If you are in the market for an affordable workhorse for your hustle, you can decide to look at the used car market for an eight year old pick-up, sample a Chinese variant or dance to the tune of ‘Atoti’.
There’s an old saying that goes, ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’; one of the toughest and reliable pick-ups in the market truly adheres to this saying. The NP300 aka ‘Atoti’, has been on our roads for over 16 years and counting, faithfully serving customers diligently by traversing our treacherous terrain without breaking sweat.
During its one and half decades of active service, at least two generations of pick-ups have emerged, as manufacturers struggle to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers globally.
Just like fine wine, the ‘Hardbody’ has matured gracefully in to a formidable and durable work-horse. With cheap Chinese variants readily available, Nissan has extended the shelf life of the NP300, hence retaining its relevance in the market by offering an unbeatable value for money proposition to the customer. So what has changed?
The front end has received a ‘nip and tuck’, with slightly modified head lamps and bumper treatment. Subtle changes include 15-inch wheels, differential lock and tubular rear bumper as standard for the mid-range single and double cab derivatives.
For those who desire the finer things in life, the Hi-grade models feature body colour over fenders and colour coded front bumper, side-steps and Tourneau cover to protect your valuables.
The NP300 Hardbody range is powered by a potent yet economical 2.5 Litre common-rail diesel engine. This unit churns 98 kW at 3 600 rpm and 304 Nm of raw torque at 2 000 rpm. Mated to this engine is a synchronized 5-speed gearbox that sends all the power to all four paws selectively via a two speed transfer box. The close ratio shifter allows you to exploit the ample torque available on tap while the NP300 returns an average fuel economy figure of 8.9L/100KM.
Step inside and you will notice that Nissan upgraded the cabin with air conditioning as standard, a new dashboard layout, vinyl carpeting, a stylish four spoke steering wheel and a decent in-car- entertainment system with USB and MP3 functionality as standard.
Passenger protection being a critical parameter during the purchase of a pick-up, Nissan has ensured that the NP300 Hardbody meets and possibly exceed global safety standards. Driver and passenger airbags as standard in certain models, collapsible steering column, side impact protection bars, integrated front crumple zones and Anti-lock Braking System complete the list.
Nissan has enhanced the winning formula it offered consumers at the turn of the century with the NP300. Updated to meet current consumer needs, the NP300 offers an affordable, reliable and durable alternative to the Chinese clones sold locally. Nissan offers a 3 year/100,000KM warranty for this product, giving you peace of mind during your hustle.