The locally built Nissan Navara uses a slogan of a ‘bakkie built for Africa by Africans’ and is a message that clearly spells out the face-lifted models’ ability to overcome any type of road condition with its capabilities. That puts the model comfortably ahead of much of its competition. The (D23) comes with a huge derivative model line-up of some 17 models on offer in their utility and leisure range. Navara have attempted to deliver a luxury rattle free drive with an unparalleled ride quality and low vehicle harshness previously not seen at these levels in former models from Nissan. They are now underpinned by rugged coil spring suspension and the full robust ladder chassis construction eliminates any kind of scuttle shake and also performs much better at high-speed levels to make the driver appeal quite unique for both work or simply leisure driving.
During the launch of the AWD four-wheel drive centre the various model range in review were viewed with keen interest on their various capabilities and with a great deal of the model’s attention employed on the development of a global 4×4 SUV, where close to 40 recent sales will become their model split on new ownership. The new under-the-bonnet 2.5 litre turbo diesel engine displays a seamless power of some 140kW and tree uplifting type of torque of 450Nm coupled to a new seven-speed automatic gearbox all adds up to be an amazing fuss-free driving experience where any driver is placed in the comfort of the Navara’s new interior. Even on deeply rutted and harsh dirt roads that we travelled, the vehicle control remained exemplary as the mobile dynamics of just how good this vehicle is in everyday life came to the fore.
Leather-appointed seats also deliver a quality feel and are ergonomically comfortable as is the steering of the new Navara. It is very light and weighted well to keep driver feedback in constant touch at all times. Another revelation is just how quiet this new model is to drive. It is especially quiet on tar roads and suffers no wind noise whatsoever. On the overall economy the Navara will in all probability consume around 9 litres per 100 kilometres which for such a sturdy well-built SUV is impressive.
Armed with a host of electronic gadgetry the Nissan 8-inch touch screen uses Nissan Connect that rolls out Apple Car Play and Android computable software. There are four USB points on board plus a 12-volt power outlet to keep many and varied devices fully charged and running. Driver computers are all around and also include a novel electric rear sliding window, and as one would expect with a global SUV, the raft of electronic emergency devices include emergency braking, hill descent control, a 360º all-round camera to keep you safe at all times.
The double cab is priced at around R686 000 and comes with a six-year or 150 000 km warranty as well as a six-year/90 000 km service plan. So, all the hard work and tough design has delivered this new Navara range a top spot in this segment of luxury off-road SUV driving.