When deciding to buy a car that best suits the needs of your business, there are a number of important factors you need to consider: like how much will it cost to run, including servicing, petrol consumption and general maintenance. You need to ask yourself what you can get out of it from a delivery perspective too and whether it’s actually good to drive and good value for money.
Spotong's Damian Murphy was given a chance to really put this Nissan bakkie through the rigours of life around town, on the long open road and even on a little dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
Nissan make really good cars. Their gearboxes make driving a pleasure and they have plenty of power. The NP300 is no different. It has a smooth ride, even on a dirt road, but it’s not very quick. The NP300 is designed to work for your business, and even though it can comfortably get to 120 kilometres per hour, it wasn’t made to be a speed machine. It has five gears and the 2.5 litre diesel engine can give you a massive 304 Newton metres of torque. That pull comes in handy when you are carting around heavy loads.
When deciding to buy a car that best suits the needs of your business, there are a number of important factors you need to consider: like how much will it cost to run, including maintenance and petrol.
The heaviest load the NP300 is able to carry is one ton — fantastic for a car of this size. The only thing that suffers is when you carry a big load, the petrol consumption goes through the roof. For a diesel, you expect the NP300 to be a good economical workhorse in terms of saving fuel, but in all honesty, this is the single most disappointing thing about this particular Nissan. Nissan’s website claims a combined fuel economy of eight litres per 100 kilometres you drive, but even on the open road to the Eastern Cape, we found the fuel consumption to be closer to 10 litres per 100 kilometres driven, and as high as 16 or 17 litres when driving around town, off-road or while carrying any substantial cargo.
The benefits of the NP300 are the luxury elements such as, bucket seats, air conditioning, a good radio/CD player, central locking and power steering. For a bakkie built to haul cargo and do work on the farm, it certainly over delivers on the luxury elements, especially when you compare it to other single cabs in the market today. And to top it off, it’s actually a very good looking car too. Nissan have created something that looks nice enough to take to a business meeting, but is tough enough to take you through some rough terrain.
Even in rainy conditions, the Nissan never struggled up a hill and never let us down. It also surprised us as even as a 4x2 with diff locks, it could go everywhere a normal 4x4 could go and with just as much confidence.
At Nissan, they are confident in their cars and so they offer all NP300 owners a three year/100 000 kilometre warranty, guaranteeing that if anything malfunctions on your NP300, they will fix it. Included in their offering is also a roadside assistance package that ensures Nissan will help you out if you get stuck. They also give new owners of the NP300 a three year/90 000 kilometre service plan, meaning that they will service your bakkie for the first 90 000 kilometres at no cost to you. The NP300 needs to be serviced every 15 000 kilometres once you are finished with the service plan, which makes it relatively efficient to run.
The cost of the vehicle is R263 300 and would add certain value to your business. It remains to be seen if the small faults with the fuel and speed will cost this little workhorse, but we can assure you that Nissan do make good and reliable cars that get the job done.