Nissan’s heavily updated and locally produced Navara one-tonner bakkie reached local showrooms this week, and it is aiming to shift major volumes.
Previously available in a handful of high-end double-cab models that were fully imported and sold in low numbers, the upgraded Navara now boasts a full line-up of single- and double-cab variants that are built at Nissan’s factory in Rosslyn near Pretoria. The ancient NP300 Hardbody previously assembled there has been retired, replaced by a 17-model Navara range comprising workhorse and leisure variants.
Double-cab derivatives go on sale this week, with the single cabs to follow in September.
Customers will have a choice of petrol and diesel engines, two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options, and a choice of automatic and manual transmissions.
With the greatly expanded range, Nissan wants the Navara to rise into the top three of one-tonner segment sales, says Kabelo Rabotho, country director of Nissan SA. The sector is dominated by the Toyota Hilux, followed by the Ford Ranger and Isuzu D-Max.
The R3bn investment at the Rosslyn plant will see the upgraded Navara built for the local market and exported to Sub-Saharan Africa
An extensive facelift is accompanied by improvements to the Navara’s refinement, ride quality and technology, making it compete with the best vehicles in class, according to Stefan Haasbroek, Nissan SA’s marketing director.
The bakkie also has a bolder, more rugged design reminiscent of American pickups, along with a revamped cabin offering major technology and styling improvements. The new top-of-the-range Pro-4X grade has a sporty interior with red-stitched black leather seats and a red Nissan logo on the steering wheel.
A new chassis with revised five-link rear coil suspension improves the ride quality, and upgraded cabin insulation with acoustic glass makes for a more refined drive, as we observed in a recent pre-launch test drive of the new Navara.
The steering is also lighter than before, improving driver comfort particularly when lugging heavy loads. Payload capacity has improved by up to 100kg thanks to a strengthened rear axle and an increase in the height of the load box.
ABS brakes, brake assist and dual front airbags come standard across the range, with the more expensive models offering added safety features such as side airbags, stability control, lane-change assist and an around-view monitor.
Powering the majority of the range is a 2.5l single turbo four-cylinder diesel engine, with the same 140kW/450Nm outputs as the 2.3 twin-turbo diesel it replaces. In some Navara variants, including all manuals, the 2.5l engine is detuned to 120kW and 403Nm.
This older-technology, cheaper engine — along with local assembly minimising exposure to exchange rates — has allowed Nissan to effect substantial price cuts. With the exception of the new Pro-2X and Pro-4X range-topping versions, Navara double cabs have dropped in price by between 4.4% and 11.5%.
A petrol 2.5l four-cylinder turbo engine with outputs of 118kW and 233Nm is available in single cab only.
Navara 2.5 petrol XE 4x2 manual — R311,000
Navara 2.5D XE 4x4 manual — R350,000
Navara 2.5D SE 4x2 manual — R426,000
Navara 2.5D SE 4x4 manual — R492,000
Navara 2.5D LE 4x2 manual — R456,000
Navara 2.5D LE 4x4 manual — R527,000
Navara 2.5D SE 4x2 manual — R474,000
Navara 2.5D SE 4x2 auto — R498,000
Navara 2.5D SE 4x4 manual — R552,000
Navara 2.5D SE Plus 4x2 manual — R505,000
Navara 2.5 SE Plus 4x2 auto — R528,000
Navara 2.5D SE Plus 4x4 manual — R580,000
Navara 2.5D LE 4x2 auto — R606,000
Navara 2.5D LE 4x4 manual — R660,000
Navara 2.5D LE 4x4 auto — R677,000
Navara 2.5D Pro-2X 4x2 auto — R686,000
Navara 2.5D Pro-4X 4x4 auto — R740,000
Prices include a six-year/150,000km warranty and six-year/90,000km service plan
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