SECTOR Pick-up PRICE £18,376–£24,293 FUEL 40.3–44.9mpg CO2 169–183g/km
This is going to be a big year for pick-ups, with updated models and three new manufacturers joining the sector. Double cab models in particular have become increasingly popular again, with Nissan expecting a UK market of around 45,000 pick-ups this year.
Nissan is the second of the major manufacturers to show its hand, following the launch of the fifth generation Mitsubishi L200 last summer. Nissan’s new NV300 Navara has already scooped International Pick-up of the Year for 2016 and the firm reports that expected sales volume for the first three months of this year had already been placed in the first month on sale.
Nissan has dropped the previous 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and its range-topping 3.0-litre V6, in favour of two versions of the 2.3-litre motor found in the firm’s NV400 van. A single turbo version with 160hp and a hefty 403Nm of torque is available in the two lower trim levels of, Visia and Acenta.
Opt for Acenta+, N-Connecta or the range-topping Tekna trim, as more than 90% of buyers will, and you automatically get a twin-turbo version delivering 190hp and 450Nm of torque. Both engines come with two-year/18,000 mile service intervals.
Nissan claims up to a 24% improvement in fuel consumption is possible, with a class-leading 44.9mpg and emissions as low as 167g/km. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard with both engines, while the 190hp motor can also be had with a seven-speed automatic transmission, for an additional £1,417. In the higher trim levels, Nissan is predicting that up to 50% of UK buyers will opt for the automatic transmission.
The base-model Visia truck can be ordered in two-wheel drive, though it rides at the same height as the 4×4. All other Navaras are 4×4-only, with a rear diff lock available for £417.
But the big news is below the body, where all double cab models now come with a five-link, coil sprung rear suspension set-up. This greatly improves the ride comfort and road holding, particularly when unladen.
As well as regular King and Double cab models, Navara will be offered in chassis cab form, with either cab. This will allow customers to fit dedicated bodies and equipment such as access platforms.
Navara retains a payload of over 1-tonne and a 3.5-tonne towing ability, while combined towing and carrying capacity has been improved by 200kg.
All trim levels are well equipped, with even the Visia models getting the five-link suspension and Forward Emergency Braking on Double cab models, manual air-con, Bluetooth, USB/Aux inputs, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, plus cruise control.
Move up through the trim levels and technology and luxury increases, with the Tekna model equipped with Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which provides a bird’s eye view of the vehicle for parking and slow speed off-roading.
With a claimed 5% improvement in residual values, reduced ownership costs and Nissan’s five-year/100,000 mile LCV warranty, it’s little wonder that Navara has made such a strong start.
What we think
Improved engines, coil-sprung rear suspension and reduced ownership costs are a winning combination.