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Nissan's new bakkie is still a workhorse

By unknown | Oct 01, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bruce Fraser

Bruce Fraser

When Nissan decided to bring down the curtain on their little 1400 bakkie a few months ago there were a few misty eyes at its official after-tears.

Mind you, that's all in the past and it was smiles all round on Monday with the introduction of its successor, the NP200.

It certainly has big shoes to fill. The Nissan 1400 managed to survive for 37 years and, at the stage when production ceased, was still selling more than 200 units countrywide a month.

In fact, in South Africa alone its sales topped the 250000 mark. Impressive indeed.

There is basically no resemblance design-wise between the two versions. Under the bonnet out goes the 1,4 litre engine to be replaced by a more powerful 1600cc capable of 64kW.

Initially, the NP200 will be available in what is termed the base model, with the introduction of a diesel derivative and more upmarket petrol edition early next year.

The base model is just that - basic. Forget about luxuries such as CD-radio, electric windows, air conditioning and so on. But what can you expect for R88900?

Besides, if you really want these refinements you can either get them fitted as extras or wait until April for the more upmarket edition.

Designed primarily as a workhorse, the NP200's bin has grown in size and is now 1807mm long and 535mm deep and has the capacity to carry 800kg.

The ride is quite comfortable and the five-speed gearbox proved willing.

Space-wise it's pretty comfortable in the cabin for the average person but if you happen to be a Free State farmer things might get a little cramped.

The instrument panel is simple yet all you really need in a vehicle of this sort.

Drink holders, front and rear colour-coded bumpers are standard but if you want a canopy you unfortunately have to fork out for it.


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