It’s here for the long haul

Cockburn Gazette - - DRIVEWAY -

THIRD time’s the charm.

This is Nis­san’s third at­tempt at tun­ing the sus­pen­sion on the Navara and it im­proves the pre­vi­ous ver­sion’s de­cent man­ners when un­loaded while fix­ing the frus­tra­tion of the rear squat­ting and the nose point­ing sky­wards when there’s more than 500kg in the tray.

Nis­san per­sists with coil springs in the rear against the leaf springs fit­ted to its op­po­si­tion and this time the Navara sits 25mm higher at the back with­out cargo and the tray drops by 40mm less when loaded up. The Navara will pull up to 3500kg and has a 970kg pay­load.

At the mo­ment the Navara ST four-wheel drive dual-cab with sev­en­speed au­to­matic can be had for $47,490 on the road for ABN hold­ers. That’s a cou­ple of grand more than in Au­gust but deal comes with zero fi­nance.

The three year/ 100,000km war­ranty is av­er­age but ser­vic­ing in­ter­vals are good at 12 months/20,000km and the first three capped vis­its will cost $1832 (auto) or $1852 (man­ual).

The Navara posted an AN­CAP score of 35.01/37 when it was crash-tested in 2015. Rugged construction and the ride height means it usu­ally comes out on top in a crash and seven airbags will de­ploy if things go hor­ri­bly wrong.

There is no op­tional ac­tive safety sen­sors/soft­ware in this ver­sion of the Navara. Even­tu­ally all pick-ups will get the tech; all new cars launched in Aus­tralia from this year need it to earn five stars.

The out­side rear seats have Isofix mounts.

The Navara looks and feels like a prac­ti­cal wagon. Given that the seg­ment is now the de facto fam­ily car pool, ex­pect the next ver­sion to pay more at­ten­tion to the qual­ity of the in­te­rior, from plas­tics to heated seats.

The ST uses a sev­eninch touch­screen, has ded­i­cated sat­nav but lacks smart­phone mir­ror­ing.

De­fault gear ex­tends to leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel, al­loy sports bar with stop light and 16-inch al­loy wheels.

Dual-rate springs on the rear make the Navara a marginally bet­ter ride on ur­ban roads. The big changes come with a load in the tray and mean the Navara can now re­al­is­ti­cally achieve its rated pay­load with­out hav­ing the tray touch base with the bump stops.

The steer­ing rack has also been tuned to take fewer turns from lock to lock, though the turn­ing cir­cle it­self is un­changed at 12.4m.

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