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Nissan Hardbody – 25 years of excellence

The NP300 Hardbody forms part of Nissan’s comprehensive LCV line-up, which is one of the widest range of commercial vehicles in South Africa

2013 marks the 25th anniversary of the Nissan Hardbody nameplate in South Africa, highlighting the Japanese manufacturer’s ongoing popularity in the one-ton bakkie segment for an astonishing quarter of a century.

While the decades have passed, the Hardbody has however undergone several rejuvenation, the latest of which took place five years ago when Nissan reintroduced the Hardbody to South Africa as the new Nissan NP300 – in line with the naming strategy introduced with its compact NP200 bakkie.

To celebrate this 25-year milestone achievement, Nissan recently released a special 25th Anniversary pricing plan along with a class-leading six-year/150 000km warranty standard on all NP300 Hardbody models.

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“Twenty-five years is a significant milestone in many instances in life, whether it is a birthday, coronation or marriage celebration. In the car world, celebrating 25 years of a nameplate as iconic as the Hardbody moniker is a truly glorious experience and we are extremely proud of the NP300 Hardbody’s strong performance both locally and internationally over so many years,” said Freddie Louw, chief marketing manager for the LCV Business Unit at Nissan South Africa.

He added that the new class-leading warranty, 25th-anniversary pricing structure and forthcoming special edition NP300 Hardbody models will strengthen the NP300 Hardbody’s ties with purveyors of reliable, tough and durable bakkies. While the 25th Anniversary special edition NP300 Hardbody models will only be available from the end of September, the company already boasts an expansive range of models for all sorts of mobility requirements.

Kicking of the local line-up is a 2-litre four-cylinder Base petrol model that’s often leading the NP300 pack when it comes to sale charts thanks to its competitive pricing and timeless durability. It’s supplemented by a 2,4-litre four-cylinder petrol unit, which offers greater torque and towing capabilities and is ideal only if you prefer to steer clear of diesel engine technology, as it can be thirsty if driven hard.

The stars of the NP300 line-up, however, remains the 2.5TDi models – available in Base, Mid, High Rider and double-cab variants. This turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine produces a respectable 98kW of power at 3 600rpm and a tree-stump-pulling 304N.m of torque at 2 000rpm thanks to its adoption of Nissan’s second-generation common rail system with 1 800 bar fuel-injection, which results in lower emissions and reduced NVH overall.

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All NP300 models are equipped with collapsible steering columns, side impact protection bars, and integrated front crumple zones. A steel reinforced ladder frame chassis provides additional strength, while side door intrusion bars add further protection to occupants in the event of an accident. Toughened suspension and fade resistant shock absorbers also provide safe, steady driving with all loads on all roads.

While the higher spec models are fitted with air-conditioning and electric windows and side mirrors, remember that the Base models come without radios or aircons – so it’s important to factor in what type of conditions you’ll be piloting the NP300 in most frequently. Nissan’s offering special anniversary prices that start at R161 500 for the 2-litre Base petrol model and extends to R367 900 for the range-topping 2,4-litre Hi-Rider 4×4 Double Cab while stocks last.

 

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Tristan Wiggill
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