Navara covers all the bases
Interior adds to more Suv-than-bakkie feel
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.