Believe it or not, the 21-year-old workhorse still is in production, and that’s a problem. A safety-related problem according to Global NCAP, which tested the Hardbody to see how it stacks up in terms of adult occupant protection in the case of a frontal crash at 64 km/h.
As you can tell from the headline, zero stars is all the Global NCAP can give the Hardbody considering the vehicle structure collapsed and the steering column didn’t, “moving straight into the dummy chest. This performance showed a significant risk of injuries for the driver despite the car being equipped with double frontal airbags.”
The probability of life-threatening injuries is high, more so if you bear in mind the head and chest of the dummy showed high biomechanical readings. As for child occupant protection, Global NCAP gave the Hardbody two starts because Nissan installed one of the child seats without following clear instructions.
“The #SaferCarsForAfrica campaign introduces essential transparency to the South African car market, and these results show that consumers are still getting a raw deal,” said Saul Billingsley, executive director of the FIA Foundation. “The ironically-named Hardbody is the worst of the bunch, but all these automakers should be doing better.”
Toyota’s Yaris, the Kia Picanto, and Hyundai i20 were also tested, and all three received three stars from the safety organization. The Yaris also managed to get three stars for child occupant protection thanks to the three-point seatbelt design. The others offer a lap belt in the middle position, making it impossible to install a child restraint system as intended.
“A trio of three-star results are acceptable but the zero star Nissan NP300 is shockingly bad,” said David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP. “It is astonishing that a global company like Nissan can produce a car today as poorly engineered as this.”