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Nissan Navara unveiled in Europe

  • First European viewing of the NP300 Navara
  • Targeting 120,000 sales a year in the EU
  • Multilink suspension should improve ride and safety 

Nissan Europe has finally taken the veil off its next generation pickup, the Nissan NP300 Navara. Guests at the 2015 Frankfurt Show were treated to the first European viewing of the vehicle, which features five-link rear suspension for the first time.

The Japanese manufacturer has made numerous amendments to the model launched in Thailand earlier in the year, including improving the safety systems, refinement, engine calibration, steering ratio and the emissions. Nissan hope to achieve 120,000 sales a year, with the UK being the biggest market.

Five-link rear suspension

As we’ve previously highlighted, the Barcelonan-built Nissan NP300 Navara will be the first mainstream pickup truck in Europe to feature independent coil suspension on the rear axle. This design improves the ride and handling without compromising the durability, Nissan says.

“We’ve tested the new suspension systems in a wide range of tough environments, and it has performed as well as, if not better, than the traditional leaf spring”, Philippe Guerin-Boutaud, Corporate Vice President for Nissan LCVs, explained to us.

“What we also discovered is that, in addition to much improved levels of comfort, its much safer. The independent movement of each wheel while travelling over rough surfaces allows for greater contact with the ground, which in turn means there’s more stability and braking force when needed”.

Specifications and engines

Leaf spring suspension will continue to be used on King Cab models, which are more likely to selected by utilitarian customers. For the time being, the Nissan NP300 Navara will only be available in double or extended (King Cab) cab form.

“Before the launch, we played with the idea of a single cab”, Ponz Pandikuthira told Parkers Vans. “However, single cabs only make up three percent of the market and because we’re trying to focus on the lifestyle segment, we didn’t think it was worthwhile, but we won’t rule it out for the future”.

The 2.3-litre engine, currently used in the Nissan NV400, will be offered with two power ratings - 158bhp and 188bhp. The management at Nissan are confident enough in the product and engine to provide a new five year, 100,000 year warranty.

Interior

Nissan hasn’t said much about the interior of the new vehicle, although we managed to have a sneaky peak inside one of the display models. Obviously, the display model was loaded with a lot of optional extras including steering mounted controls, keyless entry with push button start, an eight-inch display screen, dual zone climate control and a 12-volt socket for charging devices.

In terms of style, we rate the black dashboard, with black leather and silver plastic detailing, far more than that of the 2015 Ford Ranger. The layout is simple and easy to follow, and the button and switches are large which helps usability.

Availability

The next generation Nissan Navara will be arriving in dealerships in early 2016. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but we’re estimating a start price of between £18,500 and £19,500 plus VAT.