Produced in 1935, the revolutionary Datsun 14 Pickup entered the world thanks Nissan. Fast forward to today and Nissan have become a market leader when it comes to bakkies, especially those that utilise a 5-link coil spring rear suspension. Continuing the famous legacy of the Navara, the brand has now introduced an all-new, locally produced redesign. Created to meet the lifestyle needs of customers, this vehicle promises to be both tough and stylish. With increased ruggedness, safety and comfort, the new Nissan Navara offers a unique driving experience that allows for adventure while still paying attention to durability, versatility and comfort.
On The Road
Being behind the wheel of this Navara changed my perception of a bakkie. Fitted with a new 2.5-litre turbo diesel engine and a 7-speed automatic transmission, this rather quiet vehicle does not hang onto gears. The Navara averaged around 9.7l/100km during my driving experience on both urban roads and highways, although the claimed average is 8.1l/100km. The use of coil spring rear suspension softens the ride compared to other bakkies. The Navara is clearly made for both urban and off-road driving as the Hill Descent Control automatically adjusts your speed and brake pressure to help with steep terrains. As a whole, the driving experience was highly enjoyable and proved to be both powerful and smooth.
On The Inside
The Navara’s interior is fairly simple, however, there are a variety of connectivity options thanks to the infotainment system and USB ports. For those that wish to connect to the vehicle with their phone, the NissanConnect 8” touchscreen display includes both Android Auto and Apple Carplay. In terms of comfort, the leather seats certainly feel luxurious. The steering wheel is also covered in leather, but the rest of the cabin features a variety of plastic finishes.
For those who choose a PRO variant, there are a few extra safety components added.
- Intelligent Emergency Braking
- Blind Spot Warning
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- 360-Degree Camera System
When it comes to space, the Navara has an increased load tub capacity of 100kg which totals to 1 003kg for the LE and PRO double-cab 4x4 automatic variants and 1 086kg for the 4x2 automatic variant. The towing capacity is equal to its rivals (750kg unbraked and 3 500kg braked).
- Intelligent Around View Monitor
- Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure Warning
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- NissanConnect with 8" touch-screen display
- Payload: 1 086kg
Our Final Thoughts
The Navara is definitely a game changer when it comes to suspension, however, there are two small points I would have liked to have seen addressed.
- I would have liked to see a soft touch dashboard with the same leather finish as the seats and steering.
- The passenger seat should have been electric like the driver’s seat.
Despite these minor issues, I was certainly impressed with the bakkie. The fuel economy was reasonable for a large vehicle and the comfortable drive was a huge plus. Nissan have once again designed a fantastic bakkie, although it could have been even better with a few tweaks.