Reader BChin sent us these two pictures of a van which he spotted on the MRR2 highway in Kuala Lumpur recently. He asked what kind of van it is and suspected it might be a European model as he said it is ‘pretty big’, and the front grille also looked a bit like a Renault’s.


Rear view of the NV spotted in KL 
 C22 Vanette was very popular for years

The van looked familiar and after looking through some of our old articles, we finally identified it as the Nissan NV van which was launched in Japan in May 2009. More interestingly, however, is that the NV model has been chosen by the city of New York for its new taxi cab fleet, replacing the Ford model that has been in use for decades.

Having identified the model, we asked Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) about it. After all, if it was a gray import, it wouldn’t be taped up, would it? Our contacts at ETCM pretended to be ‘surprised’ but never confirmed that the pictures were of the NV, which means we will have to speculate a bit.

The NV is a successor to the C22 Vanette which was an extremely popular van in Malaysia. In fact, from the 1990s onwards, Malaysia was the only source for the model as Nissan assigned production to Tan Chong’s plant in Segambut, Kuala Lumpur, allowing its distributor to sell it to whichever Nissan importer wanted it. The van, being robust and economical, was popular in certain countries. Apparently, local production has stopped for some time now but the Vanette is still not totally retired as we heard that it is to be continued in India.

So if ETCM is running roadtests on the NV, it must be nearing launch though the question is whether it is assembled locally or imported as a CBU model.

It is available in Singapore with a 1.5-litre diesel engine but maybe we might get a petrol engine since our diesel fuel quality is sub-standard. Something to watch out for in Nissan showrooms in 2012.


To know more about the present range of Nissan models available in Malaysia, visit

Looking for secondhand commercial vehicles? Check the 
MTM Used Trucks Listings, updated DAILY so you don’t call someone who sold off their vehicle months ago 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *