20 May 2005

The UK pick-up market will heat up later this year as three new contenders enter this increasingly popular sector. The new Nissan Navara King Cab made its debut at the Barcelona Motor Show last week, where the latest Toyota Hilux was also on display. Both will gun for the replacement of the market-leading Mitsubishi L200 when it goes on sale early next year.

The Navara will become the UK’s most powerful pick-up when it arrives in August, with power from a 171bhp 2.5-litre diesel taken from the Pathfinder 4x4. The chassis is also borrowed from the same car.

Nissan claims that around 80 per cent of new pick-up buyers switch from cars, as more businesses latch on to the appeal – and tax advantages – of a pick-up. The Navara’s optional comforts include DVD sat-nav, leather trim, Bluetooth and automatic lights and wipers.

Nissan predicts around 10,000 Navara sales next year across double- and king-cab variants, which would put it ahead of the Primera as Nissan UK’s fourth-best-selling model.

Toyota’s Hilux arrives in October, powered by a 102bhp 2.5-litre D-4D diesel engine. Bettered only by the Corolla in terms of Toyota’s worldwide sales, this is the sixth-generation Hilux and will be available in both single- and double-cab versions.

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