Car Talk With Mabs Kekana
Nissan redefines the pick-up market with the all-new Navara
The all-new Nissan Navara, the 2016 International Pick-Up of the Year, has landed on local shores and it is set to redefine the market for pick-ups on the continent.
“We are very proud of the all-new Navara. It not only builds on – and improves – the workhorse capabilities of its predecessor, but it introduces comfort features previously unheard of in the pick-up segment. The Navara is a crowning achievement for Nissan in its 80-year heritage of pick-up production,” says Xavier Gobille, Director for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Nissan Group of Africa.
Initially, the Navara range will consist of three double cab models, offering a choice of Mid- or High-specification and a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox. All models will be powered by the new 140 kW YS23DDT twin-turbo diesel engine. Coupled with the award-winning coil, five link rear suspension, the all new Navara packs a lot of punch.
Next generation V-motion design
More aggressive stance
The striking new design of the all-new Navara centres on the next-generation V-motion grille. The V-shape of the bold chrome grille flows into the creased bonnet and is resolved on the tailgate, which features a stamped V-motif.
The first hints of 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 rear privacy glass, side steps and 16” alloy wheels on the Mid-grade and 18” alloy wheels with striking diamond cut finish 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.
Largest load bay on a Navara yet
Improved off-road capability
Major weight reduction over predecessor
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 been made deeper (474mm from 456mm), resulting in a capacity of 1 061 litres.
Load carrying capacity has also been upgraded significantly. The new Navara can carry up to 1 002kg, depending on specification level, and thanks to its powerful new engine it can tow a braked trailer of up to 3 500kg.
The Navara has a 229mm ground clearance, but the new raised suspension set-up and smart design have allowed for a 3-degree improvement in the approach (33.0 degrees), ramp-over (25.2 degrees) and departure angles (27.9 degrees). The suspension and drivetrain set-up also means that the new Navara has a lateral tilt angle of up to 50 degrees.
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.
140kW and 450Nm
Wide flat torque curve, peaking from 1 500rpm
Powering the new Navara is a brand new, twin-turbo diesel engine. The engine combines common rail direct injection and both a smaller, high pressure turbo and a larger, low pressure turbo to deliver more linear power throughout the engine speed range.
The two turbos are connected with a series of bypass and impeller valves to optimise boost pressure at different engine speeds. The smaller, high-pressure turbo is utilised mainly at low engine speeds, although neither turbo is disengaged fully at any engine speed. At higher engine speeds, the exhaust gas flow is channelled to the large, low pressure turbo. This layout allows for more low-speed power and improved fuel consumption.
The new engine delivers 140kW at 3 750rpm and 450Nm, which is available across a wide engine spectrum and which peaks for 1 000rpm between 1 500rpm and 2 500rpm. Fuel consumption in a combined cycle has been officially rated at 6.5 litres per 100km, allowing for a range of over 1 000km on a full 80 litre fuel tank.
The new engine uses a new thermal management system and electrically operated oil pump to improve efficiency. These improvements, combined with the weight saving and aerodynamic aids, ensure a fuel consumption improvement of 19% over the outgoing engine.
Award-winning drive train and suspension
First coil spring five link rear suspension in a mainstream 1 ton pick-up
Electronic and mechanical drive aids promise superior off-road capabilities
Judges of the International Pick-Up of the Year Awards spent a great deal of time on the advancements in this area of the all-new Navara.
While a number of ‘passenger-vehicle-turned-pick-up’ models or SUV conversions have in the past boasted a semi-independent rear suspension, the Navara pioneers a built-for-purpose coil spring five-link rear suspension fitted to its solid ladder-frame chassis.
This set-up has been lauded across the world, especially for the intelligent way in which engineers have enabled the fitment of either a standard leaf-spring set-up for workhorse Navara models or the SUV-style coil spring five-link rear suspension on the double cab models.
The double cab models launched in South Africa will all feature the new coil spring rear suspension. The set-up combines traditional pick-up load carrying capabilities, with the benefits normally associated with an SUV with a similar suspension set-up. These include better road holding, car-like ride comfort even over rutted gravel roads and better tracking through high-speed corners.
“We have driven many thousands of testing kilometres locally to ensure that the suspension lives up to its on-paper promises. In the end, we are confident that the new set-up delivers not only a more comfortable and sure-footed ride than previously available in the double cab market, but it also comfortably carries a tonne in the load bay,” says Gobille.
Nestled in the suspension system is Nissan’s proprietary four-wheel-drive system. It combines a transfer case with a host of electronic aids, which offer exceptional off-road capabilities. The mechanical transfer case, which selects four-wheel drive and low-range, is operated by a turn-knob 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 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.
The all-new Navara is available with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a new, seven-speed automatic gearbox. The automatic gearbox features gear ratios selected to specifically optimise the torque delivery of the new twin turbo engine and also offers a manual shifting function.
Luxury crossover interior
Standard touch screen navigation and infotainment system
New Spinal Support front seats
The unique rear suspension is not the only SUV-style addition to the new Navara range. Nissan has borrowed from its vast SUV playbook to deliver one of the most luxurious interiors to be found on any pick-up.
While similar in dimensions to its predecessor, the new cabin features larger doors for easier ingress and egress, a 23-degree slanted rear bench for greater comfort and more rear legroom and a host of creature comforts, such as the first in class dedicated rear air vents and even an electrically operated rear cab window.
Behind the steering wheel, the driver is welcomed by a brand-new cockpit design. The design centres on the touch-screen 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 for the driver to view most information and control a host of functions, without removing his hands from the multi-function steering wheel.
The new Navara is fitted with Spinal Support front seats that feature, amongst other innovations, a new spinal channel in high-density foam. These seats are designed to distribute body pressure on the seat surface and have been proven to reduce fatigue significantly over long journeys. Leather seats with heating function and electrical adjustment on driver’s seat, are available as optional on the High-grade models.
The host of standard luxuries are very comprehensive and include automatic headlights, air conditioning, cruise control, three 12V sockets in the cabin, an automatic dimming rear view mirror and no less than 7 airbags (including an airbag to protect the driver’s knees).
High-grade models also add features such as dual zone climate control and keyless entry with a Start/Stop button.
Most comprehensive list of accessories yet to be launched with a new Nissan
All accessories warranty-approved and fitted by a dealer
One of the benefits of having a comprehensive local testing programme is that Nissan South Africa was able to develop and test a comprehensive range of accessories that will be available immediately.
The range of accessories includes cosmetic additions such as headlamp and rear light guards, a range of decal kits, aluminium or moulded scuff plates and a choice of two different sports bars and nudge bars.
The accessories also include more off-road specific additions, such as a heavy duty off-road suspension upgrade kit and custom black XD alloy wheels with all terrain tyres.
Other additions include a tow bar, roof rails of different designs, different tonneau covers options and seat cover sets that are airbag approved.
The new Nissan Navara is offered with Nissan’s comprehensive Nissan Assured warranty and service plan as standard. Nissan introduced its new comprehensive warranty programme towards 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 Assured warranty includes a mechanical warranty for 6 years or 150 000km and a comprehensive 3-year / 90 000km service plan.
Pricing and range
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDTT 4x4 SE Double Cab MT – R514 900 (incl. VAT)
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDTT 4x4 LE Double Cab –MT – R565 900 (incl. VAT)
Nissan Navara 2.3 DDT 4x4 LE Double Cab AT –R597 900 (incl. VAT)
Black leather seats with heater function optional on LE grade models for R13 000 (incl. VAT).
The 4x2 double cab range is destined for local shores towards the end of 2017 and prices most likely to range between R450 000 and R520 000. More details and specification will be communicated in due course.