Nis­san’s new Navara has only just ar­rived on our shores and it has al­ready bagged two in­ter­na­tional awards. We hitched a car­a­van and set off to see what the ex­cite­ment is about.

Nis­san’s new Navara has only just ar­rived on our shores and it has al­ready bagged two in­ter­na­tional awards. We hitched a car­a­van and set off to see what the ex­cite­ment is about.

Go! Camp & Drive - - Contents - Text and pho­tos Leon Botha

In the highly com­pet­i­tive dou­ble cab bakkie mar­ket, man­u­fac­tur­ers have to sleep with one eye open to make sure they of­fer cus­tomers a wide va­ri­ety. That in­cludes a wide range of en­gines – from pow­er­ful 2 ℓ diesel en­gines to thirstier and equally pow­er­ful 4 ℓ V6 petrol en­gines. Un­like a decade or so ago, these days diesel en­gines are all the rage. And that’s per­fect for tow­ers, be­cause these en­gines not only have more tow­ing power, they’re also more eco­nom­i­cal. The new Navara has three engine choices, with only one of these avail­able in South Africa: the 2,3 ℓ diesel, which lies be­tween the 2,5 ℓ petrol and the 2,5 ℓ diesel en­gines.

What re­ally mat­ters

Be­cause there’s only one engine choice avail­able, you won’t have sleep­less nights wor­ry­ing about choos­ing the right one. That also ap­plies to the fi­nal drive: All three of the new mod­els are 4x4. The 4x2 mod­els will be avail­able lo­cally by the end of the year. Two of the mod­els have man­ual trans­mis­sions and the top model an au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. You’ll have to cough up more than half a mil­lion for any of the three, but none of them are afraid to tow. In fact, the

If I was in the mar­ket for a dou­ble cab bakkie, I’d def­i­nitely con­sider the new Navara.

tow­ing ca­pac­ity for all three is fixed at 3,5 t. This means you can hitch some of the heav­i­est caravans on the mar­ket. You should, how­ever, look at the tare weight to see exactly how much you’re al­lowed to tow. All three weigh pretty much the same (1 866–1881 kg), which means you can tow most caravans or trail­ers. Nis­san even man­aged to tap more torque out of the 2,3 ℓ engine – bet­ter than other man­u­fac­tur­ers’ slightly big­ger en­gines. The Navara boasts an im­pres­sive 450 Nm, trump­ing the Hilux’s 2.4 GD engine with 50 Nm, and is a full 130 Nm stronger than the Isuzu KB250 D-TEQ. One of the rea­sons for this re­mark­able amount of power is two sep­a­rate yet syn­chro­nised tur­bocharg­ers. Even be­fore the engine starts gain­ing mo­men­tum you have 450 Nm at 1 500 rpm. That means you won’t strug­gle to pull away – not even with a car­a­van on the tow bar. The smaller turbo does its job with high pres­sure and

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