Pick-up trucks may conjure up images of country music and cowboy hats. However, they’re no longer the preserve of brash Texans who use them to drive around their extensive ranches, spitting some form of disgusting tobacco out of their mouths.
We live in more enlightened times (which hopefully means an end to spitting tobacco) and the wild west seems to have been taken over by the efficient east when it comes to churning out pick-ups.
Nowadays, it seems that it’s not where the sun sets, but where it rises that has become the new home of the pick-up.
Nissan have been at the forefront of the pick-up market for quite some time now and the Navara is their pride and joy in this department.
Pick-ups have proved popular with many different trades, with the building trade in particular enjoying their versatility.
On first glance, the Navara Tekna might look like a big hulking mass of truck, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fleet of foot.
On this latest model, Nissan have tried to give the Navara more of an SUV car-like feel when it comes to driving, while still maintaining the sturdy versatility which has seen it become one of the most popular pick-ups in the UK.
Climb into the cab and the first thing you’ll notice is the room. In the King Cab version, you can comfortably get four people in there, with plenty leg room, even if they all have their best Caterpillar steel toe caps on.
The double cab seats five, turning it into something of a family car, although your work-mates are probably more likely to make a mess than your four-year-old kid.
Still, Nissan are banking on this version of the Navara being just as appealing for the school run as it will be for picking up a load of timber from the building suppliers.
No matter what cab option you plump for, you’ll feel like a king with a commanding, elevated driver’s seat giving you a great view out the expansive windscreen and all the pedals within easy reach.
Intelligent technology to help you stay smart
It comes with an intelligent key, which will probably be the smartest thing on board once all your mates bundle in. With the intelligent key, all you need to do is press a button on the dash to get it started.
There is a mountain of storage in the cab too for all your bits and bobs. You can cram things into a spacious gloves box and door pockets, the only problem might be remembering where you’ve put everything.
I remember when an ‘entertainment system’ used to refer to a huge stack of equipment which took up half your living room and comprised a radio, twin cassette deck and turn table. Well, the entertainment system in the Navara is much more compact than that. In fact, not only has it got the usual AM/FM radio, it comes with DAB digital radio and sat-nav.
You can also install apps on this bad boy – although don’t go watching funny workplace fail videos on YouTube while you’re driving or you’ll end up featuring in the next one.
In fact, all that technology can make things safer as it can be equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so not only can you treat your passengers to a bit of classic rock, but you can also receive and reply to text message without taking your hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road.
You can even hook the whole truck up to the Nissan app on your phone, which will let you know how much juice you have left in it and how efficient your driving is – or rather needs to be.
The Tekna trim comes with a reversing camera and heated leather seats, great for toasting those buns on a cold winter morning.
Driving down costs
The cab itself has been given a bit of an overhaul in terms of shape to make it much more aerodynamic. This has resulted in much reduced drag and fuel efficiency and can result in a welcome economy north of 44mpg.
The 2.3litre engine still gives it plenty of oomph, but the more streamlined design and introduction of new multi-link rear suspensions means the drive is more comfortable and less bumpy. We haven’t seen a pick-up this smooth since George Clooney wooed everyone with the world’s tiniest cup of coffee.
And fuel costs aren’t the only area where you’ll make a saving with this competitively priced pick-up. Although the Navara may be pitched at the ‘foreman by week, football coach and all-round busy parent by the weekend’, they aren’t classed as SUVs, but LCVs – or light commercial vehicles – which means you’ll save a few quid on road tax too.
On main roads and motorways, the driving experience is smooth and very much in line with the car-like feel that Nissan are going for. However, if you are venturing off the beaten track or, if you haven’t read that delivery address properly and ended up in the backend of nowhere, there is also a four-wheel drive element which can accommodate off-roading.
The twin-turbo engine and six-speed gearbox (with the added option of seven-speed version) deliver around 180bhp and, combine with 450Nm of torque from 1,5000 rpm, the Navara can really come into its own on more testing surfaces.
No matter what you’re hauling around, whether it be Haribo-fuelled kids or a few kilos of bricks, the Navarra can handle the lot.
The truck itself weighs in at about two tonnes, but it’s pretty light on its feet for such a big hunk of metal.
Having said that, a pick-up will be judged on its ability to do just that – pick stuff up. The Navara boasts an impressive 1315kg payload and you have the option of a hard cover configuration or the open load bed which comes with a sliding cover.
With the 4×4 version, there is also the option of increasing your pulling power without changing your aftershave. The Navara can haul up to 3,500kg from its sturdy tow bar.
If you want to get all the benefits of a versatile pick-up that can double up as a reliable family car, then check out the great deals we currently have on offer for the Nissan Navara Tekna– prices start at only £226 per month plus vat! Or perhaps you’re looking at one of our other cheap vans or pick-ups or you’d like some advice about the different finance packages we offer – simply give us a call on 01446 502955 and speak to one of our friendly team.