Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
For the vehicle of the same name in Europe, see Nissan Serena.
Nissan Vanette
Also called Datsun Vanette
Datsun Vanette Cargo
Nissan Vanette Cargo
Nissan Sunny Vanette
Nissan Van
Nissan Cherry Vanette
Nissan Vanette Largo
Nissan C22 Vanette
Nissan Vanette Grand Coach
Successor Mazda Bongo
Nissan NV200
Engine(s) A12S, A15S, CA20S, CA18T, LD20 or LD20S
Transmission(s) manual

The Nissan Vanette is a van produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan Motors since 1978. The van has also been sold as the Nissan Sunny-Vanette or Nissan Van. There was formerly a separate model sold in Europe under the same name, however it was unrelated instead being based on the Nissan Serena. The passenger version is called the Vanette in most markets, and came equipped with multiple engine and drivetrain configurations.

Engines for Japan included A12S, A15S, CA20S, CA18T, LD20 and LD20S. 2WD and 4WD versions were produced, with manual, automatic, floor and column shift options available. While no longer produced for the Japanese market, it is still available in other markets around the world such as Malaysia.[1] While it has had a few facelifts over the years, the basic van is still the same. The 1980s interior is still intact as can be seen on the Malaysian Nissan website referenced.

Eventually, it was replaced by a version of the Mazda Bongo (or E-series), sold as the Nissan Vanette under an OEM deal.

First generation (C120; 1978–1988)

Datsun Vanette (C120)
Nissan Sunny Vanette
Also called Datsun Vanette
Nissan Cherry Vanette
Nissan Sunny Vanette
Production 1978–1989
Body style(s) 2-door truck
4/5-door van
4-door minibus (Coach)
Layout MR layout
Engine(s) 988 cc A10 OHV I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,075 mm
2,405 mm (LWB)[2]
Length 3,900-3,930 mm
4,230 mm (LWB)
4,270 mm (LWB truck)[2]
Width 1,600-1,605 mm[2]
Height 1,755-1,795 mm
1,965-1,985 mm (high roof)[2]
Curb weight 865–1,050 kg (1,907–2,315 lb)

Introduced in October 1978 as a replacement for the 1969 Nissan Cherry Cab/Sunny Cab C20,[3] the first Vanette was exported as the Datsun C20 (later the Nissan C20) or as the Nissan Datsun Vanette (later the Nissan Vanette). In the home market it was initially marketed as either the 'Nissan Sunny Vanette' or the 'Nissan Cherry Vanette', depending on the distribution network. In March 1980 a Datsun Vanette version was also added, sold through the 'Bluebird' dealer network. The Datsun Vanette received twin headlights, while its sister models had single headlights.

Initially it was available in three lines: a truck version, vans (usually with passenger accommodation), and as a 9-seat minibus (Vanette Coach). The Coach received a 1.4 L (1,397 cc) A14 four cylinder, producing 75 PS (55 kW) at 5,400 rpm. The van and truck versions originally had to make do with the lesser A12 of 1.2 L (1,171 cc) and 64 PS (47 kW) at the same engine speed.[4] Later, the 1400 engine became available in Van and Truck versions as well. In July 1979 a high-roof version was added, as well as a long wheelbase van and ten-seater Coach version. This was stretched by 33 cm between the front and side doors, LWB versions were never available with the A12 engine. Some versions received separate air conditioning outlets for the rear.

Nissan Vanette (Malaysia).

In June 1980 the Coach version changed from the A14 to the larger (1,487 cc) A15 engine, offering 83 PS (61 kW).[3] There was also a luxurious SGL version of the Vanette Coach added, with an available sunroof and swivelling captain's chairs in the rear - both firsts for the segment in Japan. To indicate it's luxurious nature, the SGL received double square headlights for a more modern appearance. In June 1981 the LD20 diesel engine was added, as was a 2-litre gasoline version (Z20) for the top-of-the-line SGX version.[3]

In October 1982, minor changes occurred (along with the introduction of the bigger "Largo"). The dashboard was redesigned, while the base 'CT' model received front disc brakes, the optional air conditioning system was modernized, and an inexpensive 'FL' Coach version was added. In October 1983 a DX-A version was added, followed by modifications to the transmission carried out in August 1985. The next month, production of Van and Coach models ended as they were replaced by the C22 Vanette. The truck versions of the C120 Vanette remained in production (with light modifications carried out in August 1986) until September 1988.[3]

Vanette Largo

Nissan Vanette Cargo (GC120, EU-spec)

The Vanette Largo (GC120) was introduced in October 1982 and was a wider (by 90 mm, to stay just beneath the important Japanese 1,700 mm tax threshold) and somewhat longer version. This was called the Nissan/Datsun Vanette Cargo in most export markets, where it largely supplanted the smaller Vanette versions. Engines were the A15 and Z20 gasoline versions, accompanied by the diesel LD20 (also available turbocharged). There was a minibus 'Coach' version of the Largo as well, with a luxurious "Grand Saloon" version topping the range.

The Largo continued in production until a GC22 successor arrived, in May of 1986. In the Japanese market, the car was either marketed as the Datsun Vanette Largo or as a Nissan with the Cherry and Sunny prefixes.

Second generation (C22; 1985–1994)

Second generation (C22; 1985–1994)
Nissan Vanette 001.JPG


An up-market version was sold as the Nissan Largo.

United States

The Nissan C22 was modified for the United States market to compete with the similar sized Toyota Van and Mitsubishi Van, and to join the growing minivan market in the USA. This van was sold as the "Nissan Van" in the USA from 1987 to 1990. Nissan had to engineer its larger 2.4 liter Z24 engine into the C22 in order to handle American requirements such as air conditioning. The C22 was not originally designed for such a large engine, and the resulting tight quarters would later contribute to overheating and engine fire issues.

In 1994, after four safety recalls did not end the engine fire problems, and with a class action lawsuit pending, Nissan took the unprecedented step of recalling every Nissan Van sold in the USA.[5][6][7] Van owners were offered blue book value or more for their van,[8] and most accepted, but a few opted to keep their vans.{ The class-action settlement offered discounts on the purchase of a new Nissan vehicle.[9] Never before had an entire vehicle range been bought back by its maker. The vehicles which were recalled were crushed en masse.[10]


The Nissan Vanette was available in the Philippines until the end of 1999 as the Nissan Vanette Grand Coach. In its final version it remains essentially the same Vanette as in previous years except for a different wheel design, upgraded seat materials and a faux wood trim dashboard. The sole engine available is the Z20 2.0 liter gasoline engine. Unlike in other Asian countries, no diesel variant was offered or available. That was an oversight on Nissan's part that could have made the difference in the van's popularity.

Third generation (S20, SE, SK; 1994–1999)

Third generation (S20, SE, SK; 1994–1999)
Nissan Vanette S20 001.JPG
Manufacturer Mazda

A badge engineered Mazda Bongo.

Fourth generation (S21, SK; 1999–2008)

Fourth generation (S21, SK; 1999–2008)
NISSAN Vanette Van S21.jpg
Manufacturer Mazda
Successor Nissan NV200

A badge engineered Mazda Bongo. The successor of the Vanette van is Nissan NV200 Vanette.


In the Transformers animated series, Ironhide and Ratchet take the form of Nissan Vanettes, with Ratchet's version is an ambulance motif.


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Nissan Vanette. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: