Yet another offering has been added to the super-competitive double cab bakkie market, which has seen almost all makes refresh their ranges recently.
The new Nissan Navara is now available locally in a range comprising three double-cab models, with a mix of mid- or high-specification.
All models will be powered by the new 140kW YS23DDT twin-turbo diesel engine, with the choice of a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. The technological highlight of the Navara is the coil spring fivelink rear suspension fitted to its ladder-frame chassis.
Although the workhorse models that follow will be fitted with the more rugged traditional leaf springs, Nissan have acknowledged the more leisure-oriented double-cab market in opting for what they have. The more expensive-to-produce multi-link systems are superior in terms of ride and handling, and this is clear in the new models.
In line with this philosophy, the Navara’s SUV-features are seen in the full LED-headlights with boomerang-style LED daytime running lights, across the range.
The High-grade also features LED turn indicators in the chromed side-mirrors. Viewed in profile, Nissan’s designers have created a unique sporty stance by mixing convex and concave folds above the oversized fenders and across the doors.
The B-pillar has been blacked out and the roof has been lowered by 20mm to further strengthen the design and aid aerodynamic efficiency. Also visible from the side view are the rear privacy glass, side steps and 16-inch alloy wheels on the Mid-grade and 18-inch alloy wheels with striking diamond cutfinish on the High-grade.
The rear view reveals bold new rear lights and a high-mounted stop light and integrated aerodynamic lip on the tailgate. Almost every functional aspect of the Navara has been improved in the all-new model.
The load bay on double-cab versions has been stretched by 67mm to 1 503mm and made deeper by 18mm, resulting in a capacity of 1 061 litres. The new Navara can carry up to 1 002kg, depending on specification level, and may legally tow a braked trailer of up to 3 500kg, but despite its 450Nm, I believe this would be a big ask of the 2 298cc engine.
The trend toward smaller capacity engines has its downside, and there is a lot of choice out there. So, if heavy towing is a requirement, explore this aspect carefully. The Navara has a 229mm ground clearance, but the new raised suspension setup and smart design have allowed for a 3-degree improvement in the approach (33.0o), ramp-over (25.2o) and departure angles (27.9o).
The suspension and drivetrain setup also means the new Navara has a lateral tilt angle of up to 50o.
The fully-boxed ladder-frame chassis has been reinforced with high-strength steel. The use of new types of steel and improvements in design and manufacturing have resulted in a massive 176kg weight reduction over the previous generation Navara.
While weight was reduced in the engine bay, cabin and elsewhere, the major reduction can be found in the upper body section and chassis, which together account for 77kg of the overall weight reduction.
Nissan’s four-wheel drive system combines a transfer case with a host of electronic aids. The mechanical transfer case, which selects four-wheel drive and low-range, is operated by a turnknob inside the cabin and can be switched between two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive (High) at up to 100km/h.
In four-wheel drive mode, either High or Low, the new Navara will engage its new Active Brake Limited Slip Differential system (ABLS). This electronic system actively manages power delivery and wheel braking between the front and rear axles and between the left and right side of the vehicle, depending on traction and speed.
The ABLS system works in conjunction with the Vehicle Dynamic Control system (VDC) and ABS-brakes to ensure sure-footedness both on and off the road.
The high-spec models also add Hill-start Assist (HSA) and Hill Descent Control (HDC) as standard features, and they, too, are connected to the ABLS system when present. Behind the steering wheel, the driver is welcomed by a brandnew cockpit design. The design centres on the touchscreen infotainment and navigation system that is standard equipment across the range.
The on-board Navigation system with 3D mapping and live traffic updates, includes radio – with up to 30 pre-set radio stations, video in DVD/VCD/CD/MP3 or MPEG4 format, USB connectivity and Bluetooth with audio streaming – all operated from the steering wheel.
A secondary Drive Assist Display is mounted in the instrument cluster and allows the driver to view most information and control a host of functions without removing their hands off the multi-function steering wheel.
The host of standard luxuries include automatic headlights, air conditioning, cruise control, three 12V sockets in the cabin, an automatic dimming rear view mirror and seven airbags. High-grade models also add features such as dual zone climate control and keyless entry with a Start/Stop button.
The new Navara is offered with Nissan’s comprehensive Nissan Assured Warranty and service plan as standard.
Nissan introduced its new comprehensive warranty programme toward the end of last year and has made it one of the most inclusive and easy to understand mechanical warranties on the market.
On the new Navara, the Nissan warranty includes a mechanical warranty for six years or 150 000km and a three-year/90 000km service plan.
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDTT 4×4 SE Double Cab MT R514 900
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDTT 4×4 LE Double Cab –MT R565 900
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDT 4×4 LE Double Cab AT R597 900