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First Drive: Nissan Navara

By / 2 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

SECTOR Pick-up   PRICE £18,376–£24,293   FUEL 40.3–44.9mpg   CO2 169–183g/km

This is going to be a big year for pick-ups, with updated models and three new manufacturers joining the sector. Double cab models in particular have become increasingly popular again, with Nissan expecting a UK market of around 45,000 pick-ups this year.

Nissan is the second of the major manufacturers to show its hand, following the launch of the fifth generation Mitsubishi L200 last summer. Nissan’s new NV300 Navara has already scooped International Pick-up of the Year for 2016 and the firm reports that expected sales volume for the first three months of this year had already been placed in the first month on sale.

Nissan has dropped the previous 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and its range-topping 3.0-litre V6, in favour of two versions of the 2.3-litre motor found in the firm’s NV400 van. A single turbo version with 160hp and a hefty 403Nm of torque is available in the two lower trim levels of, Visia and Acenta.

Opt for Acenta+, N-Connecta or the range-topping Tekna trim, as more than 90% of buyers will, and you automatically get a twin-turbo version delivering 190hp and 450Nm of torque. Both engines come with two-year/18,000 mile service intervals.

Nissan claims up to a 24% improvement in fuel consumption is possible, with a class-leading 44.9mpg and emissions as low as 167g/km. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard with both engines, while the 190hp motor can also be had with a seven-speed automatic transmission, for an additional £1,417. In the higher trim levels, Nissan is predicting that up to 50% of UK buyers will opt for the automatic transmission.

The base-model Visia truck can be ordered in two-wheel drive, though it rides at the same height as the 4×4. All other Navaras are 4×4-only, with a rear diff lock available for £417.

But the big news is below the body, where all double cab models now come with a five-link, coil sprung rear suspension set-up. This greatly improves the ride comfort and road holding, particularly when unladen.

As well as regular King and Double cab models, Navara will be offered in chassis cab form, with either cab. This will allow customers to fit dedicated bodies and equipment such as access platforms.

Navara retains a payload of over 1-tonne and a 3.5-tonne towing ability, while combined towing and carrying capacity has been improved by 200kg.

All trim levels are well equipped, with even the Visia models getting the five-link suspension and Forward Emergency Braking on Double cab models, manual air-con, Bluetooth, USB/Aux inputs, Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist, plus cruise control.

Move up through the trim levels and technology and luxury increases, with the Tekna model equipped with Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which provides a bird’s eye view of the vehicle for parking and slow speed off-roading.

With a claimed 5% improvement in residual values, reduced ownership costs and Nissan’s five-year/100,000 mile LCV warranty, it’s little wonder that Navara has made such a strong start.

What we think

Improved engines, coil-sprung rear suspension and reduced ownership costs are a winning combination.

Related Post

First Drive: Nissan Navara

By / 2 years ago / Road Tests / No Comments

SECTOR Pick-up   PRICE £18,376–£24,293   FUEL 40.3–44.9mpg   CO2 169–183g/km

Nissan’s NP300 Navara pick-up boasts cleaner, more efficient engines, five-link rear coil suspension, a host of car technologies and the firm’s recently announced five-year/100,000 mile warranty.

The truck will be offered in King Cab and Double Cab models, with the lower specification King Cab available in both two and four-wheel drive. Two-wheel drive models look just like the 4WD variants, but with no drive to the front axle.

For the first time, Navara will also be offered as a chassis cab, in both King and Double variants, allowing customers to fit a range of specialist bodies and conversions.

Nissan has replaced the previous 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre engines with two versions of the Nissan Renault Alliance 2.3-litre dCi. King Cab models use a single turbo version delivering 160hp and 403Nm of torque. Double Cabs are powered by either the 160hp engine or a twin turbo version, pushing out 190hp and a hefty 450Nm of torque.

That’s enough pulling power to replace the previous 3.0-litre V6 engine, while the 190hp motor is said to be up to 24% more economical than the previous 2.5-litre model. Combined fuel figures across the range are 40.3-44.4mpg, while CO2 emissions take a similar drop, to 167-189g/km.

Both engines drive through a six-speed manual gearbox, while a seven-speed automatic transmission remains a £1,417 option on the higher-powered motor. It has to be said, that the combination of the 190hp engine and auto box make for the more relaxing drive if you can stretch to it, with little additional running cost at the fuel pump.

The relaxing ride is helped by the adoption of a five-link coil spring rear suspension on all Double Cab models, the King Cabs retain leaf springs, though like the coil set-up they are lighter than before. There is no downside in terms of load hauling ability, as Navara continues to offer more than 1-tonne of payload for VAT recovery. More importantly, the truck can now tow up to 3.5 tonnes, equalling market leaders Ford and Isuzu.

Navara gets Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and Cruise Control, plus Forward Emergency Braking as standard on Double Cab models. Higher trim levels can also be had with Around View Monitor, which delivers a 360 degree view of the truck on the touchscreen monitor in the dash. As well as making it easier to park the truck in congested urban roads, AVW can also be used in tricky off-road situations, to avoid rocks and tree routes.

There are five trim levels for the UK, though only the lower two can be ordered with the King Cab, which is expected to account for just 5% of UK sales. All Double Cabs get seven airbags, an electronic limited slip differential, air conditioning, Bluetooth, daytime running lights and powered windows. Higher trim levels borrow heavily from Nissan’s rapidly expanding crossover range, with a host of technologies in the cab, such as the NissanConnect seven-inch touchscreen navigation system, DAB, a colour reversing camera and LED headlights.

What we think

Distinctive styling, improved engines and five-link rear suspension transform Navara, putting it at the forefront of the sector.

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Katie Beck

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