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Sawasdee krub! We’re in Bangkok, Thailand, where Nissan has unveiled the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara. The 12th-gen Nissan pickup truck boasts better fuel economy, improved acceleration and a more rigid and durable frame.

The model also features a lower roof, higher ground clearance and a larger load area. Narrow- and wide-bodies, king- and double-cabs as well as 2WD and 4WD versions are available.

Nissan says the focus is on a “sportier and more emotional expression” – there’s a high belt line and blacked-out B-pillars, plus sculpted front wings and door sections with concave-convex surfaces.

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The LED DRLs create a boomerang-shaped signature, and there are chrome waist line mouldings and wing mirror indicators. Two new colours are available – Savannah Yellow and The Earth Bronze.

Inside, the restyled dashboard features a gentle sweep from the centre panel to the door side. An aluminium-like finish can be found on the centre stack and console, and the ‘Zero-Gravity‘ seats as seen on the Teana feature “finely-crafted” stitching. Rear air vents are also available.

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Between the instrument dials sits a 3D colour TFT screen that displays turn-by-turn navigation instructions, compass, fuel economy indicator and audio information. The customisable display also provides alerts, service reminders and more, in a variety of languages.

Under the bonnet resides either a 2.5 litre DOHC four-cylinder petrol or a 2.5 litre DOHC four-cylinder turbodiesel. The diesel engine’s turbocharger is electrically actuated, and there are two states of tune: 161 hp at 3,600 rpm and 403 Nm of twist at 2,000 rpm, and 188 hp and 450 Nm at the same revs. The engines are connected to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto (!) with manual override.

Both engines are Euro 5 compliant, and Nissan says fuel economy has been improved by as much as 11% over the outgoing model. Underpinning the Nissan NP300 Navara is a high-strength chassis and leaf suspension. Smaller turning circle, too.

Shift-on-the-fly 4×4 driving can be engaged while the vehicle is in motion. The security guards comprise Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS), Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC).

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“Since we built our first pickup in 1933, over 14 million customers around the globe have come to depend on a Nissan pickup to transport their families, workmates and cargo, sometimes in the toughest of circumstances,” explained Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer.

“The Nissan New NP300 Navara sets new benchmarks for performance, toughness, versatility and running costs; all the qualities that are critical for pickup users,” he added.

The Nissan NP300 Navara will be the first vehicle built at the company’s new US$358 million plant in Samut Prakan near the capital, at a rate of about 75,000 units a year. This marks the end of Nissan’s joint venture with Mitsubishi Motors to produce pickup trucks at the latter’s plant at the Laem Chabang Industrial Estate in Chonburi, which will continue to build the outgoing Navara until export sales end.