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Loads of room

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There are four trim levels on the Nissan Navara; the high-spec Outlaw, the Tekna, the Acenta and the new, entry-level Visia. Interestingly, there is no choice of a single cab Navara, although a king cab is available with the Acenta trim.

Weighing in at between 1,990kg and 2,150kg, the Navara is one of the heavier pickups on the market although a high gross weight of 3.2 tonnes means it’s still capable of carrying between 1,130kg and 1215kg.

A loading length of 1,511mm and width of 1,560mm means the Navara boasts one of the most generous load areas of all the double cabs.

The Visia engine is a 144hp variant of the veteran 2.5dCi.

Accompanying the engine is a six-speed manual gearbox, although a five-speed automatic can be selected with the Tekna.

Driveline

Under the bonnet is a tamed 144hp variant of the veteran 2.5dCi. This engine has proven its worth over the years, and packs a powerful 350Nm of torque for the big loads and steep inclines.

During a test drive we returned a consumption of just 25mpg on a mixture of motorway and urban driving, compared with the official figures of 33.6mpg.

Accompanying the engine is a six-speed manual gearbox, although a five-speed automatic can be selected with the Tekna.

Productivity

One of the major advantages of the Navara is its large loadspace. At 1,511mm by 1,560mm, it’s one of the largest in the market and is capable of taking a payload of up to 1,250kg. However, less impressive is the Roll-N-Lock cargo cover. At £1,266, it’s an expensive option that intrudes into about 150mm of load length of the back and the small flimsy plastic lock wasn’t too convincing either.

Hardworking businesses will also value the Navara's 2,600kg towing capacity.

Model Wheelbase Length Width Height Loadspace Length Loadspace Width Loadspace Height Volume Payload
Double Cab 3,200 5,296 1,432 1,795 1,511 1,560 (1,130) 457 N/A 1,130-1,250
King Cab 3,200 5,296 1,432 1,783 1,861 1,560 (1,130) 457 N/A 1,215

Cab Comfort

Looking around the cab, the basic dashboard features air conditioning, a CD player with Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows and mirrors, and central locking.

The relatively low driver’s seat combined with the long high bonnet creates a big ‘blind’ area, and I often found myself lifting my head towards the windscreen to get a better view of what lay directly in front of the vehicle.

After eight years on the market, there are also little details that show the Navara’s age. The dashboard, in particular, was looking dated and lacked the style of the new generation. Despite this, it’s very functional and serves its purpose well.

On The Road

If you clock up a lot of motorway miles, the Navara would be a good choice as the revs sit at just 2,200rpm at 70mph, which allows for a relatively quiet and well refined cab environment.

The 144hp offering  though, is slightly bemusing and it struggles to maintain a hair-raising boost of power for too long, which is especially frustrating when there’s a need to overtake.

It’s quite a hard ride and you tend to feel a lot more ‘bump’ than you’d expect for a pickup. One of the benefits to this stiff ride is the cornering; there is minimal body roll meaning that you can add a couple of mph to your cornering speed.

The robust part-time four-wheel drive system provides drive to the rear wheels under normal conditions or a 50/50 torque split to all four wheels when 4WD mode is engaged. Also featuring on the Navara are high and low ratio modes, the latter providing good levels of traction and pulling power, especially on steep slopes and sticky situations.

Safety

The Navara only received a three star NCAP rating, but it hosts a whole variety of safety equipment. Six airbags, ESP, ABS and EBD are all standard, as is the NATS certified alarm. The revised Navara received three stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests in 2008, after the poor first attempt earned it just one star. 

Cost of Ownership

Prices start at just £17,725 for the new-entrant Visia (excluding VAT), around £4,000 cheaper than the standard Navara. There's a three- year, 60,000-mile warranty, and long 18,000-mile service intervals. 

Summary

There’s new competition from Volkswagen, and the likes of Isuzu and Ford have really upped their game. With tougher competition at the top, Nissan have had to broaden its appeal and offer a more affordable version of its pickup.

The Visia represents good value for money. It’s a very capable and functional truck, with similar levels of spec to the top competitors; just without the price tag.

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