WEIGHTY IS­SUE

4 x 4 Australia - - Payload Test -

IF YOU want a ute to carry any­thing near max­i­mum pay­load, you can do bet­ter than the Navara. While we didn’t test the Se­ries II with a 3500kg trailer-load, we don’t ex­pect it to per­form no­tably bet­ter than be­fore, given the strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween the way all of the utes per­formed at ei­ther max­i­mum pay­load or max­i­mum tow ca­pac­ity. Away from haul­ing or tow­ing heavy loads the Navara of­fers spritely per­for­mance thanks to its punchy 2.3-litre bi-turbo, as well as be­ing slightly smaller and lighter than most com­peti­tors. Its seven-speed auto helps, too, given six speeds is the de­fault in this class, as does the short fi­nal-drive gear­ing. The only pow­er­train neg­a­tive is that the Re­nault-sourced en­gine is on the noisy side when worked hard. The Navara’s un­laden ride and han­dling is well-sorted and would no doubt cope with mod­er­ate loads and tow weights with­out much fuss. Sharp pric­ing is also a Navara pos­i­tive.

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