Heaps of torque, biggest load-bed that carries the most weight, but interior makes you want to rather sit with the load at the back. Meet the Nissan NP200...
Nissan NP200 bakkie review by John BealeThe half-ton bakkie market in South Africa is a big earner. The Opel Corsa bakkie (now Chevrolet Utility) has been the top selling half-ton bakkie for many years, but not resting on their laurels, Nissan entered the market a few years back with the locally produced NP200, and the fleet manager for ADT must have rejoiced. Now, Nissan proudly takes just under 50% of the half-ton market. It’s a tough battle between the Chev Ute and the NP200, as Ford has left the scene.
Let me be frank, the top range models, like the one featured here, are not the volume pushers, but rather appeal to first time car buyers or those needing a load-bed, but not the bigger bakkie capacity. Imagine you’d want to put your bike on the back and head out to Northern Farms.
With additional body coloured bumpers and 15 inch alloy rims, the high spec NP200 is differentiated from the ADT fleet vehicles. Looks don’t offend (not the point in this segment), but it’s far less controversial than the Chevy Ute, which pushed many Corsa Bakkie owners to drink when they saw the new model.
Nissan NP200 performance
A 1.5litre produces 63kW and a healthy 200NM at 1900RPM, and you can feel the grunt in this very light body. With a claimed fuel consumption of 5.3l/100km you’ll also easily get over 600km out of a tank. The unit is gutsy and does the vehicle justice with good torque low down in the rev range. Drive, as expected, is typical bakkie fare, stiff and bumpy. Brakes are equipped with ABS and EBD and dual airbags are standard on the High spec. Steering is power assisted and communicates well. The mechanics of the Nissan NP200 are solid.
The interior however, is just not what you’d expect when paying close to R200 000 for a vehicle. A basic carbon copy of the Renault Sandero, plastic adorns the cabin, and even though the driver’s seat is height adjustable, the back of the cloth seat is too short for my 6-foot frame. The steering wheel sits facing high up like a plate and the plastic covering it is slippery. Behind the seats are 300-litres of luggage capacity, which you’re going to need to hide anything worth its salt in weight from prying eyes. There is a very low spec sound system with Aux input, air-conditioning, fog lamps, immobilizer, central locking, electric windows and mirrors but that’s where it all ends. The plastics look and feel cheap, which is acceptable for any of the models but this one pitched at private leisure owners. The Chev Ute surpasses on the interior, but only just. This is where recycled plastic goes to die.
Where the Nissan NP200 does excel is in the load bed, here covered with tonneau cover, is the largest in segment (1807mm), and has class-leading carrying ability of 800kgs! The Corsa Ute 1.3 Diesel Sport does with 1680mm length and 703kgs. Rubberised load-bed with 4 hooks on the load-bed to tie down items is standard.