High-capacity vans have long had a market in our country. These people-haulers are praised for their spaciousness and simplicity. There is a demand for these vehicles, whether as a fleet workhorse or a family car. Nissan's answer to that need was the Urvan. Known as the Caravan in Japan and other markets, the Japanese automaker has produced this nameplate since 1973, and hasn’t updated the most recent model in quite a while. That's a long time, and now, it gets a much-needed facelift.
Nissan has updated the Caravan's front fascia to be more in line with its latest design language. There's a new grille paired with updated headlights that give the van a more modern look. It’s still largely the same in terms of its overall design, however.
The interior gets the same cabin treatment as the previous generation—with a few subtle changes. The steering wheel on the new Caravan evokes that of Nissan's latest models, like the Terra and Almera. It now features a sportier flat-bottom design with audio controls. The higher trim levels get automatic climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system, and copper trim on the air-conditioning vents.
Apart from the exterior and interior changes, the Caravan gets some welcome safety upgrades. The van is now fitted with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility Suite, which includes features like lane departure warning, an intelligent emergency brake, and an intelligent around-view monitor. These new safety features should help set the Caravan apart in its segment, especially if it lands in the Philippines as the new Urvan successor.
There's no word yet from Nissan Philippines on whether they plan to bring the 2022 Caravan over to our shores. For now, we'll have to settle for the current Nissan NV350 Urvan. The fifth-generation van is capable in its own right, as it packs a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine that makes 129 hp and 356 Nm. In terms of features, the Urvan gets standard niceties like power locks and 12 air conditioning vents. The Nissan NV350 Urvan starts at P1,162,000.