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95 MOTORING ROAD TESTS BY NICK FLETCHER


OUR MOTORING COLUMN, BY THE EXPERIENCED AND AWARD WINNING MOTORING JOURNALIST NICK FLETCHER HELPS OUR READERS CHOOSE THE BEST OF THE LATEST CARS.


ONCE, PICK-UP TRUCKS WERE


JUST PICK-UP TRUCKS, RUGGED WORKHORSES NORMALLY


SEEN ON BUILDING SITES. BUT WHEN DOUBLE-CAB VERSIONS BEGAN TO BE PRODUCED, THE


HUMBLE PICK-UP DEVELOPED AN EXCITING NEW LIFE AS A DUAL- PURPOSE FAMILY VEHICLE.


NISSAN NAVARA DOUBLE CAB


These days pick-ups are produced by several manufacturers but few can match Nissan for pick-up experience - the company has been making them for more than 80 years. Nissan’s latest Navara underlines just how far the double cab pick-up has come – it has a stylish exterior, a luxury interior, high-spec standard equipment and the driving refinement of a family car. It’s not surprising really as most are bought by small businesses who also use them as family transport and thus require all the comfort and technology now common on most cars. Indeed, Nissan estimates 95 per cent of all Navara models will be double cab. Navara prices start at £24,560


(inc.VAT) but the luxury versions cost more – my flagship Tenka all- wheel-drive with auto transmission cost £32,770 (inc.VAT). Standard kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, parking sensors, leather seats, 4 powered windows, air-conditioning, hill-start assist, auto lights and wipers, limited slip differential, cruise control with speed limiter, radio/cD/usB/auX and Bluetooth, sat-nav and 7-inch HD touchscreen. Tekna models also come with 360-degree camera


monitoring, meaning you can see all around the vehicle when manouevering.


That all sounds like the spec of a premium model, and the similarity doesn’t end there because on the tarmac, despite its large overall footprint, the Navara has much of the refinement and road manners of a crossover model. And in the cabin, the Tekna’s leather seats and classy dashboard styling that makes you think you in in something quite superior. With four doors, access to the rear seats is easy and


IT HAS A STYLISH


EXTERIOR, A LUXURY INTERIOR, HIGH-SPEC


STANDARD EQUIPMENT AND THE DRIVING REFINEMENT OF A FAMILY CAR.


there is plenty of head and legroom.The front seats are very comfortable and you get a commanding driving position. Underway the 187 hp 2.3 litre diesel engine is remarkably smooth and quiet, and gives a nippy 0-60 mph time of 10.8 seconds. Top speed is 112 mph and the combined fuel figure is 41 mpg. Ride quality is exceptionally


good for this type of vehicle, thanks largely to independent multi-link rear suspsion instead of traditional leaf-springs. The


steering is well-weighted and responsive and the cornering composure very good, though obviously not quite up to car standards. The open load bay (payload is 1,059 kg) is lined with a durable plastic and there is an optional hard top which offers greater security and works off the remote central locking system.


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