KING OF THE ROAD

IF YOU are more than 70 years old, eat stewed fruit for breakfast and consider it a late night when you stay up to watch Top Billing. Chances are you probably enjoy Classic FM as well.

IF YOU are more than 70 years old, eat stewed fruit for breakfast and consider it a late night when you stay up to watch Top Billing. Chances are you probably enjoy Classic FM as well.

Fortunately I don't subscribe to any of the above and listening to German composer Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos on Classic FM recently was like being subjected to root canal treatment - without the anaesthetic.

And that's exactly the predicament I found myself in while driving the new Nissan Navara King Cab.

Now I know my technical-savvy is that of a second-grader, but the fact that the radio in the vehicle would keep defaulting back to Classic FM at every opportunity left me frustrated and embarrassed.

A visit to the local Nissan dealer could not sort out the problem. The technician explained that the Garmin-based touchscreen navigation system was not installed by Nissan and he was loath to fiddle with something he was unfamiliar with.

I had a choice - Classic FM or CDs for a week? Guess which won?

Apart from this irritation I enjoyed this no-nonsense vehicle. The King Cab's size alone is quite intimidating (5220mm long x 1850mm wide).

This is not for the pinstripes of Sandton who enjoy the bakkie image, but for the contractor who doesn't mind getting his hands dirty.

It is primarily a two-seater with a reasonably sized load box behind the front two seats.

The rear load box is a whopping 1849mm x 1560mm which easily carries a one-ton payload. It has a towing capacity of well over three tons.

The King Cab's rear doors open from the inside to reveal an easily accessible area for storing goods.

Start her up and you know you have a true diesel on hand. The 2,5-litre turbo engine churns out 128kW and 403Nm and is linked to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Comfort-wise you will have to sacrifice a few goodies you will pick up in the double-cab version, but expect electric windows, central locking and air-conditiIoning.

If you fancy a bit of bundu-bashing the Navara will gladly oblige.

Select 4x4 mode and with the assistance of wide flared wheel arches providing ample ground clearance, there is not much the Navara won't handle.

Initially I thought the King Cab was a guzzler but the longer I drove it the more I realised it's how you treat that right pedal.

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