Every time I get a pick-up truck to drive my neighbours look at me as if I am a drug runner. What could he possibly be doing with a vehicle like that, they seem to ask?

But I like getting behind the wheel of a big monster. You feel safer and you get to see more as well.

One of the more popular of the pick-ups is the Nissan Navara which comes in at £23,600 and has just been given a bit of a facelift.

Well Nissan must have been doing something right over the 80 years they have been building vehicles like this because their new Navara has just been named pick-up of the year by the respected publication What Van?

This honour adds to the already impressive haul of awards claimed by the Navara, including the coveted International Pick-Up Award 2016.

What Van? judges praised the Navara for setting a new segment benchmark for quality, refinement and technology while still offering the pulling power and payload expected of a pick-up.

James Dallas, Editor of What Van? said: “With its combination of on-road refinement and off-road capability, the Navara is simply the best pick-up available in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

Anthony Jones, of Nissan said: “The Navara has completely redefined the pick-up sector since its launch and this latest award is another major endorsement of the Navara’s product quality delivering crossover-inspired comfort and technology both on and off-road, while high powered, economical engines provide an incredible towing capacity and payload.”

Navara’s leading features include multi-link rear suspension, forward emergency braking and around view monitor.

Many safety features are available across the range including Forward Emergency Braking on all double cab models; driver, passenger, side, knee and curtain airbags; electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD); Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control (on 4WD models).

The Navara can be specified with either a double cab or a king cab and a 190PS twin-turbo or 160PS single turbo version of the 2.3-litre dCi engine. There’s also a choice of two or four-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission.

Also benefiting from competitive financing and servicing offers, combined with Nissan’s LCV 5 Year / 100,000 mile warranty, the Navara gives owners the ultimate peace of mind.

Nissan’s Navara has proved popular in a market where the Mitsubishi L200 tends to reign supreme along with the VW Amarok and the Ford Ranger.

Despite being a basic vehicle, pick-ups are liked because they are classed as light commercial vehicles for tax purposes, making them a cheaper alternative to the SUVs.

Unlike the rivals, the Navara is the best ride because of its more advanced rear suspension system and it is more like a car than because of its quality interior.

It’s a bit noisy at speed because of the wind but the tyres are reasonably quiet and the Navara sorts out the potholes with ease. Motorway driving is a cinch.

The fuel consumption is impressive and you can easily get more than 40 miles to the gallon and almost up to 50 on a long journey.

The Navara can tow more than three tonnes and up to three and a half tonnes with the right kit.

Navara’s monochrome-screened radio unit is basic, but easy to understand and a better trim gets you the Nissan Connect system as standard. This is made up of a 7.0in touchscreen with sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth and smartphone-style apps. Everything is responsive and logically laid out.

So if you are in the market for a pick up then you must test drive the Nissan Navara.