As tough as it comes
It was a launch with a difference last week when Nissan showed their new upgraded range of Hardbody vehicles to the media.
As part of its social responsibility programme Nissan decided to put their bakkie range to work straightaway and loaded them up with a whole range of goodies for the less fortunate in the Hartbeespoort Dam area.
Seven bakkie loads of blankets, sugar, maize, powdered milk and toilet rolls were delivered to the Pecanwood High School in North West to be distributed to local communities.
Speaking at a brief handover ceremony, Felicity Gallagher of the Pecanwood Educational Trust thanked the company for its contribution.
"We are in a privileged position here at the school, but that does not mean we do not realise how much work has to be done to help less fortunate people in the surrounding areas.
"What we have received here today will help support many people for more than a month," Gallagher. said
And the vehicle itself?
When you have a bakkie as successful as the Hardbody you ain't going to tinker too much with it and Nissan has wisely stuck with a winning formula.
Cosmetically there has been a tweak here and there but it still has that unmistakable Hardbody look.
The launch saw the release of seven vehicles ranging from R109 500 for the basic short-wheel base, two-litre single cab through to the Hi-Rider double cab with a 2,4-litre 16V engine going for R230950.
Though heavily laden with goodies, the base model cruised along nicely in fifth gear and sailed up the hilly parts without the driver having to change down.
Admittedly, it would have been nice to have power-steering but at a shade under R110000 one can't complain.
The double-cabs provide you with what you expect these days in motoring terms.
All the mod cons of air conditioning, ABS brakes and central locking are standard and provide a bit of comfort on and off the road.
All vehicles except the SWB come with a three-year, 90000km service plan.
The idea was to make an affordable, low-cost entry vehicle for the small businessmen.
Service intervals at 15000km.
Hardbody Prices - Petrol:
2000i 16V SWB S/Cab R109 950;
2000i 16V LWB S/Cab R129 950;
2000i 16V LWB S/Cab "S" R135 950;
2000i 16V LWB S/Cab "SE" R149 950;
2400i 16V Hi-Rider LWB S/Cab R177 950.
2500TDi LWB S/Cab R149 950.
2400i 16V Hi Rider D/Cab R230 950.