Land Rover’s Commercial Freelander 2 breezed in at the show. Available in two trim levels from £20,775, it retains the car’s side doors but ditches the back seats and side airbags in favour of a full-height bulkhead, one-piece floor, guards for the blanked-out side windows and fixed side glass.
The XS version (£25,595) adds Terrain Response control, power-fold mirrors, climate control and more. The engine is the usual 2.2-litre turbo-diesel giving 160PS and 295lbf ft torque, transmission is a six-speed manual, and its towing capacity is 2t.
If you need more than a Freelander, how about the all-new Discovery 3 Commercial? Priced from £28,505, it tows 3.5t and comes with a barn-sized load bay, two cabin trim levels and optional tyre-pressure monitoring. Electronics watch over body roll and vehicle stability in both versions, while the XS (£31,765) gets the leather/alloy treatment. Power comes from Land Rover’s 2.7-litre, 190hp V6 turbo-diesel, transmission is a six-speed manual, the air suspension is height-adjustable and self-levelling.
Buyers with less well-lined pockets might look twice at Mitsubishi’s Outlander Commercial, which picked up What Van?’s Best 4×4 Van prize last year. Offered in one £16,999 version only, it comes with a 2.0l, 138hp turbo-diesel with 228lbf ft torque, a six-speed manual and part-time 4wd towing capacity is 2t. Stability and traction controls are standard along with steel wheels and climate control. The only option is metallic paint.
Nissan got back to basics with its new NP300 pickups, seen here with a tipper back. Slotting in below the fancy Navara range and based on the old D22, models run from a 2wd single cab (£11,395) to a 4wd double cab (£14,795) with a farming-friendly 4×4 single cab at £13,395. A simple interior brings back the bench seat and puts vinyl on the floor aircon is optional. The 2.5-litre turbo-diesel has 130hp/224lbf ft, payload is 1,135kg, towing capacity 2.8t-3t depending on the model. Transmission is a five-speed manual, 4wd is part-time.
So you want to own the UK’s most powerful production diesel pickup? Best get in the queue, as Toyota plans to make just 500 of these 194hp, 317lbf ft HiLuxes. Marked out externally by a mesh grille and slinky black paint-job, this Invincible upgrade also gets a colour-coded leather interior and more toys than is good for it. A 0-62 time of 10.5sec is claimed for the yet-to-be named (or priced) truck, which will be available in the summer.
LEDs were everywhere at the show. Rear-lamp clusters could suit farming as they are built to be water and vibration-proof. And with no bulb filaments to break, exceptionally long life is claimed. Oblong and round versions are offered, all with a much slimmer profile than conventional lamps. These are some of the cheapest at £15.90 each others can cost twice that but claim better shatter-resistance.
LED Technologies, 0121 313 222 and LED autolamps website.
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