Driven: Euro6 Nissan Navara

Uncomfortable, difficult to drive and heavy on fuel are descriptions that, thankfully, no longer apply to the best one-tonne 4x4 pick-ups on the market. Indeed, as the Nissan Navara NP300 proved at its launch in early 2016, you can have a powerful and capable truck, without the bone rattling ride and sky high running costs. 

Now, with the Euro6 emission rules in force, Nissan has updated the Navara, with lower running costs, lower CO2 emissions and more equipment fitted as standard. It has also dropped the 'NP300' from the name as it apparently proved too confusing for dealers and buyers.

At the business end of things, the Navara keeps its comprehensive five-year/100,000 miles warranty, one-tonne payload capacity and 3.5 tonne braked towing limit. The car-like, five-link coil rear suspension set-up is unchanged too, which means the Navara retains its excellent ride quality.  

Claimed economy for the Euro6 Navara now peaks at 46.3mpg for two-wheel drive versions and 44.8mpg for four-wheel drive models. CO2 emissions are lower too, starting from 159g/km. You also get more equipment as standard, with base models getting cruise control, speed limiter, Bluetooth phone connectivity and steering wheel mounted audio controls.

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If truth be told, the Navara already had some of the best official fuel ratings of any pick-up on the market, but the Euro6 upgrade puts it to the very top of the class. Most of the improvements in economy and emissions are gained from the use of AdBlue, with the 2.3 diesel using 17 litres for every 7145 miles. Filling the AdBlue tank is simple though, with the filler cap located next to the diesel tank flap; however, this pushes running costs up a little, with a typical 10 litre bottle of AdBlue costing £20.

AdBlue aside, you’d be hard pushed to tell the Euro6 Navara apart from the Euro5 version. As before, the 2.3-litre diesel engine is hugely capable and available with either 160PS or 190PS, with the latter using twin turbochargers. Both versions provide impressive pull, with a respective 403Nm and 450Nm of torque from 1500rpm - 4500rpm. If you regularly use your pick-up for towing, however, then the 190PS should be the default choice, owing to the higher levels or low-gear torque. 

With cruise control now fitted standard, the Navara is happy to chug along the motorway at 70mph, with low levels of engine and road noise making their way into the cabin, which means you can travel two or three hours without feeling overly tired. The large and comfortable interior - which will easily carry four large adults - is also excellent for long distance travel. 

On the road handling is one of the Navara's best traits; the five-link coil rear suspension puts the ride on par with some of the best SUVs, absorbing almost all lumps and bumps in the road. Body travel in the corners has also been eliminated, while the precise steering provides lots of feedback, which means you almost always have a good understanding of which direction the wheels are pointing and how much grip they have. 

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Off-road the Navara is as good as the Mitsubishi L200 and Ford Ranger.  We've driven the Nissan on everything, from heavy mud to deep snow and sand dunes. The Navara takes it all in its stride, although we have lost some bits of bodywork along the way, with the front underbody protection prone to catching tree stumps and coming loose. 

The switchable four-wheel drive system is excellent though, with the torque packed 2.3-litre engine working seamlessly with the high and low gear ratios. Four-wheel drive versions also get a hill descent control system, which automatically controls the vehicle's speed when driving down steep hills. A six-speed manual is standard, although you can fit a seven-speed auto as an option.

The Nissan Navara is offered in two body-styles - king cab or double cab – but we think the double cab strikes the best balance for day-to-day usability, with a 1.5 metre loadbay that will carry loads up to 1062kg. The lockable tailgate sits flush with the loadbay when lowered, which makes it easy to slide large objects towards the rear. 

Cheaper to run, better equipped and brilliant off-road, the Euro6 Navara is one of the best pick-ups on the market right now. Its on-road comfort is particularly impressive, while the large and practical load area also makes it extremely practical. Given the choice, we'd fit a few options - rear glass protection and hard top load cover - but even a base spec model will do everything a pick-up buyer will need, plus a fair bit more.