Nis­san Navara

Tekna 190 dci

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THE PHE­NOM­E­NON THAT is the pick-up truck might have started off in the good ol’ US of A, but it didn’t take long for the Ja­panese to re­alise that it might be lu­cra­tive to build some of their own, with Nis­san be­ing one of the first Ja­panese man­u­fac­tur­ers to take on the Amer­i­cans at their own game with its tiny yet so­phis­ti­cated Dat­sun 120 pick-up in 1955.

More than 60 years later, Nis­san is still pro­duc­ing one of the most tech­ni­cally ad­vanced pick-ups on sale in the form of the Navara. Ben­e­fit­ing from a twin-tur­bocharged 2.3-litre diesel en­gine, it pumps out a thump­ing 187bhp and 332lb ft – the high­est power out­put and equal-high­est torque fig­ure of the group – and yet some­how also man­ages to be the clean­est and most fru­gal.

While the ma­jor­ity of pick-ups have to make do with old-school leaf springs at the rear, the Navara, like the re­lated Mercedes X-class, gets a more so­phis­ti­cated five-link set-up with coil springs that should the­o­ret­i­cally of­fer more car-like ride com­fort and han­dling. How­ever, as we’ve seen with the X-class, that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily lead to a great driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The rel­a­tively soft rear sus­pen­sion strug­gles to deal with sud­den abra­sions and bat­tered roads, send­ing var­i­ous shim­mies and shud­ders into the in­te­rior. Fac­tor in sig­nif­i­cant body roll and steer­ing that’s slower to re­spond and more vague than the X-class’s and the Navara is ac­tu­ally the least con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing of all to thread along nar­row B-roads.

We’d also rec­om­mend avoid­ing the six-speed man­ual gear­box; its long throw and notchy ac­tion make it frus­trat­ing to use. Thank­fully, the en­gine it­self is strong and pulls well from low down – a ma­jor plus point, be­cause the Navara is able to haul quite big loads, hav­ing the long­est load bed in the class.

The in­te­rior isn’t flashy or up­mar­ket, but it’s well screwed to­gether and of­fers plenty of room for both front and rear seat pas­sen­gers, while all mod­els come with a de­cent amount of stan­dard equip­ment.

Slow, vague steer­ing and lots of body lean in cor­ners don’t in­spire con dence, but the Navara’s twin-turbo diesel en­gine is strong

1 2 1 The 7.0in touch­screen is well laid out and fairly re­spon­sive, but poor res­o­lu­tion lets it down 2 Op­tional seven-speed au­to­matic gear­box is prefer­able to the awk­ward man­ual tested 3 3 Navara’s in­te­rior is far from lux­u­ri­ous, but it feels solid, with plenty of soft-touch plas­tic

900mm 1460mm 1040mm tted, there’s plenty of head room through­out, although it has the least front leg room of the eight

940mm 1440mm Even with an op­tional sun­roof 695mm

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