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Nissan PickUp

Test venue: Shropshire and Cheshire

Nissan's new range of practical and versatile Pick-Ups will be aiming to knock Mitsubishi's all-conquering L200 series off the top spot as Britain's best selling Pick-up. The new Nissan range closely follows Isuzu's new TF models into a crowded niche sector of the market, aimed at commercial and light industrial use.

The Nissan range offers four basic options: a single cab, king cab, double cab and double cab Navara. Each model is powered by a torquey and spirited turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-litre diesel engine, which develops 133 bhp and a massive 304 Nm of torque. All models are also equipped with a five-speed manual transmission.

With the exception of the single cab, which is also offered as a 4x2 version for the on-the-road price of 12,816, the range are entirely 4x4s, with the range-topping double cab Navara costing a little over 19,000 on-the-road.

Nissan claims that the new Pick-Up is more powerful than its predecessor and there's no disputing that the diesel unit offers punchy acceleration and the ability for swift progress on open roads. The ride is a little harsh in an urban environment, especially without a load in the rear, but it holds its own in a motorway environment and is not too noisy at illegal speeds.

Nissan test figures advertise the maximum speed of the Pick-Up at between 97 and 99 mph, although it is capable of reaching the speed limit in around 12-13 seconds. This makes the new car the most powerful in its class.

Recognised as an excellent off-road workhorse, with its optional four-wheel drive and high and low transmission patterns, official statistics also claim that the Pick-Up can cope with one-in-four gradients and will remain stable on a lateral slope of up to 48%. Although I wasn't given the opportunity to put this to the test!

Whilst the majority of owners will utilise the Pick-Up for commercial purposes, Nissan insists that it will also appeal to a niche lifestyle market. The single cab model I tested offers a large and spacious loading bay and inspires confidence on the road. The chassis is firm, the ride solid and the suspension remains stable over twisty and bumpy roads. The Pick-Up uses independent front suspension and the somewhat cruder rigid rear axle and leaf springs. My gripe would be the constant jarring that this duly delivers to both a driver and passenger when the vehicle is not fully-laden.

The cabin is spacious and functional, although I tested this model in the humidity of a July afternoon and air conditioning would have been a welcome optional extra. Single cab models will comfortably seat three people, the king cab caters for four and you will be able to squeeze five people into the heavier double cab model, which has an impressive payload of 2860 kgs.

Standard features on the Pick-Up 4x4 include front and rear mudguards, part-time four-wheel drive, a limited slip differential and low ratio gearbox, while the King Cab also offers an extended cab with opening side windows, rear jump seats, a carpeted floor and a heated rear window. Pay a little extra for the double cab and you'll benefit from a rear bench seat, rear head restraints, electric door mirrors and central locking.

The range-topping Navara alternative offers aluminium side steps, alloy wheels, metallic paint, chrome door mirrors, a leather steering wheel, map lamps, white dials and velour upholstery. You will also benefit from front electric windows, a CD player, heated door mirrors, remote central locking and the much-needed climate control air conditioning not available in the single cab model I tested. Navara models also feature driver airbags, ABS and an upgraded immobiliser.

Own a Pick-Up and you will also benefit from Nissan's three-year or 60,000 mile warranty, three-year paint warranty and a 24-hour pan-European assistance package. There are also a range of optional extras to choose from to further personalise your Pick-Up: for example, roof rails a removable tow bar, fog lamps and a rear step bumper.

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com


Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

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