Review: Nissan Navara long-term test

Review: Nissan Navara long-term test
Review: Nissan Navara long-term test

No more wimpy squeals from anyone trying to lift the tailgate

In the spirit of Christmas, we’ve given our Nissan Navara a little present. Rather selfishly though we haven’t bought our truck something chromey to make it feel even more spangly than it already does. To be honest, it’s more like one of those presents that you get for someone else while knowing that you’ll be the main beneficiary.

Being metrosexual types who have never so much as walked past a gym let alone gone into one, we’ve always struggled to lift the Navara’s industrially heavy tailgate. So we asked 4×4 hard-top and accessories specialist Pegasus to supply and fit one of its Tailgate Assist devices. This gizmo bins the regular tailgate hinges in favour of sprung ones and adds a gas strut to give you the same sort of soft-close action you might have on your loo seat.

We took the Nav to Pegasus’s HQ in Bristol for our fitment. There’s no additional drilling required as the Tailgate Assist uses existing holes. The whole operation took just half an hour and cost us £354.

It’s jolly good too. Even Mr Burns from The Simpsons would have no bother opening and closing the tailgate now. It’s a small thing really but it’s had a big effect on everyday useability. Shame pickup manufacturers don’t fit this, or something like it at least, as part of the standard equipment.

navara-2ndnov-3100

While we were waiting, Pegasus boss Alec took the chance to show us the company’s NP300 Hard Top, which at £2394 undercuts the Nissan top by over £900. We liked the look of it. Besides having central locking on all three windows, the NP300 has noticeably wider side apertures than the factory item, and it’s lined with thick, dog-friendly cloth. Alec reckons it’s fully waterproof, which does not seem to be the case on our Navara.

Plenty of thought has gone into the Pegasus design. Apart from more ergonomically friendly handles and closer gaps between cab and lid, it has 55kg rated roof bars. Best of all, the inside window is a dual-slide affair, allowing you to ventilate your pets and clean the back window glass.

That last feature is especially appealing as there’s no way to clean the increasingly thick layer of grime off our standard top’s glass other than by removing all the hinges and sliding the hard-top forwards. That’s a crazy design. Even some sort of recline option on the cab’s rear window would be better than what’s there at present.

NAVARA NP300 TEKNA DOUBLE CAB

Price new £24,792.50 Price as tested £29,621.50 Economy: 33.6mpg Fault:s None Expenses: New aerial £12, Pegasus Tailgate Assist £354

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