Nissan’s current range of light commercial vehicles, which is on display at the biennial Auto Africa Motor Show, makes a strong statement about Nissan’s shift in success and significance in the global marketplace.
NISSAN PATROL PICKUP
The new Nissan Patrol Pickup is a tough, powerful, indestructible heavy-duty workhorse that offers the same bold and attractive cab styling of the Patrol SUV. Its return to the South African market after an absence of five years has been welcomed by those farmers and fleet owners who found it to be a durable and reliable no-nonsense load-carrier.
It has a powerful, proven 4.2 litre in-line six cylinder common rail diesel engine which is driven by a five speed manual gearbox and develops an impressive 85kW of power at 4 000rpm. And with a healthy 264Nm at 2000rpm of torque, it makes a very efficient tow vehicle.
The new Patrol Pickup is a single cab 4×4 pickup with best in class approach, departure and brake-over angles, that can carry a full one ton load, filling a gap in the range for a heavy-duty, hard-working vehicle with proven off-road capability and strong fleet appeal.
It boasts an impressive All-Terrain Suspension incorporating an advanced heavy-duty coil spring suspension with three links in front and progressive rate leaf springs at the rear with a semi-floating rear axle.
It features as standard equipment a heavy-duty chassis, Limited Slip Differential, cyclone air cleaner and long range fuel tanks with a total capacity of 175 litres (two separate tanks, a main 95 litre tank and an 80 litre sub tank) – features not usually available as standard equipment in this segment of the market.
The Patrol Pickup is not all work and no play, offering passenger car-like interior styling, appointment and features. Inside the spacious cab with its tinted windows are individual front bucket seats trimmed in vinyl. Instrumentation includes the usual fuel (main and sub tank), water temperature and oil pressure gauges, speedometer as well as a tachometer and trip meter, plus a digital clock. Steering is power assisted and the steering wheel is tilt adjustable.
NISSAN 1400 PICKUP
Since its launch in 1971, when it was known as the Datsun 1200 pickup, the Champion of Africa has become a legend in its own lifetime, passing the 250 000 sales mark in 2003 and still going strong.
Together with the rear wheel drive traction, semi-elliptical leaf springs for load-carrying capacity, bodywork from the school of hard knocks, and a tough and simple four-cylinder power plant are the basis of the Nissan 1400’s rugged reliability.
These fundamentals remain the four pillars on which the Nissan 1400 half-ton pickup was designed and is still built.
In 1980 the 1.4 engine replaced the venerable 1.2 unit. Rated at 47 kW and 97Nm, the basic drive train has remained virtually unchanged for over 20 years.
A carburettor still supplies the fuel and a straightforward single overhead valve engine means that maintaining and servicing a 1400 pickup requires little in the way of special equipment. These are aspects that have helped to make it especially appealing to fleet operators who often handle their own servicing. Parts are attractively priced and readily available.
A sturdy, double-sided loadbox is stamped from high tensile steel and designed to carry virtually anything from boxes to bricks.
Today, the two-model range undercuts anything else in the class, whether you’re talking about the businesslike “Standard” or more lifestyle-orientated “Champ”. Mechanically the two are identical, from suspension through to the ratios in the five-speed gearbox, right down to the tiny 4.1 metre turning circle.
The Champ can be identified by virtue of its silver Spoker 12-inch wheels, spotlamps, tonneau cover, tinted windscreen, mudflaps, and side striping. Inside there are individual seats with cloth upholstery (as opposed to the bench in the Standard), a tachometer, head restraints, and a soft-grip steering wheel.
Nissan South Africa reasserted its technological leadership in the market for one-ton pickups with the launch of the new Hardbody range in April 2002 and today it continues to be an important driver of Nissan’s increased market share. Aggressive styling, superior off-road capability, indestructible engines and a heritage of toughness and durability born of Nissan’s 60 years’ experience building pickups are combined with carlike comfort and interior appointments that make Hardbody the ideal workhorse/leisure vehicle.
It is a rugged performer and features either two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive to cope with any conditions. The four-wheel drive version is an authentic Nissan 4×4, and uses a drive system similar to that in the Nissan Patrol, including automatic locking front hubs on all the 4×4 double cabs.
Its success in off-road racing (it has won every SA championship it has contested since 2001 and has distinguished itself in the international Dakar Rally) is proof of its indestructibility.
Today the upgraded Hardbody range continues to be one of the best-sellers in the one-ton pickup market. A range of trusted, tried and tested engines remain at the heart of the popular Hardbody package.
With 105kW of power and 314Nm at 2 000 r/min, the turbo-diesel powering the flagship model is one of the most powerful diesels in its class. The 3,3-litre V6 petrol delivers a powerful 125 kW and 265 Nm of torque.
The four-cylinder 2,0 and 2,4-litre petrol engines are fuel-injected DOHC 16-valve units with power output of 92kW and 110kW respectively.
The range was realigned with the specific emphasis on refocusing the Hardbody slightly under Nissan’s highly acclaimed Navara range of double cabs, with the Hardbody remaining Nissan’s core product in the one ton segment.
NISSAN KING CAB
The King Cab is the extended cab version of Nissan’s top-selling Hardbody range of locally manufactured one-ton pickups, which offers the biggest load space (thanks to a longer and deeper load box than its competitors) and the most powerful diesel engine in the segment. With its Hi-Line level of specification, it is a dual-purpose vehicle aimed at the business professional as well as the outdoor enthusiast who is looking for a hard-working but good-looking single cab pickup that can be used for both work and play.
The Nissan Navara is a new breed of luxury leisure vehicle that combines an authoritative presence, bold yet stylish looks and all the comfort, luxury and safety features and benefits you would expect from a top-of-the-range SUV (including ample room for five adults) with class-leading performance, load carrying ability and an unrivalled off-road pedigree.
The Nissan Navara is available with the class leading and award-winning 4.0 six-cylinder petrol engine (with six-speed manual and five-speed automatic gearboxes) and in the mid and high output versions of the new 2.5 litre four-litre turbo diesel engine (with the only six-speed manual gearbox in its category) in both 4×2 and 4×4 models.
The second generation high-output common rail turbo-diesel engine delivers 128 kW of power and 403 Nm of torque. The 4.0 litre V6 petrol engine delivers a prodigious 198 kW of power and 385 Nm of torque.
Advanced design features include Electronic Throttle Control (ETC), Continuous Valve Timing control (C-VTC) and the Nissan variable Induction Control System (NICS), which improve engine operating efficiency and driveability, particularly at low r/min, with optimum torque available throughout the rev range.
Navara features anti-lock braking (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Nissan Brake Assist as standard equipment.
Perhaps the most innovative feature of the Nissan Navara is the Utili-track load system and reinforced cargo bed construction. The biggest and widest in class cargo area has a large quick-release handle on the tailgate and features five channels (three in the bed and two on the sides) that will accept a variety of accessories, including racks, dividers and trays that enable any shape or size of load to be transported securely. Fixed hooks and sliding cleats allow for cargo to be tied down with ropes or canvas adjustable straps.
Johannesburg Motor Show Map