car tests

Review – Nissan Townstar (2023) – A new electric workhorse

August 28, 2023

Nissan Townstar

Nissan was the first major automaker to mass-produce an EV: the Nissan Leaf. The Japanese also used Leaf’s powertrain for a van: the E-NV200. The Leaf has since been greatly improved and is still on the market, but the brand has now said goodbye to the E-NV200. Now its successor is here: the Townstar.

French family

His appearance may look familiar to you if you look at the photos. In fact, the Townstar is basically a converted Renault Kangoo E-Tech. In fact, Renault and Nissan work closely together, exchanging parts, technology and even entire models with each other. The Townstar is an example of the latter.

Japanese nose

Nissan made a cosmetic tweak to give the Townstar its own identity. The front bumper, chrome work and grille are from Nissan. The grille, with a distinctive Japanese pattern, even bears similarities to that of the Ariya. This gives the Townstar a unique look, so you won’t easily mistake it for a Kangoo.

Sober tormentor?

In the interior, we also encounter many familiar Renault elements. Just look at the three round dials of the climate control. We drive the Tekna version, which is extra thick in its stuff. The interior is not inferior to that of a normal consumer car. The audio system performs excellently – or rather, it just sounds good – and the finish of all things on and around the dashboard is pleasing to the eye. The seats offer outstanding comfort. Even after a three-hour drive, we have no back pain. In this regard, the times when vans were considered austere tormentors are far behind us.


The days when electric commercial vehicles were considered impractical, requiring a charger after only 100 kilometers, are also long gone. The Townstar, available in the Netherlands only as an all-electric variant, has a range of 300 kilometers on paper. In practice, we average about 240 kilometers on a single battery charge. An outstanding achievement, especially given our significantly different driving pattern compared to a typical business owner.

During our week of testing, we traveled almost exclusively long distances on the highway. Owners of such commercial vehicles – think plumbers, carpenters, package deliverers – typically stay within city and regional boundaries. They do not drive continuously at 100 km/h, but maintain a significantly lower average speed. In that case, you can easily reach those 300 kilometers with the Townstar. Indeed, if you drive only around town, we’re guessing that 350 kilometers or more is also achievable.

22 kW AC charging

Still need some extra electricity along the way? With a fast charger, it can handle a payload of 80 kW. After a good half hour of charging, you can continue your journey almost fully charged. Still, we recommend charging the Townstar primarily at home or at your business. The Townstar supports AC charging, also known as home charging, with an output of 22 kW. This is a nice option – by default it can handle up to 11 kW – because it allows you to fully charge the car within a few hours. Even an hour of charging during a meeting, assignment or long lunch break adds significant mileage to the range. So what is the advantage over true fast charging? The cost! At home or at work, power costs are much lower than with a fast charger.


With an electric motor delivering 122 hp and 245 Nm of instantly available torque, the Townstar possesses enough power to quickly leave your neighbor behind at the stoplight. While this may not be the most important aspect of a commercial vehicle, this power allows the Townstar to tow a weight of up to 1,500 kg. Not bad, for a compact electric utility vehicle.

The Townstar’s cargo area is accessed through a sliding side door and double rear doors, which facilitate loading and unloading. It is available in two lengths (L1 and L2) and has a capacity of 3.3 (L1) or 4.3 m3 (L2).The space for two europallets, together 788 kg payload and the hooks and eyes present for securing cargo, make the Townstar a practical choice. The cargo area is even fully illuminated with LED lights.

Driving aid

The Townstar features some advanced technologies that actually add more value. The optional Around View Monitor provides a comprehensive view around the car via cameras, which is invaluable in tight urban environments. The ProPilot system contributes to highway safety by keeping the car within the lines and automatically braking and accelerating when necessary. The system works very pleasantly and does not – as is often the case with many other cars – make you want to turn it off immediately while driving.

What does the Nissan Townstar cost?

The Nissan Townstar EV comes from 30,990 euros (ex. VAT). Every Nissan light commercial vehicle comes with a 5-year or 160,000-mile warranty. For the Townstar, Nissan provides an 8-year battery status warranty of up to 70 percent of a new one. Want to know more about the Townstar? In the video below, we talk you all the way through.