4 x 4 Australia
BACK IN THE ’BURBS
OUR WARRIOR HAS BEEN DOING UTE STUFF BACK IN THE SUBURBS
FROM sandy beaches up north to snowy mountains in the southeast, it’s been fun searching out different terrain for our Navara PRO-4X Warrior to take on, but this past month it has been in town on commuter duty.
While long hours on the highway and days on off-road tracks really give you an appreciation of what a car is like to live with and how it performs particular tasks, it’s really when you are back home and living the everyday grind that you start to appreciate the nuances of any vehicle. And as with any vehicle, the Warrior has features we love and loathe.
Every time I get in the Warrior after driving something else and I press the clutch in and start changing gears, it makes me smile. There’s something about driving a car with a manual gearbox that floats my boat, as it gives me a better connection with the car and the drive is more engaging.
I know manuals aren’t for everyone, but I like them and I give massive kudos to Nissan for giving us the choice in this halo model. Driving the manual Warrior around town is never a chore, as the clutch action is light and the gear shift easy to navigate. It’s just as simple on the highways and off road.
Something I haven’t enjoyed so much since being back in Melbourne in winter is the lack of seat heaters in a $70K halo model variant. Yeah, I know, I’m soft, and I don’t expect such comforts in every car, but as the top-spec model and with leather seats, I’d expect seat heaters in the Warrior. Add in the fact that the car’s heater seems to take a long time to warm up, and the missing seat heaters are even more noticeable.
I said at the beginning of this loan period that the Navara has a strange seating position, but it’s one you soon get accustomed to. I was reminded again of this after a couple of weeks driving the Grand Cherokee L, and getting back in the Warrior felt odd. The seat squab is relatively flat and high and there is no reach adjustment for the steering column to get it just right for my size. A few days behind the wheel, though, and all feels normal again.
The Warrior has actually done some ute work while back in town, being used to pick up a set of wheels and tyres and haul push bikes in the tray on a few occasions. The Navara is well-equipped to carry loads in the tray, with four sturdy tie-down loops positioned low in each corner of the tub and the adjustable Utili-tracks running lengthways along the upper
sides of the tub. There’s also the plastic tub liner fitted to the car as part of the Warrior package, which protects the painted metal tray from scratches and damage.
Another Warrior-specific addition to the Navara that hinders your ability to make best use of those cargo tie-down points is the so-called sports bar at the front of the tub. Nissan isn’t the only offender here, as these style-over-substance add-ons find their way in to the back of many upper-spec utes. The sports bar prevents the user from leaning over the side of the tray to access the front tie-down loops when you need to connect and disconnect them, which is an unnecessary pain in the butt when you need to secure cargo in the tub.
As much as we would like it to be, life’s not always about hitting the highway and getting out of town; so, thankfully, the PRO-4X Warrior is just as easy to live with in the suburbs as it is in the bush.
After four months of driving it around, I still get comments from others saying how good the Warrior looks in its Stealth Grey with black wheels and accessories. And I’m happy to say the Warrior continues to prove that it has the performance to match its appearance.