You could say that Nissan’s workhorses are equally as iconic to the company as their 4WD sports cars. The C22 Vanette is still very popular for businesses and is still begin produced in Malaysia. Though most contractors still love the Hilux more, the basic Nissan Frontier is popular choice as a workhorse and remember how many small businessmen used the Nissan AD Resort as their workhorse and family vehicle at the same time? Such is the versatility of stationwagons but somehow the Malaysian car-buying public has forgotten about this bodystyle.
The old Nissan 1400 single cab pick-up truck also served its buyers well and up until recently it was still sold in South Africa, which gives it a total lifespan of 37 years. It can now finally retire with the unveiling of the new Proton Arena-style Nissan NP200 utility vehicle based on the Dacia Logan pick-up. The front rides on MacPherson struts while the rear has a H-type torsion beam.
It has a modern engine that’s vastly different from the 1400’s old carburetted 1.4 litre engine. Instead, a 85 horsepower 8 valve 1.6 litre engine is used, with 128Nm produced at 3,000rpm. This is quite weak for a 1.6 litre but Nissan has shortened the first three gears of its 5-speed manual to give the NP200 better acceleration and more pulling power away from a stop when fully loaded up to its maximum payload of 800kg.
It tailgate supports up to 300kg of load, and the load-bed has 16 anchorage points comprising of 4 bed surround fasteners, 2 safety hoop hooks and 6 rings on the bed floor. Load area is 1,200 litres while the load length is 1.8 meters.
The interior features a 300 litre storage compartment behind the two seats. It has a power steering and an optional radio. In South Africa no air conditioning is available but there is a heater and a 4-speed fan. No ABS or airbags either but future high spec version for other markets may feature all these creature comforts and safety equipment.
Look for more photos of the NP200 after the jump.