THE new Nissan Navara is a revolution on wheels! A revolution taking the popular bakkie sector in South Africa to a new mighty level. To say the new Navara is a good looking double cab bakkie is an understatement; in fact a hopelessly below par understatement.
Without fear of upsetting other children in this playground, the latest Navara is simply the best looking double cab, something the motoring world is not even sure it was ready for it now or later.
The third-generation Navara issued in South Africa in 2017 did really set tongues wagging with its bulky appearance and yet nimble movement. From its mighty grille, it was clear sign that bigger and better things were coming. But the motoring community did not pay that much attention to the sign because slight cosmetic changes from generation to generation by automakers across the board is what people have been accustomed to.
That’s why we describe the new Navara as a revolution! Even sweeter, the groundbreaking move took place right here in South Africa, at the Nissan factory in Rosslyn, northern Pretoria.
Style is everything with the new Navara, with its bold, powerful and squared-off look. The design for the grille and the entire front is out of this world, making the latest Navara stand tall among its double-cab peers!
The pre-facelift Navara’s twin-turbocharged 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel engine has been replaced by a larger capacity (2.5-litre), but single turbocharged diesel mill. Well, it’s not more powerful than its predecessor but then no many will complain about the power the new Navara gives. It’s a nimble and powerful drive all the way, still pegged at 140 kW and 450 Nm torgue from 2017 edition. But as they say, power is power; when you have it, age should not matter. Or is that different for the beloved bakkies in SA? Once it hits the road, the Navara gives nearly silent run, and smooth ride akin to sports cars. It is this aspect that has clearly combined various motoring use to create the new Navara – a pick-up truck we love calling bakkie in SA, family car, weekend lifestyle vehicle and a car for fun and games, like the sports car on smooth tars.
Speaking road condition, Nissan claims fuel economy of 8.1 L/100 km but that, in reality, can be achieved mostly on flat and smooth roads. On hilly routes and disrupted rides due to potholes, reasonable figures for consumption should be anything between 9.5/100 km and 10.2 L/100 km.
The cabin is clearly upgraded but the Navara’s interior comes a little in ambience stakes. Yes, the modern technology is there but that is no longer a big issue because even the smallest cars today boast bells and whistles. Hard surface made of rough plasticky materials dominates the interior. Perhaps it was in consideration of off-road escapades, but that misses the mark because majority of the owners of luxury bakkies in SA buy mainly for city drive and not the rough and tumble of rocky hills or sand dunes.
However, the leather-bound, multifunction, extra light steering wheel provides the kind of comfort and user-friendliness that makes the driver forget about the hardy inside surfaces. The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is intuitive to operate and compliant Bluetooth, voice recognition and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Navigation is also integrated into the system, but then most people use map apps these days.
The wide screen can also display a surround camera view, as backed by four cameras at strategic positions.
Some of nice features in the range topping Navara Pro-4X 4×4 include dual-zone climate control, cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and keyless access. Truth is that winter days in sunny South Africa, are not desperately cold, so for Navara not to include heated seats is no issue.
Nissan tool safety seriously for Navara as the bakkie comes with seven airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability control with traction control and hill-descent control. Driver assistance features (incorporated in the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite) includes forward-collision warning, emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert.
Nissan Navara Double-Cab Lineup
Nissan Navara 2.5D SE 4X2 MT DC R474 000
Nissan Navara 2.5D SE 4X2 AT DC R498 000
Nissan Navara 2.5D SE Plus 4X2 MT DC R505 000
Nissan Navara 2.5D SE Plus 4X2 AT DC R528 000
Nissan Navara 2.5D LE 4X2 AT DC R606 000 Nissan Navara 2.5D PRO-2X 4X