Ian Lamming counts his blessings as he drives the latest pick-up from Nissan.
THAT’S lucky. I’ve got 30 boxes of leaflets to drop off for my partner and I might have struggled if I’d been in a car – especially the one I’d hoped to be driving.
Originally I’d asked Nissan for a mighty GT-R, but one wasn’t available, so ‘how was the latest Navara for me’? Well pretty good as it turned out.
It’s surprising how heavy paper can be and this particular payload would have definitely had the GTR on its springs – that’s if I could have found room inside to place them at all.
No problem with Navara. The bedliner came with a concertina roll cover so I was able to sling them all in the back easy peasy – I love pick-ups, me. Thing the Navara couldn’t help me with was the 15 trips up at flight of stairs, carrying two boxes at a time, on a hot and humid day. Thank heavens for the climate control.
Like I said, I love pick-ups and Navara is an exceptional example of the breed. This one – the N-Guard Double Cab – looked very cool with its black 18in alloys and appendages, twilight grey livery and styling bars. The black and grey combo looked very menacing and the general leviathan proportions meant Navara could part traffic like Moses and the Red Sea.
From inside the cab the public reaction to Navara is surprising because you forget what a beast it is. The big Nissan is instantly easy to drive and manageable to manoeuvre. It’s just like driving a Qashqai and equally comfortable ad well equipped.
A well designed and appointed interior featuring touch screen infotainment, part leather heated seats, satnav, and decent stereo, is every bit as good as any SUV on the market. There’s the huge load bay on the back but the parking sensors and clever surround colour reversing camera makes light of the extra length.
It’s the same to drive. The 2.3 litre twin turbo diesel charges on in a quiet and fuss-free way delivering masses of power and 40mpg economy. The seven speed auto makes life better still and if you have to venture off road there’s a proper all-wheel-drive system and electronic limited slip differential for maximum traction. I’ve drive these things off-road and they are simply brilliant, even with road tyres.
On asphalt it is impressive too. There’s a hint of the pogo that afflicts pick-ups but only a touch and not enough to bother you. Otherwise Navara drives car-like in the way it performs and handles, in town and on the open road.
The list of accolades is endless – great on and off-road dynamics, excellent build, high specification, muscular sea-parting looks, decent economy and price – in fact you could say that Nissan has the pick-up market boxed off.
Nissan Navara N-Guard
Engine: 2.3 twin turbo diesel
Towing capacity: 3,500kg
Top speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 10.8 secs
Combined miles per gallon: 41
Transmission: seven-speed automatic
CO2 g/km: 183