THE NP300 RX 4X4 king cab pickup is one of 13 single cab, king cab and dual cab chassis more recent additions to the Nissan Navara range, swelling the ranks to 27 (11 4x2 and 16 4x4 models).
The king cab pickup is positioned between the single cab and dual cab body styles in cabin and cargo bed layout. So it won’t suit everyone or every application.
For example, while there’s seating for up to four occupants, a shortage of knee and leg space results in the fold up/down seats in the rear being suitable only for children or the vertically challenged. We found that with an average-sized male adult seated behind a similar-sized driver, operating the various pedals is virtually impossible.
Rear-seat access is via side, reverse-opening (aka suicide) doors that fit flush with the front doors, so there is no B pillar. However, the thickness of the two door frames makes over-the-shoulder visibility poor.
The RX comes with a 2.3-litre, single-turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine (120kW and 403Nm) and six-speed manual transmission only.
The dual-range 4x4 system is easy-switch operated.
With 120kW of power and 403Nm of torque, the engine is strong in the mid-range and makes for a willing workhorse. There’s plenty of grunt and it’s no surprise that the NP300 has a 3500kg braked towing capacity.
The official fuel consumption figure of 6.6 litres/100km looks impressive, but our test returned an average of 10.4 litres.
In keeping with the workhorse brief, all NP300 king cab variants are fitted with leaf spring rear suspension. While this works well when laden, it otherwise makes for a fairly coarse, unsettled ride, particularly at low speed.
The driver’s seat lacks lateral support, but holds up well even after two hours at the wheel, though having no steering reach adjustment is a downer.
Standard equipment covers seven airbags, including driver knee airbag; a handy 12-volt power socket in the cargo tray; rear airconditioning vents
in the centre console (for rear-seat passengers); 16-inch steel wheels; and matching full-size spare wheel.
While it promises versatility by way of the occasional seating, the reality is the RX Pickup is not in the same league as a dual-cab ute. To get the best out of this vehicle, you really need the life/work balance to be tilted well in favour of the latter.