By Mike Torpey on 2021-10-30 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Nissan Navara dCi190
N-Guard Double Cab
NISSAN describes its tough and stylish Navara pick-up truck as ‘the ultimate working tool'.
And with its rugged hardware, huge load bed, 600mm wading depth and powerful towing stability there's no doubt it fits the bill for the most demanding tasks - both industrial and agricultural.
There's much more to the Navara than that of desirable workhorse - it's also got user-friendly features, sharp design and lots of comfort too.
The Navara is currently available in 12 variants - in Double or King Cab body style - all featuring four-wheel drive and a 2.3-litre diesel engine developing either 163 or 190PS of wallop.
And from the middle of the five-level list of trim grades comes our tested N-Guard special version, complete with a smart design upgrade and extra standard kit.
As it is based on the flagship Tekna grade, that means the front grille, fog lamp surrounds, mirror covers, door handles and rear bumper are all finished in black.
There are also matching side steps and roof rails along with 18-inch alloy wheels and flashy decals at the base of the doors, while a powered sunroof with tinted glass is also included as standard.
Move inside and the refinement is such that you could be forgiven for believing you were aboard a high-end SUV or saloon rather than a pick-up.
The seats are nicely bolstered, comfortable and stand out courtesy of blue double stitching while the dash area is dominated by a large colour touchscreen from which the latest generation NissanConnect entertainment system with smartphone integration is operated.
In fact the only giveaway is the noise from the twin turbocharged 190PS dCi diesel engine, which actually performs far more economically than it sounds.
Official average fuel economy is set at 40.4 miles per gallon and our own return over 250 miles of fairly mixed urban and A-road motoring was 34.2mpg - not bad for a vehicle of this size and weight.
Acceleration to 62mph takes 11.2 seconds and if you need to brake quickly then there's a shorter stopping distance than before, achieved by changing the rear drum brakes to discs and callipers along with large front discs.
Hitch it up to a caravan and its multi-link rear suspension plus Trailer Sway Assist ensures both towing stability and comfort for occupants - even if there's a mound of gear in the load-bed.
Three drive modes comprise 4WD High for light off-roading, 4WD Low for more hardcore off-road work in sand, snow or deep mud, or two-wheel drive for when you're on Tarmac.
Safety tech includes the likes of Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, emergency braking and an around view monitor while a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and headlamp washers are all part of the package.
What Nissan has managed to achieve with the latest Navara is to offer a pick-up that really looks the part, is relaxing rather than heavy to drive and combines refinement and comfort with rugged versatility.
Nissan Navara dCi190 N-Guard Double Cab
Mechanical: 190ps, 2,299cc, 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via auto gearbox
Max Speed: 114mph
0-62mph: 11.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 40.4
Insurance Group: 10
C02 emissions: 184g/km
Bik rating: 37%
Warranty: 5yrs/100,000 miles
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