Nissan Navara: SUV Subtleties in a Pickup

Nissan Navara

When it comes to pickups Toyota have the Hilux, Isuzu have the D-MAX, and Nissan have the Navara. Coincidently, all these manufacturers all reside in the country of the rising sun. Nissan has been making pickups for 80 years and has become an industry leader in the class. So much that even Mercedes are using some of its tech for their own upcoming pickup. The latest Navarra is meant to be an off road beast with the respectable norms of a modern day crossover. Considering Nissan makes some great SUVs like X-Trail, Qashqai and Juke, this isn’t as farfetched as it sounds.

What’s In a Name?

The Nissan Navara is marketed as the Nissan Frontier in the North and South American markets. Navarra is named after the Navare region, which is to be found in the northern part of Spain.

The History

Nissan Navara was introduced back in 1997 as a replacement for the aging Nissan Hardbody truck. It was dubbed as the D22.

The Current Model

Currently there are two generations available the D40 and D23. The D40 is the second generation Navara and has been available with us since 2004. It was introduced in the US at the North American International Auto Show. It evolved into a mid-sized track away from a compact, this was in line with its competitor Toyota Tacoma. Navara utilizes Nissan’s F-Alpha platform. The D40 was released in Europe September 2006 with four trims S, SE, Outlaw and Aventura.

The other available model is the D23, which is the third generation Navara and it was released back in June 2014. However, the D23 isn’t available in the US. It is also known as the Navara NP300.

The Variants

There are two kinds of the Nissan Navara:

  • King Cab
  • Double Cab

The Powertrain

The engines that power the D40 are:

  • 5L four cylinder
  • 0L V6
  • 5L Nissan YD Engine High Power
  • 5L Nissan YD Engine Mid Power
  • 0L V9X v6 turbo diesel

The 3.0L V6 turbo V9X produces 240 hp and 406 lb·ft, while the 4L petrol V6 manages to churn out 261 hp and 281 lb·ft. All the engines use either a 5-speed auto or manual, and a 6-speed manual transmission.

As for the D23, here are the engines that power it:

  • 5L four cylinder
  • 3L turbo diesel Nissan YS engine
  • 3L twin-turbo diesel Nissan YS engine
  • 5L YD engine

For transmission the D23 (NP300) uses either 7-speed auto or 6-speed manual.

Nissan Navara

The Interior

Nissan have gone the extra mile to remove the Spartan like feel most pickups have. There is a slight shudder here and there but the interior of the Navara feels like you’ve entered an X-Trail rather than a truck. There is a touchscreen navigation that is easy to use, with other contemporary amenities depending on your package such as climate control.

The Exterior

The exterior of the Navara isn’t as well-crafted as its interior. The design looks a little bit dated as compared to some of its contemporaries. However, this would be a perfect car for those of us who want to ride incognito. There are rumors that Nissan want to bring in the fourth generation Navara soon. Will wait and see, what they’ll come up with.

Our Verdict

This is a great pickup, however the D40 really needs a refresh as its being superseded by the likes of the Toyota Tacoma and GMC Canyon. As for the rest of us all the NP300 seems to be a comfortable ride, that isn’t prudish when you need those extra bouts of power. Amenities aside a pickup to be considered top class has to be able to navigate rugged terrain well. The Navara gives you the comfort of a SUV, especially with NASA tech used on the seats, and the power of a true off roader.

Start to budget from $ 18,290 if you want to purchase one of this great pickups.

Is the Navara a class-leading pickup? Or does it fall behind the likes of the Toyota Hilux? Have your say, leave a comment.

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