Ask Nathan: Nissan Hardbody Redux, Rail is the Only Way and I’m Spewing Chinese Propaganda?

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • What is this Nissan Hardbody?
  • Rail (mass transit) is the only way forward!
  • Nathan spews Chinese propaganda!?

The first question comes from a reader who’s confused about the hype behind the Nissan Hardbody – which is a trim for the Nissan Frontier.

Images via: Nissan

Q: (RE:) I was wondering if this new Nissan Hardbody is like the old one?

Hi Nathan. Gilbert from Sedona here. My dad had a Nissan Hardbody back in the 90s and it ran forever. We got rid of it only after our family outgrew it. I think it had over two hundred thousand miles or something. Can’t think of another car lasting so long in my family. Anyway I wanted to know about this new Nissan Hardbody. Is it a new type of Nissan or something else?

If it’s not new then why bring back the name?

Thanks for reading my email!

  • Gilbert S.

A: The 2024 Nissan Hardbody is simply a Nissan Frontier appearance package.  

Yes, the Nissan Frontier Hardbody is made to look like the original Nissan Hardbody (the 4×4 variants), which was based on the D21 platform. Sold in the U.S. market from 1985 – 1997, the Nissan Hardbody got its name from the double-wall construction of its bed. At the time, it was novel, and the truck had an excellent reputation for ruggedness.

We have more details about the 2024 Nissan Frontier Hardbody (here).

Fans are especially fond of the off-road Hardbodies that had a certain look to them. That’s what Nissan reproduced when they thought-up this appearance package. Essentially, the Hardbody edition package starts with a Nissan Frontier SV crew cab 4×4. This package adds retro 17-inch wheels with meaty all-terrain tires. In addition, your get an aluminum skid plate, a graphics (sticker) package, and a sports bar. That sports bar is good for lights, but it’s no roll-bar.

The Hardbody edition will run you $3,890.

I know some fans are disappointed that there was no revival of the cheap-as-chips, original Hardbody. Trucks like those were quite a bit smaller than the new Nissan Frontier. Other than the Ford Maverick and Hyundai Santa Cruz, there are no small pickups to be had. Maybe Nissan is developing a small electric pickup, but that’s just a rumor.

Regardless, the new Nissan Frontier Hardbody package certainly looks cool – right?

  • N

The next question comes from a viewer who thinks that we’re missing the train – in a manner of speaking.

Images: SFMTA

Q: (Via: NathanAdlen@Twitter) Why no mass transit coverage?

  • I know you guys are smarter than you act, especially you Nate! There is no reason why TFL can’t cover trains and other forms of mass transit. I’ve even seen TFL covering jets and water craft. So where is the coverage of new ways of transporting people? I am a firm believer that the solution for a lot of our problems is mass transit. If people relied on trains and busses over driving themselves to every location, we would have less pollution.

Image if people took some form of rail to work. What glorious bounty would await them in the bank accounts by not paying for an overpriced car! It works in so many countries and even in some places here. I’ve taken the bus that leads to a train for more than a decade and it costs me about $50 per month.

Today we have delivery services that can drop just about anything at your door. So why do so many people need cars? And why don’t I see any stories about mass transit from you guys? You know trains are the future? I know you do.

  • Anonymous

A: Stay tunned for “TFLTrain” – coming soon!

Yea… no.

I know you’re on-track [sic] about the use of mass transit, but it can’t accommodate everyone. I lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and grew up using their transit systems. It’s all hunky-dory when you’re in the meat of the city, but things begin to go sideways the further you move away from the city-center. Between networks, transit companies (Uber, Lyft – etc.) can certainly get you to your destination, but that can be an issue as well.

One size simply does not fit all.

Let’s take my best friend, who lives in the Sunnyside sub-district in San Francisco, CA. He’s married, with a little one, and cares for his aging mother. He works about 20 miles away from his house. His child goes to school a few miles in the opposite direction, and his wife usually walks to her business. His mother has to go to various medical, or senior event centers weekly. If you take the local mass-transit system, he would have to spend almost three hours going from place to place, before getting to work.

In addition, he is an avid skier, camps and has friends in nearby cities. He attends band practice, and goes to religious events weekly. That’s a lot oHe is just one example out of many who would be terribly inconvenienced by using mass transit. Besides, he (like many of us) enjoy driving. For him, the journey can be rewarding.

  • N

The last question comes from a vexed viewer who thinks I’ve been spewing Chinese propaganda.

Q: After reading your Ask Nathan post Chinese cars, I think you’re a spewer of Chinese propaganda!

Don’t deny it! Several of your posts have spoken favorably about the Chinese to the point that I wonder if you are getting something in return? What about all those American jobs lost to them when they sell their stuff here?

  • Orange Bias2

A: Oh, you got me! I get paid with tasty Chinese food, and the promise of a MG Extender pickup truck!

That’s me, mocking you.

I posted your remark because I’ve been labeled an automotive fan of Japan, Korea, India and even Vietnam – if I say even one word that’s not complete condemnation. How absurd. If the Principality of Zeon (fake place) developed a car worth reporting on, I would. Perhaps the car gods allow the Suzuki Samurai to return to the U.S.; I’d cover that. If you invented a Li-Ion replacement battery made from the tears of the endangered Liger, I might report on that too.

I report a lot of China because they are currently leading the world in EV production, and a lot of their tech is impressive. Dude, they produce more vehicles than any other country. Yes, including the USA. Only a halfwit would ignore another country’s innovation, or failures.

Get used to the idea of getting cars from other countries, pal. You might be surprised where many of the parts in your car come from. In addition, I don’t care where they come from, as long as they are on offer to consumers. That’s my job.

Finally, this isn’t the first time you’ve said something that can be considered disparaging towards Asians. You use many names, and it’s easy to tell who you are. This will be the last. Any predijous email, text or other form of communications I even suspect comes from you – will be blocked, deleted and reported.

We’re done here.

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