Navara cov­ers all the bases

In­te­rior adds to more Suv-than-bakkie feel

Saturday Star - - LIFESTYLE -

WILLEM VAN DE PUTTE

NOT ev­ery­one needs or wants a 4x4 dou­ble cab, strange as that may seem to some. I know, I was one of those who couldn’t quite un­der­stand it ei­ther un­til I had a chat with a col­league who told me about his fa­ther who couldn’t be less in­ter­ested in hav­ing trans­fer cases and dif­fer­ent set­tings to go to so-called hard-to-get-to places.

He towed a car­a­van, loved fish­ing, used the load bay for cart­ing things around and needed the ex­tra seats to take his grand­chil­dren on hol­i­day. His view was sim­ply that his bakkie had taken him ev­ery­where he wanted to go and he had never re­turned won­der­ing whether they would have had more fun had he been in a 4x4.

It makes per­fect sense. There are al­ways those that have all the mod­i­fi­ca­tions needed to get to the top of Mount Ever­est but don’t ven­ture be­yond reg­u­lar game park dirt roads, or the Sand­ton kerb­stones. But that’s a story for an­other ar­ti­cle. Al­most every man­u­fac­turer in this seg­ment has a stan­dard 4x2 op­tion and, in Nis­san’s case, the Navara fits in nicely as a premium dou­ble cab that cov­ers all the bases my col­league’s fa­ther needed.

The one that ar­rived at the of­fice was good-look­ing to boot in shim­mer­ing black, rounded off with al­loy wheels. Pow­ered by a 2.3 diesel power plant push­ing out 140kw and 450Nm, the one on test was fit­ted with a sixspeed man­ual gear­box but there’s also the op­tion of a seven-speed auto.

Power trans­fer is silky smooth and on closer in­spec­tion it made sense given that it has two tur­bos; a smaller high-pres­sure one and a larger low-pres­sure so that you have al­most no turbo lag and a con­tin­u­ous flow of power through­out the rev range.

It made driv­ing the Navara a plea­sure and I couldn’t help com­par­ing it to a well-specced sedan or hatch­back.

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