenger’s leg when trying to change gear. Storage is everywhere – on top of the dash, the glovebox, in the lower dash area, and there are nice big door bins for you to take a look at. There’s also an area underneath the passenger seats, great for keeping high-value items out of sight. Depending on the trim level you go for, the centre seat can fold and convert into a table, and there’s an option to include a rotating tray.
Expert rating: 3/5

Running costs

Right now, this model’s mpg score is 31.4mpg, which isn’t up there in terms of the most economical large vans, but it’s about what you’d expect from a 2.3-litre diesel engine (perhaps a little better). Up-front purchase is reasonable, but the cost of the van is far better on a lease or finance.
Expert rating: 3/5


Nissan has an ace up its sleeve that most other manufacturers can’t compete with – all of their new commercial vehicles come with a 5-year or 100,000-mile (whichever comes first) bumper-to-bumper warranty, which also includes 5 years of roadside assistance. Service intervals of 2 years or 25,000 miles mean that the Interstar’s days off the road for routine maintenance should also be minimal.
Expert rating: 5/5


All Interstars are powered by the same 2.3-litre dCI twin turbo diesel unit, it’s available in 110HP, 135HP, 150HP and 180HP at Euro 6D emissions compliance. Some applications will need the alternative Euro VIe engines, and these come in 130HP, 145HP and 165HP guises. 6-speed manual gearboxes are standard across all engines, but if you opt for the 150HP or 180HP, Nissan offers a semi-automatic ‘robotised’ transmission as an option - and don’t forget that front and rear wheel drive choice.
Expert rating: 3/5

Ride and handling

Typical of large vans, without a load in the back the Interstar can wobble about the road a bit - but once loaded the suspension stiffens up and you get a clean ride. There’s not a whole lot to wax lyrical about here, but it must be said that the 2.3-litre diesel engine does allow you to exert some power and against some of the more ‘underpowered’ large vans in the sector, the Interstar does offer slightly more power than most. I found the version I drove to be responsive and accurate with wobble only noticeable when unloaded. The driving position is commanding and visibility afforded by the big windscreen is excellent. It’s a hard vehicle to feel out of control in and Nissan deserves credit for making its interior feel more like that of an HGV than an LCV when you drive it.
Expert rating: 3/5


The Interstar is not recommended by NCAP for safety with some real concerns flagged up in their tests, which is a shame because there’s a reasonable amount of safety tech available as standard, just nothing that other better large vans don’t also offer as standard. Hill start assist, electronic stability and side wind assist are available as standard, however blind spot warning and lane keeping assist is an option only available on the Tekna+ trim level. It’s not bad, just seems odd that Nissan would hide those relatively widespread techs behind a trim level.
Expert rating: 2/5


The 4 trim levels offer a great choice of specification. The most basic Visia spec has a DAB radio, electric windows and an alarm system, but the Acenta trim usefully adds cruise control, rear parking sensors, remote locking and load lashing rings in the loadbay. A word on the load lashing rings… Nissan needs to standardise these. Offering the Visia without them is very strange, considering securing a load in place is just about the most basic thing you SHOULD be able to do in a large van. Tekna trim adds air conditioning into the cab and a 7-inch multimedia screen with satellite navigation and Android Auto / Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. You’ll also find front and rear parking sensors, a rear view camera and automatic wipers and headlights. Top-of-the-range Tekna+ adds some extra driver aids, such as lane departure warning and blind spot detection.
Expert rating: 3/5

Why buy?

Well, the Nissan Interstar is a big van and there’s not a lot that designers can do to make what is basically a box-like workhorse look distinctive. Nissan, like most manufacturers, has given the van an aggressive stance at the front, with a large grille featuring their logo in the centre. Does it look dated compared to the competition? Not really. Put it alongside a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Fiat Ducato, Citroen Relay or VW Crafter and it stands its ground. Against the Ford Transit, I’m not so sure. But I digress. Just because the Interstar doesn’t have a blue oval or a 3-pointed star on the front grille, doesn’t mean you should overlook what it can offer: one of the roomiest cabs on the market, a great choice of engines, a load space that can do the job you need it to do, the excellent 5-year warranty and long service intervals. And, if you can find one on a decent lease deal or finance, it's a worthy acquisition. Ultimately, it’s a van worth pitching against more obvious large vans because, in many aspects, it’s just as good but not as good as the best.

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