Navara now bet­ter to drive

Southern Telegraph - - Wheels -

Aus­tralia may not be Nis­san’s big­gest ute mar­ket but it is one of its most knowl­edge­able. That is hardly sur­pris­ing given our love af­fair with utes and the re­mark­able fact it leads the pack when it comes to new ve­hi­cle pur­chases.

It’s no se­cret Aus­tralians expect a lot from their utes — work ve­hi­cle and leisure-mo­bile, fam­ily car­rier, week­end war­rior, 4WD-ad­ven­turer, dump hauler.

But we also want a ve­hi­cle with crea­ture com­forts and per­for­mance cred.

Nis­san has up­dated the Navara to iron out sus­pen­sion bug­bears, largely based on Aus­tralian feed­back, and we took the dual-cab ST home to see if they hit the mark.

The Navara keeps its chunky mus­cu­lar style with a no-non­sense nose, bold wheel arches and care­fully sculpted tweaks to add a touch of soft­ness. In­ter­est­ingly, the change to the rear sus­pen­sion is vis­i­ble in the flesh, with the tray of the dual-cab ute sit­ting no­tice­ably higher, rather than dip­ping slightly like the model it re­places.

The in­te­rior tells a fa­mil­iar tale of func­tion and sim­plic­ity, with the Navara fea­tur­ing an un­clut­tered dash, ef­fec­tive in­stru­men­ta­tion and un­com­pli­cated con­trols.

The 7.0-inch colour touch­screen feels a bit on the small side but there are enough stor­age op­tions to keep most peo­ple happy.

There are rea­son­able com­forts for those in the se­cond row too.

It is a touch tighter back there than the ac­com­mo­da­tions in some com­peti­tors and the seat feels slightly shorter but the kids are hardly go­ing to com­plain — they will be too busy play­ing with the slid­ing glass win­dow that gives ac­cess to the tub.

Rear air-vents are a con­sid­er­ate in­clu­sion, while new IsoFix clips in the outer rear seats re­in­forces the fam­ily-friendly brief.

The tray in the ST is long and deep, with the wheel arches not de­tract­ing from its use­ful­ness.

It is as adept at car­ry­ing camp­ing gear and the fam­ily’s bi­cy­cles as it is at haul­ing tools and, yes, those pesky palm fronds, so happy days.

Ton­neau cov­ers (soft and hard) are an op­tional ex­tra but I would def­i­nitely spring for one so at least you can carry stuff with­out it all get­ting rained on.

This Navara has a tow­ing ca­pac­ity of 750kg (un­braked) and 3500kg (braked) with a gross ve­hi­cle weight of 2910kg. The tow­bar kit is an ad­di­tional $1000.

The Navara re­ceived a five-star ANCAP rat­ing in 2015, and in ad­di­tion to seven airbags, trac­tion con­trol and EBD, the 4WD also gets a Redarc brake con­troller for tow­ing and hill­start as­sist.

The up­dated Nis­san Navara.

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