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Two blinging bakkies

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Two blinging bakkiesTwo of South Africa’s favourite bakkies, the Isuzu KB and Nissan NP200, have recently received an update (Isuzu) and special model addition (Nissan). GAVIN MYERS drives them

Improved Isuzu

When it was launched in 2013, one of the biggest criticisms of the Isuzu KB was its rather harsh ride quality. This was something that kept rearing its head whenever we would test drive any model of the range; an observation made even worse by the continual barrage of competition with ever-more supple ride quality.

With this midlife facelift, the engineers at Isuzu South Africa went back to the drawing board and set about rectifying this problem, covering more than 100 000 km in testing. The result was the fitment of revised rear dampers on 4x4 models (as was our KB 300 D-TEQ double cab test unit), while 4x2 models received updated front dampers as well.

The engineers have managed to make the ride more supple for the every-day commute, but on harsh, corrugated roads occupants will still get shaken about more than in some competitors’ vehicles, while the rear is still inclined to skip about a little on harsh surfaces.

What else is new? Well, the KB has come in for a little nip-tuck, with sharper lines giving its façade a more aggro appeal, while more detail has been added to the rear tailgate. LX models receive integrated LED daytime running lights and blingy 18-inch wheels.

Buyers of LX models will also enjoy the tow bar, sports bar and roof rails that are now standard.

Also standard are the electric seat adjustment and 6,5-inch, high-definition, touchscreen infotainment system – which offers features such as navigation, internet and a DVD player.

The updated Isuzu KB 300 D-TEQ 4x4 Auto retails for R563 500 and features Isuzu’s Complete Care aftersales backup. The upgrades have brought it in line with the competition, even though it doesn’t lead the pack.

(N)ice Nissan

Nobody could ever accuse the Nissan NP200 of not being among the most popular bakkies on the local market ... but that hasn’t stopped Nissan from releasing another limited-run, special-edition version.

Two blinging bakkiesDubbed the “ICE”, buyers get themselves a host of added features with this new model. Unique 15-inch alloys are an eye-catching addition, while an aluminium nudge bar and sports bar in a brushed, textured finish add a touch of machismo.

Out back, the rear load bay is also rubberised as standard on this model, while a tonneau cover adds a layer of protection to items in the load bay (although the tailgate is not lockable).

Rounding off the styling package is dark, tinted safety film on the (manual) windows, as well as LED daytime running lights.

Inside the cab, occupants are treated to leather upholstery and practical rubber floor mats – but the rest is standard NP 200 fare.

The price? Buyers of the 64 kW/128 Nm 1.6 8V will pay R191 900, while those opting for the 63 kW/
200 Nm 1.5 dCi will look at R204 900. Both, however, are offered with an impressive six-year/150 000 km warranty. A service plan is optional.


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