Pick-ups are becoming less rough and ready to drive, and the Nissan NP300 Navara is one of the best. It makes a decent tow car, but there are still compromises in choosing a dual-purpose double cab rather than a conventional passenger car.
In a straight line the Navara is stable at 60mph, and our drivers were happy at 70mph unless the wind picked up. However, the Al-Ko ATC system showed the caravan starting to wander when slowing down from high speeds.
The lane-change proved a tough test for the Navara. It coped with the first two of three increasingly fast manoeuvres, but was all over the place on the final run.
There’s no doubting the strength of the Navara’s 2.3-litre diesel, which pulled pick-up and caravan from 30-60mph in 13.8 seconds. But the engine is rattly at low revs and becomes raucous when really put to work.
In solo driving the Nissan is surprisingly comfortable for a commercial vehicle. Rather than the unsophisticated but tough leaf-spring suspension of most pick ups, the Navara has more car-like suspension. Even so, it still has a payload of over a tonne.
Unsurprisingly, a vehicle designed to cope with such heavy loads had no trouble with holiday luggage. The reversing camera will be handy if you need to hitch up on your own, and the underslung full-size spare wheel will be easy to access if you get a puncture.
Just keep in mind that many caravan handbooks preclude towing with a pick-up, so double-check before you choose the Nissan as your next tow car.
(Please note the price quoted includes VAT.)