Navara N-Trek Warrior lifts its game
Nissan’s Navara N-Trek Warrior runs high, wide and handsome, writes Colin Smith.
You’ve seen the Ford Ranger Raptor and the Coloradobased HSV SportsCat (the final units of which remain on sale in New Zealand). The wideflared and lifted N-Trek Warrior is the Nissan Navara equivalent, with another set of Aussie-engineered off-road credentials and exterior upgrades.
So, N-Trek Warrior is Nissan’s rip-off of the Ford Ranger Raptor?
Yes and no. It competes in the same muscled-up ute niche but the route to achieving it is different.
More like the SportsCat, the Warrior starts life as a Thai-built double cab and gets shipped to Australia (to Premcar in Victoria) for modification before taking another boat trip to New Zealand. Raptor’s upgrade is built-in at the factory.
Is it really much more than a dressed up Navara ST-X at a premium price?
Yes, and if tough terrain is part of the job description the beefed-up suspension, increased ground clearance, chunky all-terrain tyres, enhanced approach and departure angles and under body protection are ready to go to work.
But there is another benefit found out on the highway where the N-Trek Warrior is far from compromised by its off-road capability.
Actually, it’s improved with suspension upgrades that bring a controlled and comfortable ride at open road pace and makes the Warrior among the most settled of unladen utes when mid-corner corrugations are encountered.
Changes to the suspension include longer springs and larger diameter dampers with Warriorspecific valving. That provides a 15mm lift above standard and the move to larger 32.2-inch all terrain tyres adds another 25mm for a total lift of 40mm.
The Warrior sits on the road with an assured feel and the meaty 275/70 R17 Cooper Discovery ATR tyres seem noticeably quieter on chip seal surfaces than the B F Goodrich tyres on the Ranger Raptor.
The No 1 achievement of the N-Trek Warrior is the suspension tune and on-road refinement.
It looks really tough – I bet there’s some big grunt under the bonnet?
No. Just like the Raptor and SportsCat, the N-Trek Warrior retains the standard diesel powertrain.
The Navara’s 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel makes good power but sometimes seems to be working hard to do that.
The seven-speed automatic transmission shifts with pleasing refinement and has close ratios that keep the engine working in its torque band. There’s 140kW output at 3750rpm and 450Nm of torque from 1500-2500rpm.
Also unchanged is the
7.0L/100km combined cycle consumption figure but it seems an optimistic number when the Warrior is sitting up higher in the airstream on bigger tyres. I saw a best of 8.8L/100km and my road test averaged 9.2L/100km. Late last year I averaged 7.9L/100km in a standard height Navara ST-X.
What will the N-Trek Warrior tow?
Here’s more good news. Choosing a Ranger Raptor means compromising on the tow rating – settling for 2500kg when other Ranger models are rated at 3500kg.
The N-Trek Warrior hauls a fullfreight 3.5-tonnes just like its stablemates.
The tow bar is specific to the
Warrior to compensate for the raised ground clearance and accommodate the larger spare tyre.
How much is it just like a Navara ST-X?
In terms of equipment, the N-Trek Warrior is based on the ST-X Special Edition with the improvements made to Navara last year, including the new 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The spec highlights include dual-zone climate control, twostage heated front seats, an eightway power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar adjuster, leather/cloth combo seat trim with orange stitch highlights, and satellite navigation.
The reverse camera and topdown camera view are invaluable in tight spots.
The front seat headrests provide a point of difference with N-Trek Warrior embroidery.
If there’s a disappointment with the Warrior it’s that no work has been done to improve seat bolster and shoulder support and the steering wheel has only a small amount of rake adjustment.
Additionally, I can’t think of many vehicles other than high-end luxury models with LED lights that light up a dark winter night like the Warrior.
Sitting in the middle of that unique bumper is a 470mm wide, 16-element LED light bar that throws illumination a long way
down the highway. An odd thing however is the switch added to the lower dash that brings the system
into play is the only one that isn’t illuminated – making it hard to find in the dark.
Any other utes to consider?
The ranks of original equipment manufacturer produced premiumspec utes with off-road performance upgrades have numbered the HSV SportsCat and the Ford Ranger Raptor. But there’s plenty of scope to create something of your own from any double cab 4x4 start point and aftermarket accessories.
The look and lighting will be the easy part.
Getting an extra-high-riding ute to cope as effectively over corrugated surfaces and duplicate the Warrior’s well-controlled and comfortable highway ride quality is the result of expert engineering rather than a dive into an accessory catalogue.
This might look nice but it does not offer much in the way of seat bolster and shoulder support.
The Warrior is among the most settled of unladen utes when mid-corner corrugations are encountered.
There’s not much more you can ask for on the N-Trek Warrior. All the boxes are already ticked.
It’s not quite a Ranger Raptor fighter, more like a SportsCat brawler.
The N-Trek Warrior retains the standard diesel powertrain.