Latest Navara a strong follow-up
There is nothing quite like a Japanese pick-up truck. Take the Nissan Navara, for example.
Well, actually, the Navara may be the product of a Japanese automobile maker, but the Nissan’s roots are firmly anchored in Thailand. It was even conceived in, and is built in that country.
The light commercial vehicle accounts for 57.6 per cent of Nissan’s exports from Thailand, being shipped to 105 destinations around the world. Since its release in 2015, the one-tonne ute has become the most popular Nissan model in Australia, where it has notched up 27,000 sales.
With the recent launch of the Series 2 version, the tough, versatile vehicle is marked out to follow the Navara’s telling track.
The Series 2 Navara takes on a new dual-cab model, the SL fourwheel-drive, on top of the present RX, ST and ST-X variants. Intended as a workhorse, sitting between the RX and ST, the new grade adds the 140kW/450Nm twin-turbo diesel engine, wide body and wide steel wheels with 225/70R16 7J tyres, rear-view camera, LED headlights and daytime running lights and interior vinyl floor.
The test vehicle was the Navara ST 4x4 Dual Cab 2.3 diesel automatic, which comes to market at $49,490, plus on-road costs.
This is just $1000 up on the previous model, with the standard addition of satellite navigation.
A melding of Nissan pick-up heritage and modern design sees the company’s signature V-motion motif flowing from the grille into the bonnet through to the front guard and on to the tailgate incorporating the Nissan badge.
Compared to the previous Navara D40 model, improved aerodynamics aid efficiency.
The ST rolls on 16-inch alloy wheels, and like all new Navaras, carries a full-size spare wheel and tyre. An alloy sports bar with integrated high mounted brake light and front fog lights are standard, as are side steps for easier cabin entry and exit. Inside, adjustments have been made to instrument shapes and positioning.
Seat angle now combines to create a wider, higher and more spacious effect. Design and position of the door mirror and A-pillar provide improved visibility.
Spinal support in the front reduce fatigue during long drives by distributing body pressure on the seating surface through the middle section in the folding seat back to promote a neutral posture.
In the rear seat, there is optimum division of knee room and body angle as well as ample head room.
The focus of the cabin is a 7.0inch integrated colour display with touch screen, which incorporates satellite navigation with 3D mapping. A USB and auxiliary port in the centre console lower storage area is easy to reach.
An Advanced Drive Assist Display provides multiple screen options in the centre of the dashboard, between the tachometer and speedometer dials and include fuel economy, distance to empty, audio information and navigation directions.
Bluetooth phone and audio streaming are included, while NissanConnect smartphone integration allows use of apps.
The ST features a twin-turbo 2.3litre four-cylinder diesel unit producing 140kW of power at 3750rpm, with 450Nm of torque available in the rev range of 1500 to 2500. The test vehicle’s seven-speed automatic transmission enjoys an expanded range of gear ratios, giving a wider range of speeds along with smooth acceleration and shift changes. Fuel consumption is aided by idle neutral control, as well a damper torque converter, which enables low-rev lockup without impinging on NVH.
The shift-on-the-fly 4WD system lets the driver switch between 2H and 4H at the turn of a switch at speeds of up to 100 km/h.
All five seats in dual cab models have three-point emergency locking retractor seatbelts. The front seatbelts also have load limiters and pre-tensioners and height adjustment. A stand-out feature is a driver’s side knee airbag.
The energy absorbing bonnet is designed to minimise pedestrian injury. A reverse camera is standard. 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 are included.
Crumple zones in the body minimise occupant injury in the case of an accident, as do sideimpact door beam and automatic fuel valve cut-off in a rollover.
The revised suspension makes for a smoother ride on the road under varying loads. A fully-boxed ladder frame design gives the ability to withstand hard work day after day, and high-tensile strength steel in strategic areas that enables it to handle roads with a lateral tilt of 32 degrees.
The Navara Series 2 Dual Cab puts the working man, or woman, on a higher plane than previous models with nice touches of convenience and comfort, while making room for family members to share in the pleasing driving experience.
The Nissan Navara Series 2 dual cab takes the utility up a notch in ownership.
The revised suspension makes for a smoother ride.