New Nissan NP300 Navara picks up lifestyle points

21:58 26 May 2016

New Nissan NP300 Navara pick-up is far more refined on the road than some rivals and is hugely practical.

New Nissan NP300 Navara pick-up is far more refined on the road than some rivals and is hugely practical.


Nissan’s big and bullish new NP300 Navara goes straight back to the pointy end of the pick-up sector, writes Matt Kimberley.

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What’s new?

The styling has been brought into line with the incredibly popular Nissan crossovers but what you won’t see is a new five-link rear suspension system on double-cab models that makes the Navara drive and handle more like a big car than a small truck.

There’s a new 2.3-litre diesel engine, to replace the creaky old 2.5, with one or two turbochargers depending on trim. It keeps the pick-up at the very front of the class with unbeaten towing and payload capacities. It’s also a smidge more manoeuvrable thanks to a 50mm shorter wheelbase.

Nissan NP300 Navara

Price: Nissan NP300 Navara, from £22,000 to £29,100 on the road including VAT

Engine: 2.3-litre, 190PS, four-cylinder twin turbo diesel producing 332lbf.ft of torque

Transmission: Six-speed manual driving all four wheels

Performance: 0-62mph 10.8 seconds; top speed 114mph

MPG: 44.1 combined

CO2 emissions: 169g/km

Looks and image

Pick-ups have never been the most stylish things on the road but the NP300 does its best with cool colour options and very car-ish wheels on the higher trim grades, and the range-topping Tekna trim tested here ends up looking pretty decent.

It’s also one of the pick-ups with the strongest reputations in the UK. We’re big fans of it, particularly the higher-spec versions that accounted for most orders.

Space and practicality

Buy a Navara and lap up the practicality afforded to a working vehicle. You don’t get handy differential locks for off-roading, but you do get a big load bay with the option to add a secure cover or hard top. It’ll tow 3.5 tonnes and carry more than a tonne on its back in a space 67mm longer than before.

Inside the cabin are three 12-volt sockets for charging devices, USB and AUX inputs, a big storage bin between the seats and plenty of cupholders.

Behind the wheel

The Navara drives well, far more refined on the road than some rivals, betraying its bias towards on-road duties. We suspect that more buyers are looking for a lifestyle truck.

The new diesel is comparatively smooth, but despite the 190 horsepower and apparent mountain of torque it never feels quick. The steering is slow by car standards but accurate by commercial vehicle ones.

Annoyingly, the A-pillar can block your view around corners and approaching some roundabouts. The off-road ability on its standard road tyres makes up for it, though.

Value for money

Against its key competitors the Navara is well priced. It isn’t so rough-and-ready as a couple of them but offers more toys and refinement for life on the road.

The entry-level model does without four-wheel drive and a bunch of key features to be found on the next model up. The mid-range Acenta and N-Connecta models are where it’s at.

Who would buy one?

Parents who want that high driving position as well as maximum towing capacity and the ability to withstand regular outdoor abuse will be first in the queue, although it does look a bit pricey next to Nissan’s SUVs. A working person with a need for space, towing and robustness on all terrains is the other target buyer.

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