CAR REVIEW | Nissan Navara NP300 Tekna Double Cab

★★★★ |  Nissan Navara NP300 Tekna Double Cab

You’re Just Too Good To Be True….

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And I can’t take my eyes off of you. That is how the song went as covered by Gloria Gaynor. I was dancing to it in the new Nissan Navara in a well known supermarket carpark. The Navara is a handsome truck. It has those classic rugged good looks I like to see in trucks and real men. This is a truck for men. So what the hell am I doing driving it?

There is something very indescribable about a truck when you try to describe it. It’s not your usual vehicle that you’d associate gay men driving as a pleasure vehicle. It lacks modern niceties that you would get in a premium 4×4 for people. In that I mean soft touch areas and a compliant ride with the ability to tow the caravan or jet ski.

What you get in the Navara is a truck with attitude. It might be hardwearing and functional but look beyond its purpose and you find that Nissan have given the modern truck driver softening little touches. In this £27,000 truck you get heated leather seats, climate control, cruise control, one touch entry along with another 62 other items of importance in exterior, safety, audio, interior, comfort and technology. This price also includes sunroof, bedliner and interior touches in mats and kick guards. In total though there is far to much to list. What it all adds up to is in the making of an impressive truck for not a lot of money. Nissan must be doing something right here because the roads are littered with Navara’s.

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It keeps on getting better too. The Navara posses size. A lot of size. It’s big. I did worry about leaving it on the street where l live for it engulfed a little French hatchback. At over 5 meters long it is a bit of a brute. Thankfully it comes fitted with Nissan’s 360 degree camera. I never fully appreciated this. On the Micra it seems excessive. In the Pulsar that we tested I felt it had a use. In the Navara is it epic. Parking was a total breeze. If you see someone struggling to park one then you can be safe in the knowledge that they don’t have this bit of kit.

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On the move there was little to complain about. The engine is fuss free. Vocal when pushed, however there is little gained going too far beyond 4000 rpm. The 2.3 litre 4 cylinder twin turbo will hustle the truck along quietly confusing your senses until you look at the speedometer. Nissan claim 112mph max speed and there is little doubting that it would get there without too much fuss.
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The 7 speed automatic did all that was needed. Manual inputs were never needed in normal driving. I am sure off road it would help. Normal mode is rear wheel drive with four wheel drive high-low available on an easy to reach rotating knob. To select it on the move you just turn the knob only stopping if you need to select low ratios. Thankfully there is a a foolproof catch on the low mode. What I did find was that like most 4×4 trucks, in the wet it is best to drive in 4×4. This is only because the rear is unweighted and 450Nm of torque from a lowly 1500rpm has an easy ability to spin the inner wheel. Traction control kicks in quickly to prevent exciting snaking of the rear like a drag racer.

On the road its ride was surprisingly jiggle free. For a vehicle with a sole purpose to be a hard working horse capable of taking heavy loads, 5 people, tow something and yet not shake your spleen free from the muscles it attaches to, the ride was more than civilised. You could jump in the Navara and just drive cross country in comfort. With documented economy averaging 40.3mpg it wouldn’t need refuelling too often either. Quite an achievement for a heavy vehicle. The on-board computer registered an average of 35mpg while it was with me. l could live with that.

I don’t doubt the Navara’s ability to go off road. Over hangs at the front were small, The rears a little longer. There is a handy metal bumper that shouldn’t get ripped off as easily as a plastic one would. That said I did take it off road. Down to the back of the garden in fact to load it up with gardening waste. It felt the right thing to do instead of loading up the trusted hatchback. What wasn’t so good was trying to get it into my local council dump. Even in Crocs I was still seen as a heathen by the authoritarian from the council. Apparently even privately owned pick-ups come under the commercial vehicle nonsense. In the end I returned with the trusted hatchback. And Doc Martins.

There are a few nice touches abound the Navara. The rear seat squab tilts up allowing for items of a certain size that you want protected from prying eyes and the elements. It opens up the rear amazingly. The rear seat though lacks under thigh support for those with long legs. I couldn’t travel on it for long. Personally I do think the chrome inner door handles a bit out of place. There is no other chrome anywhere.

When it all ended and the keys were handed back to Nissan I searched for jobs in farming. I listen to the Archers so I obviously understand farming issues. I want to be a farmer and drive around my I and all day in a Navara. Ok l don’t want to be a farmer but I’d happily take the Navara for all its ups and downs. I want a pick-up truck.


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Likes
360 degree camera
Civilised to drive
24 month service intervals

Loathes
My local authority
Lacking door protective strips
Poor under thigh support on rear seats

The Lowdown
Car – Nissan Navara NP300 Tekna Double Cab
Price – £27,163.17 (as tested)
MPG – 40.3mpg (combined)
Power – 190 bhp
0-62mph – 10.8 seconds
Top Speed – 112 mph
Co2 – 183 (g/km)

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive. Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old. If you have a motoring product you's like reviewed please e mail me: [email protected]

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Stuart M Bird

Motoring nurse or medical motorist? It's a difficult one. By day l nurse and by night l drive. Fingers have always been grease deep in attending the motoring of an ageing fleet. And now l write about new and old. If you have a motoring product you's like reviewed please e mail me: [email protected]