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Driven: #Nissan #NP200 Half Ton Pick-Up – #Ice #Edition

Date: 18 May 2017 Author Type: Public Review
Author: Julian Lurie
Source: Julian Lurie
In a fierce battle to retain the lead in the half-ton bakkie segment Nissan last year, added a further three variants to its five model range. The NP200 ICE is available in two colours - a Bright Silver metallic or Starling Blue, which was the colour of the press vehicle. Marketed as the NP200 ICE, Nissan takes pleasure in saying that it is the coolest half-tonne pick-up to have rolled off Nissan’s Rosslyn production line to date, and is available in limited numbers across Nissan’s local dealer network. Prices start at R191 900 for the 1.6 litre ICE petrol model, to R244 900 for the top-of-the-range 1.5dCi SE ICE. The model we feature in these impressions is the mid-range 1.5dCi ICE.

There’s no doubt that the NP200 ICE has strikingly good looks, starting with the custom-designed 15” alloy wheels that on the press vehicle were shod with Barum 185/65R15 tyres, a full-sized spare wheel under the load bed, the special aluminium nudge bar with a brushed finish that gives the nudge bar a distinctive textured look, adding to the ICE’s attractive looks.

The NP200 ICE is also fitted with a brushed aluminium sports bar, which adds additional functionality to the large load bay. This is especially true if you opt for the fitted motocross or mountain bike stand or want to tie down a couple of surf boards using the optional roll bar protector and standard sixteen anchor points in the load bay. There are also ICE decals on the sides above the wheel arches and on the kick-plates as you open the doors

The load-bay is rubberised as standard helping to protect against water corrosion, impact and possible abrasive damage from certain loads. Nissan has also added a fitted tonneau cover, which is fastened by the popular side-rail method, and rear step plates fitted below the ICE decals on the rear bumper, but unfortunately there’s no lock on the tailgate.

The NP200 ICE also comes with dark tinted safety film on the side and rear windows which also serves a functional purpose by protecting the driver and the passenger from potential smash-and-grab incidents.

Inside the cabin, the NP200 ICE comes with high back black leather bucket seats with ICE branding on the headrest. The sliding seats are not height adjustable, the urethane 3-spoke steering wheel is rather large in diameter and is also not adjustable for either rake or reach, while the two black painted exterior mirrors are manually adjustable. The instruments are clear and easy to read, and all round vision was very good.

Strangely the rev counter was red-lined at 6 500 rpm, which must be for the petrol version, as the rev limiter in the diesel powered press vehicle, cut in automatically at just 4 200 rpm.

The load box – at 1.8 m long and 0.535 m deep – will carry a 800 kg payload and there’s an additional 300 litres of storage space available behind the seats, there are two cupholders in the floor console the plastic door pockets are narrow and the cubby is tiny. Other items include heavy duty black rubber foot mats, an air-conditioner, easily controlled by three knobs in the centre dash, but the centre dash mounted JVC car radio looks like an aftermarket product slotted into the dash panel. It has no CD slot but it does have a USB connection with hands-free Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming and the sound is reasonable.

On the safety side the NP200 ICE comes with driver and passenger airbags, disc brakes in front and drum brakes at the rear, ABS, electronic brake distribution and a collapsible steering column.

kw at 3 750 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 1 900 rpm, and drive is to the front wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox.Under the bonnet NP200 ICE press vehicle Nissan has installed its proven 4-cylinder 1 461 cc DCi turbo-diesel engine making 63 kw at 3 750 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 1 900 rpm, and drive is to the front wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox.

Diesel consumption is given as 6.4 litres per 100 kms, and I have no reason to doubt that as the fuel guage hardly moved over the week I had the vehicle. In terms of performance the NP200 diesel did the 0 to 100 kms dash in a leisurely 15.2 seconds, not-with-standing the notchy gear lever movement, and has a top speed of 153 km/hg.

On the freeway it has no trouble keeping up with the traffic. Cruising along at the 120 km/h legal limit the motor spins at just 3 000 rpm in 5th gear. On the road the new Nissan NP 200 bakkie rides and feels more like a car than ever before, and if you didn’t take a look behind, you’d surely believe you were driving a car. The extra power of the 16 valve turbo-diesel engine makes a huge difference to performance, and gives the NP200 a sportier feel. The suspension provides a comfortable ride, and the little LDV is quite enjoyable to pilot through corners.

So what’s not to like.? For starters the diesel engine is quite noisy in slow traffic and at idle, the power steering is on the heavy side for maneuvering in tight spots, it has wind-up windows and no central locking, not even via the key, and the gear change could be smoother. However at a price of R236 900, which includes a 6-year or 150 000 kilometer warranty and modern sporty looks, it does offer good value for money, especially for the younger set who enjoy outside weekend activities. A service plan is optionally available on purchase.
iX Online Motoring