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Verdict: tough and durable, but the latest Cabstar is uncomfortable and lacklustre to drive

Nissan, Cabstar, front
A new grille, revised light clusters and indicators in the wing mirrors are key facelift changes  for the Nissan Cabstar

Nissan NT400 Cabstar MWB 136 review

What is it?

WAS there ever a time when the Nissan Cabstar wasn’t around? Indeed there was, although most of you won’t remember it!

This builder’s truck was originally launched as a Datsun in 1968 and although there have been a number of facelifts and relaunches since that time, one thing hasn’t altered – this truck is about the most durable thing available for hauling heavy loads this side of a Unimog.

You still see them groaning along the UK’s roads, years old and looking like worn-out old donkeys, but still plodding along faithfully.

Trucks like this are not very refined, so be warned, and there are a host of rivals in the form of chassis-cabs made from the heavy panel contenders which are much nicer to drive. But they all lack that solid ruggedness that the Cabstar has.

Just freshly facelifted, this truck is now called the NT400 Cabstar.

Visual changes include:

  • a new front grille incorporating the latest Nissan LCV identity
  • revised headlamp clusters
  • indicators now integrated into the door mirrors

Inside you’ll find:

  • new fabrics
  • a heated driver’s seat available as part of a winter pack
  • an updated instrument console with read-outs for instant and average fuel consumption, oil level check, maintenance advice including an oil change monitor which can help to extend service intervals, digital clock and a gear-shift advisory message

The 2,488cc common rail turbo diesel unit now has a diesel particulate filter, diesel oxidation catalyst, exhaust gas recirculation and on-board diagnostics so it complies with Euro 5b+ emissions standards.

It is available in three different power outputs – 121bhp, 136bhp and 145bhp.

The high output version, which replaces the old 3.0-litre unit, is new to the Cabstar range and delivers up to 22% better fuel consumption, while service intervals have been extended from 18,000 miles to 25,000 miles.

Available in single and double-cab versions, standard overall lengths range from 4,546mm to 6,346mm while the three wheelbase lengths are 2,500mm, 2,900mm and 3,400mm.

There are six different GVWs ranging from 2.8t to 4.5t, while payloads go from 1,125 kgs to 2,768 kgs. Our review model was the medium wheelbase with 136bhp engine.

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