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Sunday, 23 September 2018
NOW here’s a question for all fans of big pick-up trucks — you know, those wonderful utility/leisure vehicles that Americans love to build very large indeed.
How tough is our very own Nissan Navara, the beefy European pick-up that in its latest guise swept to the top spot by scooping an international pick-up award?
Well, according to one Nissan employee — PR man Mindaugas Plukys, who lives in Vilnius, Lithuania, and works for Nissan as part of the communications team in the Baltic region — the Navara is tops.
Recently, Plukys believed so much in the Navara that he entered one in this winter’s Dakar Rally — one of the world’s toughest endurance rallies. His 2017 Nissan Navara was fitted with some extras to ensure it would be able to survive the 9,000km journey with multiple off-road stages.
But basically, Plukys’ ride was the same as the Navara I have been driving this week, and fitted with a factory 2.3-litre turbodiesel engine with a six-speed manual transmission. One thing that has to be said about these types of vehicle is that if you buy into the large pick-up world, you have to expect to be able to handle their, well, size.
The Navara I have been driving, a double cab version in striking Savannah Yellow, was very long. So you have to have some patience when it comes to parking and manoeuvring the vehicle.
This is not a problem because if you are always aware of this “largeness” then you should get along fine. I like these types of vehicles and actually find myself preferring a large pickup such as the Navara to some of the bigger SUVs (sport utility vehicles).
The reason being that Nissan has made the Navara easily as comfortable as a large SUV. With the added Hardtop Premium fitted — which covers the pickup area proper — you feel cosy and secure.
There might be an issue for some with odd reflections of light that appear through the cab’s rear window from headlights during night driving, but again I got used to this. I have had several outings in the new Navara and believe it can only be good for years to come as it adapts to new and challenging aspects of driving such a vehicle in the 21st century.
It combines the best Nissan offers in the crossover segment — with cars such as the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail — with more than 80 years and 12 model generations of experience in designing and manufacturing robust and practical pickups.
Available in Double Cab and King Cab body styles, the Navara is built around a tough and durable ladderframe chassis. Enhancements over its predecessor include five-link coil-spring rear suspension which provides enhanced performance and comfort over all terrains. Standard on Double Cab versions, it’s a first in the segment.
New levels of car-like refinement, style, comfort and quality come as standard on the Navara, with top technologies. These include Nissan’s pioneering Intelligent Around View Monitor camera system and Intelligent Emergency Braking.
More than 50,000 units have been sold across European markets in the last two years.
Nissan Navara factfile
Nissan Navara 2.3l dCi 190PS Double Cab Tekna in Savannah Yellow
Standard equipment includes:
• 18in alloy wheels
• Black door handles
• Chrome Daytime Running Light surrounds
• Chrome door mirrors
• Front and rear mudguards
• Front fog lights with chrome surrounds
• LED door mirror indicators
• Rear privacy glass
• Roof rails
Optional extras fitted to test car include:
• Hardtop Premium: £3,300
Total price of test car: £35,749
Words: Nigel Wigmore
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