Stealing a few days in our long-term NP300 Navara left Jack Carfrae, and many people he crossed paths with, suitably impressed with the Nissan’s the style and technology
The UK pick-up market is coming on in leaps and bounds but I was unaware of just how much love there is for in-your-face, orange trucks until I poached deputy editor James Dallas’s long-term NP300 Navara for a week’s hard graft house-clearing.
Far from being shunned for driving such a big, brash thing, I found myself the focal point of the local B&Q car park. Even away from the DIY crowd, I was asked about the Navara on several occasions and people seem to love its road presence and burnt orange finish; proof that Nissan’s revisions have made it a far more desirable vehicle.
I was particularly impressed by the around view monitor. I’ve experienced similar technology in other vehicles, often the preserve of large, top-end cars such as Range Rovers but it’s incredibly useful on a large pick-up. The bird’s-eye view of the NP300 on the screen while reversing was extremely handy, even if I did worry about the erosion of my parking abilities in the long run.
One passenger pointed out that it would be better if Nissan could match the colour of the vehicle shown on the screen to that of the car itself. That’s splitting hairs, but I did nod and raise an eyebrow, as the miniature Navara displayed on the screen is white, which clashes with the orange metallic of our long-term test model.
Cosmetics aside, if you’re likely to be using the vehicle in confined areas, and you plan to keep it in one piece, then there’s a strong case for paying the extra for systems such as this. It’s particularly relevant to operators who source their vehicles from leasing companies, as it’s an excellent way of cutting down or even eradicating light damage and subsequently expensive end-of-contract charges. Fleet and residual value specialists have often waxed lyrical about the benefits of fitting parking aids for this very reason.
The catch 22 is that the around view monitor comes only with the top-end Tekna model which, save for adding an automatic gearbox, is as expensive as the Navara gets at £24,297.50 minus VAT. A scan through Nissan’s price list revealed that it isn’t available as a one-off optional extra, either, so you have to go the whole hog or go without.
However, for those less flush, the mid-level Acenta+ trim includes a reversing camera, which is a close second. That costs £22,089.17 without VAT – still dearer than the basic Visia model at £18,380.83 but a tad more palatable.
|Nissan NP300 Navara|
|Tekna 190hp manual|
|Claimed combined consumption 44.1mpg|
|Our average consumption 28.3mpg|
|Price (ex VAT) £24,293|
|Price as tested (ex VAT) £28,697|