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