Trucks & SUVs

This Nissan SUV Is the Biggest Threat to Roll Over

Nissan is known for making some great cars, but like any other automaker, Nissan has also made plenty of mistakes in the past. This is true for Nissan’s sedans, and it’s also true for some of the vehicles in Nissan’s SUV lineup. However, this is especially true for the Nissan NV3500, which is surprisingly categorized as an SUV that Nissan offers.

A massive rollover threat

As Hot Cars says, the NV3500 has the highest chance among SUVs to rollover. Hot Cars got this information from the NHTSA, or the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. The NHTSA can’t test every model year of every car, but in its most recent test of the NV3500, the NHTSA found that the Nissan SUV had a 30.6 percent chance of rolling over in its rollover accident test.

As a result of that terrible crash test result, the NHTSA gave the NV3500 just two out of five stars for its rollover safety rating. That said, the NHTSA didn’t test the NV3500 in other crash tests recently. Other safety agencies, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, haven’t tested the NV3500 at all. 

That said, the NHTSA did report that some older model years of the NV3500 had several recalls. Regardless of this lack of information in terms of its safety, there is a clear reason why the NV3500 has such a high chance of rolling over, and it all has to do with its shape and size.

What is the Nissan NV3500?

Nissan NV300 panel van light commercial vehicle on display at Brussels Expo
A Nissan NV model | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

As Hot Cars said, the NV3500 is very tall as it stands at about 85 inches in height. This gives it a very high center of gravity, which just means that it has a very high chance of rolling over as a result. There aren’t many SUVs that are that tall, and there’s a good reason for it. It all comes down to what it means to be an SUV in the first place. 

Hot Cars says that Nissan thinks that the NV3500 is an SUV, but it looks more like a van than not. In fact, the NV3500 is so large and spacious that it can seat up to 12 passengers. This is significantly more than what most large SUVs, such as the Ford Explorer, can seat. 

Regardless of what type of car the NV3500 actually is, it has a long history. This history perhaps shows that its customers are satisfied with the NV3500 and its prior model years, and as a result, its high rollover risk may not be that big of a deal for most of them.

The history of the Nissan NV3500

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Nissan says that one of the earlier cars that would become the NV3500, the NV100 Clipper, premiered in 2003. While this is one of the more modern models, similar trucks and vans have been on Japanese roads for decades earlier. 

It didn’t take long for Nissan to bring a similar concept to America. The Nissan NV3500 is just the latest and largest version of those Nissan NV-Series vehicles that are on American markets. Asides from having seating for up to 12 people and having a very high rollover risk, the NV3500 brings a lot of other things to the table for SUV shoppers. 

According to Nissan that, among other things, it can tow up to 8,700 lb when it’s equipped with its 378-hp V8 engine. Furthermore, because of its large size, it also has over 218 cubic feet of cargo space. The NV3500 isn’t a poorly-equipped SUV either. Depending on the trim, NV3500 owners can equip their car with great features such as a rear sonar system as well as a navigation system.