THE spotlight was firmly on the updated Ford Ranger at last month’s Bangkok motor show but a humble ute on the Nissan stand is also worthy of attention.
It is the single-cab version of the Nissan D23 Navara. Nissan has already previewed the dual-cab NP300, which arrives in Australia late next month.
But no such fuss has been made of the single-cab lowriding D23, which will play a crucial role in Australia when it gets here about September.
Until now, Nissan has sold two Navaras, the cheap and simple previous generation D22 and the more advanced current generation D40.
Nissan has stopped making both and now will build only the new generation D23.
So, there will be no more cheap last generation models this time.
Nissan Australia says the D22 was popular. “It developed a real cult following, especially with farmers who appreciated the simplicity,” says spokesman Peter Fadeyev.
The D23 single-cab, sitting in the shadows at the edge of Nissan’s Bangkok stand, will have to cover for it.
Fadeyev says Nissan hopes to coax rusted-on D22 owners into the more modern Navara but won’t comment on whether it can match the former’s sharp pricing, starting from $24,490.
New dual-cab Navaras will incorporate a coil-spring rear end, for improved occupant comfort, but the workhorse models will keep leaf springs.
Australian Navaras will run a new 2.3-litre diesel with one turbo or two. A petrol 2.5-litre four-cylinder also will be available.
The single-cab’s cockpit is modern and there is a long steel tray with built-in footboards and tie-down points.