While most manufacturers of light-duty trucks and vans won’t launch new products for the 2013 model year, Nissan North America is entering the increasingly competitive small-van market.
Slated to reach showrooms in early 2013, the Nissan NV200 van will take on the Ford Transit Connect and Ram Cargo Van in the segment and already has made a splash by landing a contract to serve in the New York City taxi fleet.
But the Nissan won’t be the new kid on the block for long; Ford Motor Co. has announced that a new Transit Connect will arrive in North American showrooms by the fourth quarter of 2013.
Also doing battle in the segment is Chrysler Group LLC, which introduced a beefed-up commercial version of its minivan-based Ram Cargo Van in 2012.
For 2013, Chrysler turned its attention to the Ram 1500 pickup, adding a host of upgrades to improve the truck’s fuel economy. Notably, it gets a new engine/transmission combination, but the manufacturer also added an active suspension and a host of aerodynamic upgrades, which were spotlighted in a recent issue (Light & Medium Truck, Nov. 2012) and which are reviewed in this issue’s 2013 model-year roundup. Upgrades to the truck’s interior also are discussed in this issue.