The most noticeable enhancements are to the extremely popular range of Hardbody 2.4i Petrol Double Cabs of which more than 8 500 have been sold since launch in 2002. The 2.4i 4x2 Hi-Rider Double Cab now boasts dual airbags, stylish roof rack, new design 16" alloy wheels, and extremely popular leather/cloth combination trim.
The 2.4i 4x4 Double Cab also gained airbags for the driver and front passenger, Limited Slip Differential (LSD), 15" functionally styled steel wheels, leather/cloth combination trim and auto-locking hubs.
At a suggested retail selling price of R210 120 for the 2.4i 4x2 Double Cab and R263 875 for the 2.4i 4x4 Double Cab, these revised models in the Hardbody range certainly represent outstanding value for money.
The changes come as a result of extensive market research with current and previous Hardbody owners. "They told us what they wanted, and we went about offering as much as possible," said Nissan SA Senior Marketing Manager Commercial Vehicles, Francois van Eeden.
Nissan's research also shows that safety is becoming an increasingly important aspect of bakkie ownership, and dual airbags have therefore been added to the Single Cab Hi-Rider and 2.4i Double Cab models.
"Normally one would expect an upgraded vehicle to be repositioned with at least the same price or with a small price increase, but not this time," said Van Eeden.
Launched in 2002, the upgraded Hardbody range comes not only with new safety and technical enhancements, but also added value for money with an average 7.5% reduction in suggested retail price.
Ranging from R112 262 including VAT for the 2.0i SWB to R282 857 including VAT for the top of the range 3.0 Turbo Diesel 4x4 Double Cab, there should be a Hardbody for whatever application in the revised model line-up.
Other specification upgrades include a new thicker grip, smaller three-spoke steering wheel for the 4x2 and 4x4 Single Cab Workhorse and a more business-like appearance for the 2.4i Petrol and 3.0 Turbo Diesel Single Cab Hi-Rider derivatives.
"Our research shows most Single Cab Hi-Line buyers are owner/drivers such as farmers and small business owners, for whom their Hardbody is an office on wheels," said Van Eeden. "They wanted more practical and less fancy features, but at a much better price."
This includes the deletion of the nudge bar and audio system on the Single Cab Hi-Line models, while a black finish for the masculine over fenders, front bumper, front grille, roll bar and rear step bumper replaces the previously painted finish. A new 16" alloy wheel design completes the revised exterior aesthetics.
The improved range of Hardbody pick-ups have all retained their trusted, tried and tested engines, with no changes to their technical specifications whatsoever.
With 105kW at 3 400 r/min and 314 Nm at 2 000 r/min, the turbodiesel powering the flagship model is one of the most powerful diesels in its class. The 3.3-litre V6 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 92 kW and 110 kW respectively.
A three-year, 100 000 km warranty applies while service intervals are still out of the top drawer of the industry, with 15 000 km service intervals for all derivatives with an additional 7 500 km oil service for diesel units.
The realignment of the new revised Hardbody was done with the specific emphasis on refocusing the Hardbody slightly under Nissan's recently launched and highly acclaimed Navara range of double cabs.
"The realignment is a confirmation of Hardbody into the future. The Navara range will be extended to include more derivatives, but Hardbody remains our core product in the one ton segment," said Van Eeden.