Business users have long since found it makes good financial sense to opt for a pick-up truck instead of a conventional car thanks to substantial tax savings. Now an increasing number of private buyers are going the same way too, with trucks like the Nissan Navara offering a sensible alternative to conventional SUVs.
The Navara is closely related to the Pathfinder off-road, and projects much of the same visual presence through its combination of chunky styling and serious dimensions. The interior feels very well finished considering its commercial origins, with a decent quality dashboard and good control layout. Higher-spec versions also boast excellent standard equipment, including such luxuries as climate control and leather upholstery.
Most buyers will opt for the "double cab" version, which offers four five seats at the cost of a reduction in the length of the rear load bay. A "king cab" is also available, this being basically a two-seater with the option of some fold-down occasional seats for second row occupants and "suicide" doors. Practicality is predictably excellent, although buyers wanting to carry non-waterproof loads will have to opt for an aftermarket loadspace covers.
On the road the Navara drives reasonably well for a vehicle of this type, although the chunky edge to the ride quality and high centre of gravity give it a similar feel to an old-fashioned SUV. The standard 172 bhp 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine is loud under hard use, but gives the Navara surprisingly keen acceleration. It cruises happily at motorway speeds delivers spirited off-road performance, too.
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