Nissan recently launched a new minibus taxi, a 16-seater model, built to comply with South Africa’s taxi industry regulations.
The new NV350 Impendulo has a strong local flavour.
According to Tessa Cooke, NV350 Product Manager at Nissan South Africa: “Impendulo is the isiZulu word for ‘the answer’, a term that can be applied to the NV350 taxi in more than one way.
With it, we aim to recapture the love and affection of both taxi operators and commuters.”
The fact that our new taxi has been designed around the people who are going to operate and use it, coupled with the overwhelmingly positive response from our naming competition, points to a very successful reintroduction of the Nissan badge in South Africa’s taxi industry,” she says.
It enters a market in which more than 4.5 million people travel in more than
220 000 taxis daily.
The new Nissan NV350 Impendulo is powered by an existing 2.5 litre petrol engine that produces 108 kW at 5 600 rpm and 213 Nm at 4 400 rpm; mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Fuel economy is improved with the assistance of low voltage control of the alternator, whereby battery charge is monitored and the alternator’s voltage adjusted to curb overcharging the battery, thereby reducing load on the engine and lowering fuel consumption.
Improved timing chain operation thanks to low-friction materials also helps reduce consumption, as does the engine’s low idle speed of just 600 rpm.
Safety equipment includes driver and front passenger airbags, ABS with Brake Assist, seat belts for all 16 seats, a driver’s seat belt warning buzzer, an emergency exit escape hatch in the roof and an immobiliser.
The Impendulo 2.5 petrol retails at R306 900 through Nissan’s entire existing dealer network. It comes standard with a three-year or 100 000 km warranty as well as a three-year unlimited kilometre anti-corrosion warranty.
The Nissan NV350 taxis go on sale from March 2014.