New Navara ute looks the goods
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask questions to which you want answers. But there’s only one question that really needs answering, would you buy one?
WHAT IS IT?
Nissan’s popular ute in one of its most configurations, the dual cab ST with a tub on back.
Prices start from $19,490 for the bare bones cab chassis 4x2 petrol model. The ST at $45,990 sits one from the top with everything you need and nothing don’t — except perhaps an exterior temperature gauge which we have learned is not fitted to any variant.
WHAT ARE COMPETITORS?
Long list of them, starting with the ruling Hilux which incidentally is king both the 4x2 and 4x4 segments. Navara languishes near bottom pile in first category but shines as fifth-best selling ute in 4x4 guise — trailing aforementioned Hilux, Ranger, Triton and Colorado.
WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?
A smaller engine than you might think. 2.3-litre four cylinder twin turbo diesel produces 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, the latter from a low 1500 revs. It was paired in our test vehicle with optional 7-speed auto which adds $2500 to price.
No gear change paddles, you can changes gears manually using shifter.
HOW DOES IT GO?
We haven’t driven the new Hilux yet, but we have to say this one is pretty likeable. The engine smooth, so transmission and ride thanks to its car-like rear suspension. It limits Navara’s load carrying ability but delivers better handling more off road ability. To compensate Nissan has just released a work-focused variant with leaf springs like a truck.
IS IT ECONOMICAL?
Nissan claims best in class figures for fuel consumption. Rated at 7.0 litres/100km, we were getting 8.6 after about 400km. That’s not quite as good as the Colorado had, but bad nevertheless.
IS IT GREEN?
With a Euro 5 compliant engine and C02 emissions of 186g/km, we give it a rating 3.0 out 5.0.
IS IT SAFE?
With seven airbags, including a knee bag to protect the driver’s lower legs, it gets five stars from local ANCAP organisation. Stability control and a reverse camera is standard on this one, but it’s small screen and can be difficult to see at night.
IS IT COMFORTABLE?
Yep. The ST misses out on leather and has plain old air conditioning, but that’s okay. Not so okay is the lack of reach adjustment for steering wheel. Seats are comfortable with good rear legroom rear outlets. Auto lights and view mirror, but wipers
manual. Can be difficult to locate the ignition key hole in the dark.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Probably the most car-like and family friendly of utes that we have driven recently. The suspension in
utes is overly firm without some weight in tray. Not so with the Navara which shone our speed hump test. sure what odd power-operated rear window is all about?
IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?
Competent off roader, with an electronic diff lock. Can carry 986kg payload and tow a 3500kg trailer. Rides on 16-inch alloys full-size spare wheel under the back. Premium look interior but hard to touch. Misses out satnav comes with a sports bar, side steps, LEDs and foggies. There’s also a 12v outlet in the tub.
WOULD WE BUY ONE?
Comfortable and easy-to-drive ute. Would be on our short list.