NEW EDITION: Bespoke wheels, LED daytime lights and tinted windows are a few of the cosmetic changes to the new NP200 ICE model. Image: Sean Parker
Durban - Special edition bakkies...we've seen a handful 'launched' over the past year or so; from Volkswagen's Amarok 'Ultimate' to the Nissan NP200 Stealth edition.
With the year entering its final stages and the Nissan Navara many months away, what does an automaker with the best-selling half-tonne bakkie do? It launches yet another limited edition workhorse.
The Japanese automaker unveiled a special edition; the NP200 ICE.
SA'S best-selling half-tonne bakkie
Nissan South Africa said the ICE is aimed at owners "who want to stand out from the crowd" but still have a capable bakkie with a 800kg payload which is a handy 1.8m long and 535mm deep.
ICE,ICE, BABY: The muggy Durban weather meant refreshments were a must: Nissan decided to store all the cooldrinks and ICE in the load bay. Image: Sean Parker
SA's most popular half-tonne bakkie is built at the Rosslyn factory in Gauteng.
The ICE is available in two colours, 'Starling Blue' and 'Bright Silver', to make sure its noticed in traffic. The model features ICE decals and badging as well as brushed aluminium fittings.
Dark, tinted windows gives the ICE street-cred and serves as an extra layer of safety; helps protect occupants from potential smash-and-grab incidents.
There's also stand-out 15" wheels bespoke to the ICE model and LED daytime driving lights along the nudge bar.
More: September's best-selling bakkies in SA
There are two engines to choose from: a 1.6-litre petrol engine developing 64kW/128Nm, Nissan says it consumes 8.1l/100km. Pricing is aggressive at R191 900.
Our choice however, would be the 1.5 dCi turbodiesel engine, which has 63kW/200Nm and uses only 5.3l/100km according to the automaker, this derivative is available for R204 900.
On the brief drive, the engine responded well on highway driving, we didn't get to drive with anything in the load bay, so we can't comment on what it feels like under load. We'll be sure to load up and gear when we have the vehicle on test soon.
On the practical side, an optional roll bar protector is available, while no less than 16 anchor points can be found in the rubberised load bay if you are ever keen to turn it into a 'bacuzzi'. A handy fitted tonneau cover is standard.
Inside, the ICE is basic, but functional with combination leather upholstery and rubber carpets.
For people who conduct business from their phones, the entertainment system has Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming and a USB connection. Two airbags and ABS brakes take care of things on the safety front.
More: Nissan goes Stealth: NP200 LTD for SA
A service plan is optional for the NP200 ICE. however it does have a 6-year or 150 000km warranty.
Overall, a funky little model that will definitely speak to business owners who aren't keen on buying a plain-Jane white bakkie.