Two outputs are available: 158bhp and 187bhp. You might expect Nissan to have simply cranked the boost up to get the additional power, but they’ve been a little more thorough than that, bolting on an extra turbo to create extra grunt. Naturally, both engines feature economy and emissions improvements, too.
The big news is that the Double Cab ditches the old-school leaf sprung rear end of the previous generation. In its place is an all-new five-link set-up with coil springs that promises greater ride comfort and improved handling. Despite this change, it can still carry over a tonne in the bed and tow 3.5 tonnes.
While King-Cab models still soldier on with cart springs, these will account for less than 10% of projected sales and are likely to be bought purely as workhorses. As the Double Cab is the one that will appeal to private buyers, potentially as an alternative to an SUV, that’s the model we’re looking at here.
We're not going to beat around the bush, the NP300 Navara has the best ride comfort of any unladen pick-up we’ve experienced, although the latest generation Toyota Hilux has run it close. Where the previous-generation Navara (and other leaf-sprung competitors) would become bouncy and unsettled, the new model feels much more like a conventional SUV.
Even over sizeable bumps the rear end soaked up the initial hit before settling back down again almost immediately. Any pogo action you might have expected is notable only by its absence, which makes for much more comfortable progress over a variety of surfaces.
Handling is also much improved. You can carry a surprising amount of speed around bends while even rapid direction changes are completed without fuss. You’d never call it fun - slow steering and the laws of physics see to that - but it really does feel like a very stable vehicle and much better than you’d expect from a pick-up.
Despite this, the NP300 is still more than capable off-road. The Double Cab is 4WD only and comes complete with a low range ’box, hill descent control and excellent axle articulation. If you want to get really serious, a rear diff-lock is on the options list, too. Up a steep and rocky trail, the Navara didn’t even break into a sweat.
While it is a significant step forward over the old model, there are still reminders that the Navara is, in essence, a working vehicle. The rear suspension is a massive improvement, but there’s no getting away from the fact there’s a heavy-duty live axle attached to a ladder frame chassis.
Go over a vicious bump on one side and you can feel the rear wheels are connected, and you do get the odd shimmy from the body. Ultimately, a conventional SUV with a monocoque structure and less unsprung weight will ride and handle better. It wouldn’t be able to carry over a tonne in the back, though.
Nissan is claiming the interior has been inspired by its crossovers. At first glance, our top-spec Tekna test model appears similar to a Qashqai or X-Trail, there are four other trims to choose from including the entry-level Visia, Acenta, Acenta + and N-Connecta. There’s attractive piano black trim, a sprinkling of metal effect detailing a touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and around-view monitor – particularly handy on something this big.
The entry-level Visia models come equipped with steel wheels, air conditioning and a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat, while upgrading to Acenta gets you alloy wheels, a range of chrome details, and keyless entry and go. Acenta+ models get 18in alloys, side steps, dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera, and heated, electrically folding mirrors included in the package, while the N-Connecta trim gains a 7.0in touchscreen Nissan Connect infotainment system with sat nav, DAB , Bluetooth streaming capability and smartphone integration.