Aussie flavour

Nis­sanNavara takes cues from home

Albany Extra - - Motoring Liftout Rev - Derek Og­den

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.

Pic­tures: Mitchell Oke

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.

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