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Nissan Townstar (2022 - )

The Townstar is the smallest in the range sitting beneath the mid-size Primastar and larger Interstar, but is big on style with a choice of petrol or all-electric powertrains.

Starting price:
£37,400 (excluding VAT)

Why we love it:
  • Competitively priced
  • Impressive driving range between charges
  • Smart, practical interior with plenty of tech to explore
Where it could be better:
  • Entry EV model has a low payload capacity
  • No choice of battery size
  • It sounds a bit rattly at higher speeds


Nissan Townstar

Nissan has added another van to its light commercial line-up and it’s rather good. The Townstar is the smallest in the range sitting beneath the mid-size Primastar and larger Interstar, but is big on style with a choice of petrol or all-electric powertrains.

With its modern design and classy cabin, the Townstar is offered in trim levels called Visia, Acenta, Tekna and Tekna+ all of which are competitively priced.

In addition, customers need to look at their load requirements as the electric Townstar comes in L1 guise with a 465-574kg payload or a longer L2 style with a 760-777kg capacity. However, this is considerably less than the petrol-powered versions as we will get to later.

There is also a Crew Van which is based on the longer L2 Townstar but adds second-row seating to accommodate the workforce.

And for those who opt for the all-electric version, it comes with an official driving range of 183 miles between charges. And it was the all-electric Townstar in L1 length and Tekna+ grade that we tested.

Nissan Townstar

The Nissan Townstar L1 in range-topping Tekna+, as tested, is a good-looking two-door van that ticks all the practicality boxes, while still delivering on the technology and comfort fronts for the driver and any passengers.

The interior is anything but van-like with high-grade finishes and all the tech found in modern-day cars. There is a 10-inch driver display offering all the vital data such as speed, driving range and charge levels. A heated leather steering wheel will be a blessing in colder, winter months and there is an eight-inch colour infotainment touchscreen with integrated navigation and full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a DAB radio, Bluetooth, plus steering wheel commands for the audio and phone.

Like all vans, visibility can be an issue, but the Townstar features a 360-degree Birds Eye View system that is perfect when manoeuvring with limited all-round visibility. This is in addition to the front, rear and side parking sensors along with a rearview camera.

The cabin has been practically thought out with hard-wearing surfaces, most of which can be wiped clean in the event of a spillage.

And it’s worth noting the Townstar Tekna+ is equipped with a comprehensive list of safety tech, including ProPilot with intelligent adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, plus intelligent braking assist, blindspot detection and a driver attention alert.

On The Road

Nissan Townstar

Handling & Performance

There is just one battery powering the electrified Townstar no matter what trim or body style you choose. It’s a 45kWh lithium-ion unit positioned beneath the van. 

The front wheel-drive Townstar delivering 122hp/90kW of power and 245Nm of torque has a 0-60mph sprint time of 14 seconds with a maximum speed of 84mph.

The first fact that needs to be addressed are the comfort levels. This light commercial vehicle offers surprisingly high standards of refinement as it accelerates smoothly through its fixed gear ratio automatic transmission. It may not be as aggressive or potent as the likes of the Ford Transit, but it has its own unique appeal and the compact dimensions make it agile to manoeuvre in tighter spaces.

We were testing the vehicle without any payload and it was nicely balanced through tight bends and composed at 50 to 60mph. Add some extra weight and the ride would be even more impressive. Yes, it’s quite noisy and there are a few rattles here and there, but it’s worth reminding ourselves this is a practical working van.

The direct and well-weighted steering offers plenty of feedback and the range is fine for most delivery drivers who are city based. Officially, under WLTP testing, the Townstar can achieve 176 miles on a combined run, but like all EVs, this increases in stop, start city traffic where the regenerative braking technology comes into force. If the Townstar stays in this environment the range between charges can reach up to 247 miles. 

Nissan Townstar

Space & Practicality

One of the key factors for anyone considering buying an LCV is practicality. There are vans of all shapes and sizes on sale and even the Townstar is available in differing lengths with alternative configurations to accommodate extra occupants.

We were testing the most compact L1 version which was 4,486mm in length, 1,860mm wide (excluding mirrors), 1,864mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,716mm. This model has a payload limit of 465-574kg. If this is the area that tops the priority list, then looking at the petrol-powered Townstar is advised with the same L1 Tekna+ model offering a 700-764kg limit. However, both grades are class-leading when it comes to towing with a braked limit of up to 1.5 tonnes. 

The loading length in the Townstar L1 is 1810mm which is enough to accommodate two euro-pallets, increasing to 2,230mm in L2 models and you can specify two or three seats up front depending on preference.

Sliding doors and 60:40 split rear doors offer easy access to any load and there has been careful consideration given to driver needs too. The front middle seat, for example, can be folded away when not in use and this creates a handy table for form-filling. 

There is a glovebox, practical central cubby, deep door pockets with bottle holders, two cup holders, a covered dashboard compartment, a smartphone holder, some trays and USB ports to keep devices charged. 

Charging the 45kWh battery from 15 to 80 per cent via a DC rapid charger takes 37 minutes or 1 hour, 30 minutes using an AC 22kW point with type 3 cable. If charging from a 7.3kW domestic wallbox, it takes seven hours to boost the battery from 0 to 100 per cent.


Nissan Townstar

Running Costs

The Nissan Townstar line-up covers a lot of bases. There are petrol-driven models that are priced from £20,500 (excluding VAT) and rise to £25,650. These are powered by the 1.3-litre TCe 130hp engine with six-speed manual gearbox and are available in the L1 and L2 body lengths.

The more comprehensive electric Townstar starts from £32,500 for the entry-level Visia model in L1 guise. The range-topping Tekna+ L2 model costs £38,600. And the Crew model with the second row of seats is priced at £38,350. All prices exclude VAT.

Our Townstar L1 in Tekna+ trim cost £37,400, but light commercial vans are still eligible for a government grant of up to £2,500 so that would bring the price down.

In addition, with zero emissions, there is no road tax to pay on the Townstar and it is also exempt from any Congestion Charge or low emission zone fees. However, it’s worth noting the Government has announced many of these incentives will be reduced or withdrawn completely from 2025.

The Townstar is a sound choice for businesses though and this is the area that is likely to make up the majority of sales. They will profit from the Benefit in Kind tax rating of just two per cent.

The Nissan Townstar EV L1 Tekna+ comes with an impressive five-year warranty package with cover for the battery extended to eight years or 100,000 miles. This warranty means Nissan guarantees the battery will have a capacity above 70 per cent for eight years and if it drops below, Nissan will replace or repair accordingly.

The test vehicle sits in insurance group 28.


Nissan Townstar

With its clever design, very decent driving range, driver-focused cockpit and practical layout, the Nissan Townstar is a compact light commercial vehicle that’s very big on appeal.

There is a wide range of body styles, seating configurations and trim levels, as well as the option of petrol or electric – all of which are competitively priced compared to rival compact vans.

Factor in the five-year warranty (eight years for the battery) and the Townstar is a very attractive choice. 

By Maxine Ashford
Jul 18, 2023

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