When Nissan replaced the old Datsun 1200 / Nissan 1400 bakkie they knew they had a mission on their hands.
In actual fact the NP200 is a better workhorse than the the Nissan Champ it replaced, but somehow it just did not have the same chutzpah, cachet, something special that the 1400 had in wallops.
The NP200 needed a bit of youthful zest. A punch just like the Champ. So Nissan had an idea.
Nissan made a model for the leisure market which looks more sporty than the normal NP200. A bit cooler?
So what is the Stealth?
It is a makeover. A bit like make-up. Exactly the same under the skin, but a bit of a highlight there a bit of colour here and a really nice hair-do.
The Stealth package gives you techno grey paint, darkened sports bar and flush fitting tonneau cover, a prominent nudge bar that fits below the colour-coded grille frame, charcoal black alloy wheels with red accents, dark side and rear fitted STEALTH decals and dark tinted smash-and-grab protected windows. Don’t forget the running lights.
Nissan says: “NP200 STEALTH seats are uniquely upholstered in special eco leather with titanium-coloured contrasting stitching and STEALTH-embroidered logos.” – I kid you not.
In addition to standard air conditioning, ABS brakes and two airbags, the NP200 STEALTH also comes equipped with remote central locking, daytime running lights and a black tonneau cover.
Some things they have kept simple and basic. You wind the windows up or down. It does tick most of the boxes: airconditioner, Alpine with radio Bluetooth /USB connectivity/ AUX input , smart comfortable seats, space behind the seats, carpets on the floor and a power point.
So how is it to drive you may ask?
Exactly like the normal NP200. Like a little bakkie should. It handles like a small truck and does exactly what you expect it to do. Acceleration is fine and maintaining the legal limit is a breeze. Cornering can be interesting and should be approached with caution. But hey its a truckling.
In short, its a worthy successor to the Champ.
At times the engine will labour a little, especially at altitude. So expect around 8.5 litres/100km.
I liked it. It seems good value for money for the little bit of fun added to the package.
The Stealth lists at R169 900. It is basically the 1.6 8V BASE A/C+SAFETY model with a few style elements.
The range starts with the 1.6 8V BASE at R141 300 and tops off with the 1.5DCI HIGH at R221 300.
The base models lack certain safety equipment and creature comforts and are very basic.
The Stealth comes with a substantial 6 year or 150 000km warranty.