Navara’s Niceties

The trip to Perth was to show­case the Nis­san Navara, which seemed odd, given that Navara had al­ready had its up­grades an­nounced ear­lier.

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It turned out the Aus­tralians – far out­num­ber­ing the Kiwi mo­tor not­ers – were be­ing in­tro­duced to the lim­ited edi­tion Navara 4x4 Sl-based Sil­ver­line and ST Black Edi­tion, while the Kiwi con­tin­gent ex­plored Perth to the Mar­garet River re­gion in ST-X mod­els. What’s this? Trans-tas­man ri­valry? A dose of Aus­tralian “you can’t have it, cob­bers,” creep­ing in? No, not re­ally. There are only 900 Sil­ver­lines and 900 Black Edi­tions be­ing built and those are des­tined for the Aus­tralian mar­ket. You see, last year, Nis­san Aus­tralia got kind of swamped when it pro­duced a lim­ited-edi­tion ST-X N-sport re­lease, so they de­cided to do it again. There is a pos­si­bil­ity that New Zealand could take up some of the lim­ited-edi­tion mod­els, but if not, Nis­san New Zealand’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor John Man­ley ex­plained that if New Zealand felt the need to fol­low in Aus­tralia’s tyre tracks, it could pro­duce a Black Edi­tion or some­thing very close to it. That be­ing the case, what makes up a Black Edi­tion? It starts with an ST model and adds black 18-inch al­loy wheels with dealer fit­ted all-ter­rain tyres, black sports bar, black wheel arch flares and black nudge bar. In ad­di­tion, the Black Edi­tion fea­tures LED light bar, soft ton­neau cover, pro­tec­tive tubliner with black front grille, black mir­ror caps. black fog lamp sur­rounds, smoked bon­net pro­tec­tor, mo­bile phone holder and black body de­cals. For the Sl-based Sil­ver­line, 16-inch al­loy wheels re­place stan­dard steel wheels, while the ute gains a pol­ished sports bar, mo­bile phone holder and a ‘Sil­ver­line’ tail­gate badge. The ST Black Edi­tion has a seven-inch colour touch­screen with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and a leather ac­cented steer­ing wheel, while the Sil­ver­line has a five-inch dis­play. Both are fit­ted with a rear-view cam­era built within the au­dio dis­play plus an au­to­matic dim­ming rear-view mir­ror, elec­tronic rear dif­fer­en­tial lock, pri­vacy glass, LED head­lights and day­time run­ning lamps, Blue­tooth and cruise con­trol as stan­dard. So the Black Edi­tion thing is largely cos­metic, which is fine. But for some rea­son Nis­san Aus­tralia thought it a good idea to go prowl­ing through all sorts of off-road ter­rain with th­ese ‘dressed’ trucks. Given some of the rutty tracks we went through, I per­son­ally, was glad I didn’t have all the trap­pings of the Black Edi­tion to scrape or re­design with trees, rocks or deeper than they looked creek cross­ings. As it hap­pened, I think we lucked out any­way – the ST-X prov­ing that Nis­san does know how to build a rough ‘n tum­ble work­horse and have it lux­u­ri­ously com­fort­able at the same time. The new Navara spe­cial edi­tion fea­ture a 2.3-litre in­ter­cooled twin-turbo diesel en­gine that boasts 140kw of power and 450Nm of torque. On this launch, those en­gines and the Navara’s abil­i­ties both off and on-road were eas­ily demon­stra­ble in Western Aus­tralia. I couldn’t speak to the Black Edi­tion mod­els, but the ST-X Navara showed very high lev­els of ride so­phis­ti­ca­tion, the re­sult of the Nis­san Navara’s 5-link sus­pen­sion grades re­ceive ride and han­dling. Th­ese en­hance­ments have been made with load­ing and tow­ing in mind. Tech­ni­cally, the Navara has adopted a dual-rate rear spring sys­tem, with the lower spring rates first stage pro­vid­ing a com­fort­able ride in un­laden and light pay­load con­di­tions. The higher spring rate’s sec­ond stage al­lows higher pay­load to be car­ried with­out com­pro­mise in pos­ture or ride and han­dling qual­ity. The high rid­ing rear pos­ture im­proves han­dling while tow­ing and speak­ing of things be­hind the Navara, the 2018 model year sees an Around View® Mon­i­tor has been fit­ted within the 7-inch in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem on top-of-the-range ST-X Dual Cab and King Cab grades. Four mounted cam­eras help driv­ers no­tice peo­ple and cars sur­round­ing and ap­proach­ing the ve­hi­cle, im­prov­ing safety. Sup­port­ing this tech­nol­ogy is the rear-view Cam­era, which is now of­fered as stan­dard equip­ment on even more vari­ants in the Navara range. Do we need a Black Edi­tion a’la the Aussie mar­ket, where it be­comes an ad­di­tional el­e­ment of the Navara fleet range, or are we hap­pier to run with the stan­dard fare and bling it up as we like? Whichever, the launch demon­strated that Nis­san does, if noth­ing else, pro­duce a sen­si­ble, ca­pa­ble and well thought out ute which should not be ig­nored.

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