With busy lifestyles meaning that vehicles need to be more versatile, Nissan’s new Navara X-Back aims to incorporate work and play in one package. Ian Robertson dons a hard-hat and Timberland boots to find out
Think back a few years, when the idea of a pick-up would conjure up images of construction workers and tree surgeons, always looking very utilitarian and functional. With the launch of more practical four-door double-cabs, and the realisation that buying one could open up useful tax-breaks, buyers warmed to the concept and demanded plusher versions, stacked to the roof with car-like luxuries.
One of the pioneers of the new lifestyle pick-up segment was Nissan, and with their latest Navara, the Aventura X-Back, the maker aims to offer a more stylish look, aimed at people that have an active social life, as well as a need for a workhorse. While the standard Aventura has been about for some time, the new X-Back model features a uniquely styled hard-top, designed in the UK by Nissan’s design centre in London. It’s more rakish than previous offerings, but still offers a spacious loadbay.
On the road, the Navara is certainly one of the most car-like pick-ups on the market today with the 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine offering 169bhp, thus giving the Nissan a good turn of speed. Fuel economy is on the low side though, achieving just 28.8mpg on the combined cycle. The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and positive, while the ride is far superior to its peers, though it will still feel quite turbulent for those coming from a smooth riding saloon car. Handling is taut, and doesn’t suffer quite so much with roll as its major rivals.
The cabin is a picture of functionality, with all of the major controls grouped exactly where you would expect them. The SatNav is placed high up on the centre console, but the display can suffer in bright sunshine, meaning the display can be hard to read. Equipment wise, Nissan has packed the Aventura X-Back with virtually every conceivable extra, with cruise control, rain sensor, auto dimming rear view mirror, automatic headlamps, DVD satellite navigation and a Bluetooth hands free system all standard equipment. In addition, there are electric and heated leather seats, an electric sunroof, parking sensors, privacy glass and a full set of airbags. The question on many lips will be whether the Navara could take the place of a second family runabout, in a one-size fits all kind of package. I think many will be surprised at how endearing the Navara is. While some may be put off by the chrome embellishments, feeling that they are a bit ‘bling’, an equal number will probably like them. There’s no doubt that the Navara is imposing, and offers a package that isn’t far off the sort of refinement that we expect from family saloons. The X-Back isn’t cheap by any means though, and better value may well be found in models lower down in the Navara range.
RIVALS: Mazda BT-50 3.0 Intrepid, Mitsubishi L200 Animal 2.5 DI-D, Toyota Hilux 3.0 D-4D Invincible
- Engine: 2488cc, 4-cylinder turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 169bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 297lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 2,600kg
- Combined Consumption: 28.8mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 264g/km (LCV )
- 0-62mph: 11.8secs
- Max speed: 105mph
- Insurance group: 11
Most car-like pick-up in its class, equipment levels high, chunky looks
On the expensive side, rear legroom, bling-ness may be too much for some