Hardbody in soul 'n drive

Charl Wilken

Charl Wilken

Our used vehicle this week barely needs a recommendation: it has proved itself countless times over.

The Nissan Hardbody 2400i double cab 4x4 is one of the most capable and reliable bakkies on the South African car market. Our test bakkie, a 2006 model, is also not new to our readers - we have tested one before and also found it to be an almost perfect balance between recreational vehicle and family car.

Our pick of the week has only done 68000km - a fair odometer reading given the vehicle is now in its second year.

What makes the Hardbody range so desirable is its practicality and trustworthiness. When it comes to off-road capabilities, the Hardbody will conquer most terrains without a sweat. This is mainly because of the high ground clearance, strong chassis with diff-lock and the 4x4 low range transfer case when things become really tough.

All in all, the complete outside package makes the Hardbody one of the best-looking bakkies around.

The interior of our used Hardbody speaks of quality.

Not only are the seats covered with good leather, but the steering wheel and gear knob as well.

The cabin not only feels spacious, it really is. Legroom for passengers is more than sufficient. Five adults will sit comfortably.

But it is under the hood where most of the Hardbody's trustworthiness lies.

Our model, the 2,4-litre four-cylinder petrol variant, is by far one of the more economical bakkies on the market. This power plant is very willing and most of its power is available at relatively low rpms. Power output stands at 110kW and 208Nm of torque, which means this vehicle has got enough horses to travel with the utmost ease at highway speeds.

A five-speed manual gearbox delivers power to the rear wheels and to all four wheels when the transfer gearbox is engaged. We found driving the Hardbody both on- and off-road a great experience.

Our model is also equipped with smash and grab window tint, roof racks, air-conditioning, electric windows, adjustable power steering, driver's airbag, and front-loader MP3/CD-player.

Even though the new HardBody was launched recently, it would still be a good decision to purchase this model.