The NP300 name may be new to the UK pick-up market, but in essence it’s a mild reworking of Nissan’s defunct D22 Pickup; hence the similarity in appearance.
Introduced in Spring 2008 there’s a full range of configurations available — Single Cab (SC) 4x2 and 4x4, King Cab (KC) 4x4 and Double Cab (DC) 4x4 (goes on sale in September) — and all take the same updated Euro 4 common rail turbodiesel. It produces the same maximum power of 133hp as the previous 2.5-litre unit and retains the hefty 304Nm of peak torque, delivered at 2,000rpm.
The higher pressure common rail injection system now fitted has made the engine smoother and it’s more freerevving than before. In two-wheel drive mode power goes to the rear wheels and sensibly Nissan has fitted a limited-slip diff to all models as standard; even the 2x4 SC.
Showing the design’s age somewhat, the tailgate is released using two outboard catches, rather than a single handle in the centre. Once dropped down it reveals a maximum load length of 2,235mm in the SC, dropping to 1,865mm for the KC and 1,485mm for the DC. Load width is 1,465mm for the former and 1,390mm for the latter two. Payloads are good, as are the towing capabilities; 2,000kg and 2,800kg for the SC 4x2 and 4x4, and 3,000kg for the KC and DC 4x4s.
The cab remains relatively unchanged from the D22 with a long, angled gearstick and in the case of the SCs a bench seat is standard, along with a dashmounted umbrella-style handbrake. Thankfully the KC and DC have two seats with a floor-mounted handbrake between them.
Service intervals are a vast improvement at 18,000 miles and the warranty is three years or 60,000 miles.
The NP300 is a strong, hard-working pick-up, but it feels old-tech and we remain sceptical of the SC’s bench seat.