Shropshire Star

White van man image transformed

The image of the traditional white van man has transformed over the years, with a focus on improving the vehicle's style, comfort, and performance.


The stereotypical van driver image has also moved on. Hasn’t it?

Maybe. But the image of the van certainly has.

Okay, the van will always be a workhorse, but like its more glamorous saloon/SUV/crossover cousins, the stylists have been earning their money.

So too have the marketing people with comfort and performance now important factors. The Townstar is an excellent example, having won numerous awards including the Compact Van of the Year and Electric Van of the Year awards at the 2024 What Van? Awards.

It seems from Nissan’s point of view that the days of the diesel are over with the Townstar available only with either a petrol or electric powertrain.

Nissan Townstar
Nissan Townstar
Nissan Townstar

There are two wheelbases, the L1 driven and here and the longer L2.Both have a spacious load space of 3.3m3 (L1) or 4.3m3 (L2), and a payload capacity of between 600 and 800kg and a maximum braked towing capacity of 1,500kg.

The cabin is protected by a full width bulkhead. Access is via wide-opening 180-degree double doors to the rear with a low loading lip and a pair of sliding doors on the side of the van making access a real doddle.

Securing boxes, pallets, furniture or any  equipment is aided by multiple harness points.Rapidly entering and leaving a vehicle is ever more important for delivery drivers and the Townstar’s ergonomic design allows for excellent entry and egress while on the move.

The advanced electric powertrain features a 45Kwh battery, connected to a 122hp electric motor, supplemented by intelligent energy management and battery thermal cooling technology to optimise its performance.

This means a class-challenging range of 183 miles WLTP Combined (or up to 269 miles on the City Cycle), figures I have to say I got nowhere near, although rainy conditions in the middle of winter do not help battery life.

But like all electrically powered vehicles it offers swift acceleration, important in and around town making deliveries. It offers a fairly quiet driving experience, with little of the booming you would expect from a mostly empty, enclosed space behind the driver

Both models  are also pretty full of creature comforts and with a starting price of well over £32k, it just as well as it features technologies like Intelligent Emergency Braking, Hands-Free Parking, Intelligent Cruise Control, and Around View Monitor.

The entry level Visia offers remote locking and deadlocks, air conditioning, LED front lights with daytime running light, electric, heated door mirrors, auto headlight and wipers and a DAB system with Bluetooth.

This range-topping Tekna + is pushing the £40k mark and adds climate control and heated steering wheel, front rear and side parking sensors and Nissan’s ProPILOT Assist advanced driving assistance system which, along with Nissan’s unique Intelligent Around View Monitor (AVM), provides drivers with extra assistance, particularly in view of there being no rear view mirror.

The interiors is both comfortable with loads of head and legroom. It is dominated by and 10-inch colour central screen that includes connectivity via  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation and control of the sound system.

Charging supports both AC up to 22kW and 80kW DC CCS quick-charging allowing the battery from 15 to 80 per cent in just under 40 minutes.

It is covered by Nissan’s pan-European five-year or 100,000-mile warranty, five-year roadside assistance, and in this case, an eight-year or 100,000-mile battery warranty for the EV version.


  • Nissan Townstar Tekna+ L1

  • Price: £37,345

  • Mechanical: 45Kwh battery, connected to a 122hp electric motor and single step automatic transmission

  • Max Speed: 139mph

  • 0-62mph: 14 seconds

  • Range: 183 miles (WLTP)

  • C02 emissions: 0g/km

  • Insurance: 50

  • Warranty: Five years, 100,000 miles

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