Nissan Hardbody bakkie NISSAN NP300 Hardbody

(Global NCAP)

This SA bakkie just scored a shocking “zero-star” safety rating during crash tests [video]

The Nissan NP300 Hardbody has flunked its safety tests in spectacular, if not harrowing fashion. Here’s what has gone wrong with the bakkie.

Nissan Hardbody bakkie NISSAN NP300 Hardbody

(Global NCAP)

If you’re the proud owner of a Nissan Hardbody, we’ve got an urgent public service announcement for you: Walk to work, or bike it. Because you are fundamentally unsafe behind the wheel of this bakkie.

Extensive testing carried out by Global NCAP – the standard-bearers of automobile safety – discovered that the Hardbody was nothing more than a convoluted death trap. It has lead to the international firm giving the vehicle an astonishingly-bad “zero-star” rating.

Why the Nissan Hardbody received a zero-star safety rating

The tests were carried out on each car, travelling at 64km/h. They were strategically placed to crash head-on into a barrier, to simulate a serious road accident. Publishing their results on Friday, NCAP reeled off a list of reasons for its failures:

  • Poor adult occupant protection, particularly in the driver’s head and chest area.
  • The main structure of the car was branded “unstable”, after completely collapsing on impact.
  • In fact, the one thing that should collapse didn’t: The steering wheel column failed to fold, presenting the danger of chest injuries for the driver.
  • Even with an airbag, the driver’s head and chest showed high biomechanical readings.
  • The study concludes a collision would cause “a high probability of life-threatening injuries.”

The Nissan NP300 Hardbody was tested alongside three other models: Toyota Yaris, Kia Picanto and Hyundai i20. These vehicles, despite all being cheaper than the Hardbody, were found to be much safer to operate.

(AA / Global NCAP)

Collins Khumalo is the CEO of AA South Africa. He expressed his dismay at the findings, vehemently stating that there should be no “zero-rated” motors on the roads of Mzansi.

“Of concern with these results is that the most expensive vehicle tested in this round – the Nissan NP300 Hardbody – produced the lowest score of all tests completed to date, achieving a 00.00 score and zero stars. There should be no zero-rated vehicles on our roads.”

“What these results show is that three vehicles priced lower than the Nissan produced three-star ratings for adult occupancy indicating that safety does not have to be tied to price.”

“They also emphasize that cars may not be what they seem based purely on looks and descriptions and that until many more vehicles are tested, this issue may be a much bigger problem throughout Africa than we originally believed.”

Is the Nissan Hardbody safe to drive?

These findings don’t necessarily make the vehicle unroadworthy, but it certainly raises alarm bells all across the automotive industry. The Nissan NP300 Hardbody is described as “the unmistakable king of African pickups” by its own manufacturers, highlighting just how popular it is.

However, with a safety certificate as worrisome as this, the Hardbody could soon become the most unmistakable cause of fatalities on South African roads.

Watch the Nissan NP300 Hardbody fail its safety tests: