The 4X4 pick-up market in the UK has changed out of all recognition over the past couple of decades.

Once a simple agricultural workhorse, they have morphed into an urban status symbol with alloy wheels, metallic paint, and model names that walk the thin line between overly butch and merely tragic.

This third generation of Navara – also known as the D23 and NP300 – first appeared in 2014, going on sale in the UK from November 2015. It’s fair to say the previous incarnations were very worthy, but played catch-up to the likes of the Toyota Hilux and Mitsubishi L200. So with the NP300 version Nissan pulled out all the stops.

Built on a 3.15m wheelbase, the overall length is 5.25m with a width of 1.85m and height of 1.82m. Load dimensions are not huge in any double-cab pick-up and the Navara boasts a fairly industry-standard 1.5m long by 1.5m wide bay.

Payloads vary by specification and trim but all are over 1,100kg, since all double-cabs have long since had to hit the magic 1.0t for VAT purposes.

Nissan’s trusty four-cylinder direct-injection turbo-diesel shared with the NV400 van powers this Navara in 160hp and 190hp guises.

It’s Euro6-compliant and like most in the sector has pulled off the engineering impossibility of massively reducing emissions without loss of performance.

(If the general public understood the gains the diesel has been forced to make in the past decade it would be hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World!)

The 2.3-litre unit’s ample torque is fed via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission to an electronically controlled four-wheel drive and traction-control system. The standard all-terrain pattern tyres will cope with most conditions.

More aggressive off road tyres are available from all the leading brands as Nissan has resisted the temptation to go too big with wheel sizes.

Avoid any with larger aftermarket wheels or look-at-me body mods and chrome addenda.

As you might expect few faults are reported across the Navara range. There was a recall for passenger airbag across many Nissan car and commercial models, but specific to the Navara was a brake lamp failure.

We have known some satnav systems to ‘freeze’ but this is not unique to Nissan, and a five-year warranty from new shows Nissan’s faith in their product.

At this young age there’s little to look out for, so go for low mileage and middle specification.

Five best options

1) 190hp engine
2) Automatic transmission
3) Standard wheels
4) Visia version
5) Tekn a version rather than add-ons

Five best avoided

1) 160hp engine (if towing)
2) Too many options
3) Ex-hire fleet vehicles
4) Dealer special editions
5) Aftermarket mods

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