NissanNavara takes cues from home
While not the biggest market in the world, Australia is seen as a trendsetter in sports utility vehicle performance development globally.
So when the Nissan local team went to the marque’s headquarters with a request to upgrade the Navara ute, bosses were all ears.
The result is the MY18 Nissan Navara, which was tried and tested extensively in, and exclusively for, conditions Down Under by Nissan ute experts from around the world.
Upgrades apply to Dual Cab SL, ST and ST-X variants in the Australasian market.
Particular attention was paid to ride and handling with a new dualrate rear spring system. Also, the steering ratio on Dual Cab SL, ST and ST-X was modified to make the Navara more manoeuvrable.
Three cabin styles are now on offer, including the Single Cab, King Cab and the most popular, the Dual Cab. There are 27 Pick-up and eight Cab Chassis options and 10 4x2 and 25 4x4 variants.
There’s a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission, the latter with a manual mode.
While prices generally remain unchanged, eight of the variants carry increases between $200 and $500, reflecting additional gear that is now standard. Pricing for Single Cab starts at $25,990, King Cabs come from $28,490 and the Dual Cab from $33,490.
On test was a Nissan Navara ST 2.3-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo diesel, seven-speed automatic 4x4, Dual Cab Pickup at $49,690, plus on-road costs.
The Navara received a sportier look without wiping out its Nissan DNA, a balance between its tough truck heritage and modern sports utility vehicle.
This is illustrated by Nissan’s signature V-motion motif flowing via the sculpted bonnet into the front guards, a body-coloured bumper, chrome grille and trapezoidal fog lamps.
Boomerang-shaped lamps and daytime running lights integrate
with a side profile that gives a more premium look to the vehicle profile. The ST Dual Cab carries an aerodynamic spoiler and a high mounted stop light can easily be seen from behind.
Cabin focus in the ST is a 7-inch colour touchscreen, which includes satellite navigation with 3-D mapping. A unique feature is a rear power glass window operated from a switch on the dashboard, offering a long reach into the tub and increased cabin ventilation.
Storage consists of standard size cup holders and flip-up seating. A Bluetooth hands-free phone system is connected via steering wheel controls. Also on tap are Bluetooth audio streaming, cruise control, power windows and airconditioning. Across the range, power is supplied by one of two engines, the most popular being the 2.3-litre four-cylinder intercooled twin-turbo diesel with 140 kW of power at a low 3750 rpm, and 450 Nm of torque between 1500 and 2500 revs. There’s a choice of a sixspeed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission, the latter with manual mode.
The Navara boasts class-leading fuel consumption figures from 6.5L/100km on the combined urban/highway cycle.
On test, the ST came up with 11.4L/100km in town and 5.8L/100km in highway running.
Something to look forward to is that from this month’s production, all Navara SL, ST and ST-X models will feature a digital speedometer included in the instrument cluster, and tie-down hook points have been either increased in number or re-positioned to help secure loads.
The third update of the presentgeneration Navara has put the ute back in the paddock of the best in breed, while the ST Dual Cab should go some way to maintaining its place as the most popular variant with its sub-$50K sticker.
The upgraded Nissan Navara has looks and performance tailored for Down Under.
Cabin focus in the ST is a seven-inch colour touchscreen, which includes satellite navigation with 3-D mapping.