THE NEW NAVARA THAT STANDS OUT FROM CROWD
It’s more than useful at the job site, off road and with the family on weekends
DRIVING home from work this week I found myself behind a Nissan Navara ute out on the highway. I was struck by how robust (for all the rust that clearly visible on body and tray it appeared upright and to be running well) longevity of model ( judging by its numberplate).
I have long had a hankering for a ute could call my own. For years it was dismissed as impractical — family four just doesn’t go into two-door cabin and when the arrival of dual cabs made that objection irrelevant, there was fact utes were more truck-like than car-like inside. And as a family we do like our creature comforts.
But then. the new Navara NP300 is clearly vehicle for the now.
The top-of-the-range ST-X, which I was given keys, is as plush as it is robust. Nissan has not held back in the big ute being practical off road as well as comfortable out on the bitumen or around town. And with good reason.
The Navara belongs in a hotly contested — and therefore highly important sector of market. Just have a look at supermarket carpark next time you’re out shopping, or at any school drop-off, any sporting ground just see how many big SUVs are on the road these days.
That’s really where Navara belongs days, according to Rex Gorell Nissan sales manager Jack Teggelove.
“They’ve become more like an SUV than a ute,” he said.
Where the Navara used be the domain of tradies, tradies are now looking for work vehicle that can also be off job site as well as with their families.
Mr Teggelove said while NP300’s predecessor, the Navara D40, may have been more aligned with Triton and HiLux buyers, the newest Navara was seen to be competing more against VW’s Amarok Ford Ranger. Very much big boys’ toys.
And while may have an edge in the tale of tape against Navara, Nissan — at than 5.2m long and weighing a shade over 2.9 tonnes is on par with most of its other rivals size-wise.
Getting this all up running is a 2.3-litre intercooled twin-turbo diesel engine that can deliver 140kW power and 450Nm torque. A sixspeed manual transmission standard, but I drove the optional seven-speed automatic.
It would have been a nice drive to memory lane to be working stick shift again, truth is an automatic is more suitable for 95 per cent of what the Navara will delivering.
In any case there the option