Nis­san Navara on the right track

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Motoring - Derek Og­den

■ With the new dual cab pick-up launched mid-year and a tranche con­sist­ing of king cab, sin­gle cab and dual cab chas­sis to hit the mar­ket by the end of this month, tak­ing to­tal vari­ants to 27, Nis­san could well have ticked all the boxes with its NP300 Navara range.

Al­ready Nis­san’s best-sell­ing ve­hi­cle in Aus­tralia, ac­count­ing for a third of all sales, the Ja­panese com­pany ap­pears de­ter­mined to give the new NP300 Navara ev­ery chance of main­tain­ing its lead.

The pick-up went through more than 40,000 tests and 1 mil­lion kilo­me­tres in real-world con­di­tions, in­clud­ing driv­ing in ru­ral and met­ro­pol­i­tan Aus­tralia.

The NP300 Navara is the best in its seg­ment for diesel fuel econ­omy, cru­cial for light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle buy­ers, and has first in seg­ment fea­tures such as spinal sup­port front seats and LED head­lights.

On test was a Nis­san NP300 Navara ST 4x2 au­to­matic diesel dual cab, which sells for $41,490, plus on­road costs.

It may be only two-wheel drive, but the test ve­hi­cle puts on a bold face like any se­ri­ous off-road four­wheel-drive.

Day­time run­ning lights and chrome win­dow mould­ings cre­ate a pre­mium im­pres­sion, which is con­tin­ued to the rear.

While rub­ber ranges up­wards of 15 inches, the mid-range ST rolls on 16-inch al­loy wheels and car­ries a full-size spare.

In­side, Nis­san claims the high ground in oc­cu­pant com­fort, with spinal sup­port front seats de­signed to re­duced fatigue dur­ing long drives.

In the rear, there is an op­ti­mum bal­ance be­tween knee room and body an­gle, as well as am­ple head room. Back rests are con­toured to of­fer more sup­port than in the pre­vi­ous model.

A rear power-sliding glass win­dow, op­er­ated by a switch on the dash­board, al­lows ac­cess to the tub and in­creased ven­ti­la­tion.

The cen­tre con­sole of­fers con­cealed stor­age and houses rear air vents for sec­ond-row pas­sen­gers. Larger stor­age pock­ets are lo­cated in the driver and pas­sen­ger doors.

Other stor­age in­cludes the glove box, over­head sun­glasses holder and flip-up rear seats with a hid­den area un­derneath. Trays can also be found on the dash top and in the cen­tre con­sole.

Three 12-volt power sock­ets are scat­tered around the cabin, while a fourth, weather-proof, is sit­u­ated in the tub.

Steer­ing wheel con­trols and dash­board dis­plays, in­clud­ing a five-inch colour dis­play, pro­vide sim­ple ac­cess to ve­hi­cle sys­tems. Ad­vanced Drive As­sist Dis­play pro­vides mul­ti­ple screens in the cen­tre of the dash­board, be­tween the tachome­ter and speedome­ter di­als.

ADAD dis­play op­tions in­clude fuel econ­omy, dis­tance to empty, au­dio in­for­ma­tion and nav­i­ga­tion di­rec­tions where sat-nav is avail­able.

All dual-cab grades have a USB and aux­il­iary port in the cen­tre con­sole lower stor­age area for easy, vis­i­ble ac­cess.

Blue­tooth phone and au­dio stream­ing are in­cluded on all grades. Nis­sanCon­nect smart­phone in­te­gra­tion fea­tures on the ST and ST-X, al­low­ing use of Face­book, Google Search and Pan­dora.

The test ve­hi­cle had the ben­e­fit of a twin-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylin­der dou­ble-over­head camshaft diesel en­gine putting out 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque, peak­ing be­tween 1500 and 2500 rpm.

The two-stage tur­bocharger, in­jec­tor sys­tem, ther­mal man­age­ment sys­tem and elec­tri­cal vari­able dis­place­ment oil pump mated to the seven-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion make for a claimed 6.8 litres per 100km in the com­bined ur­ban/high­way cy­cle.

All dual cab pick-up grades fea­ture ven­ti­lated disc front brakes, rear drum brakes, in­de­pen­dent dou­ble wish­bone front sus­pen­sion with front sta­biliser bar, five-link rear sus­pen­sion with shock ab­sorber and power steer­ing.

Braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity on all diesel grades is 3500kg, an im­por­tant fea­ture in this seg­ment, while turn­ing cir­cle has been im­proved over its pre­de­ces­sor from 13.4m to 12.5m.

A driver’s side knee airbag is one of seven among front and rear cur­tain airbags, driver and front pas­sen­ger airbags and side airbags, while on the out­side, the en­er­gyab­sorb­ing bon­net is de­signed to min­imise pedes­trian in­jury. LED head­lights of­fer longer life, save en­ergy and lead to wider and im­proved vis­i­bil­ity.

The ST grade fea­tures LED sig­na­ture day­time run­ning lights and au­to­matic on/off head­lights with twi­light de­tec­tion as stan­dard on dual-cab pick-ups.

An al­loy sports bar with in­te­grated high-mounted brake light and front fog lights are stan­dard on the ST, as are side steps for eas­ier cabin en­try and exit.

New gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cle dy­namic con­trol with brake lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial im­proves per­for­mance and safety.

Anti-lock brak­ing, elec­tronic brake force con­trol, trac­tion con­trol and brake as­sist make up ac­tive safety sys­tems on all dual-cab grades.

The hum of the 2.3-litre diesel mo­tor was non-in­va­sive, be­com­ing harsher only as it was loaded up. Some body roll was ev­i­dent on quicker, tight bends, oth­er­wise the Navara’s ride and han­dling were quite car-like.

Steer­ing and brakes — ven­ti­lated discs up front and drums in the rear — with their ad­vanced backup sys­tems were the soul of ef­fi­ciency on bi­tu­men and han­dled gravel go­ing if treated with re­spect.

Best fuel consumption of six litres per 100km was recorded on the mo­tor­way and up to 13 in stop­start town traf­fic.

Owner peace of mind is backed up by a three-year/100,000km war­ranty, with an op­tional ex­tended war­ranty, and three-year road­side as­sist pro­gram.

Nis­san has man­u­fac­tured strong and de­pend­able pick-ups for more than 80 years, with more than 14 mil­lion sold across 180 coun­tries.

The new NP300 Navara has the chops to re­main on song for the maker.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

Two or four-wheel drive, the Nis­san Navara pick-up has plenty to of­fer.

Steer­ing wheel con­trols and dash­board dis­plays pro­vide sim­ple ac­cess to ve­hi­cle sys­tems.

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