The Navara garners a lot of attention in its stylish Pro2X guise. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The Navara garners a lot of attention in its stylish Pro2X guise. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

The new Nissan Navara has significant improvements. Its looks have been perfected and, dare I say it, it’s perhaps more pleasing on the eye than even the Ford Ranger Raptor.

Thanks to a 221mm ground clearance, access into the cabin is more seamless. It's a classy enough cabin with solid feeling, quality materials and build. However, the driver’s seat squab doesn’t lower enough for my liking. It's an higher seating position that will suit some, and visibility is excellent and ideal for long journeys.

The list of convenience and luxury items is also sufficient and includes USB ports to stream and charge electronic devices, Bluetooth, dual climate control, automatic high beam assist and keyless entry being among the most useful items to have on board.  

The drive feel is of effortless steering everywhere on dampers that are less firm than previously and are not intrusive. It truly is an easy vehicle to live with, and has remarkable refinement by double cab standards.

The list of convenience and luxury items is generous. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
The list of convenience and luxury items is generous. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

It’s equipped with a 2.5l turbo diesel motor with 140kW and 450Nm mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission powering the rear wheels only, hence the Pro2X decals on its flanks. Four-by-four models are badged Pro4X.

Fuel consumption is averaging 9.3l/100km which gives a good range on the 80l tank. The engine delivers a perky punch and the gearbox with its smooth and intuitive shifts makes a good pairing for cruising or when belting it across empty roads.

It's got a strong pull for reeling in the miles and overtaking manoeuvres while it also gets good marks for its handling prowess, with excellent mechanical grip and a rear suspension that feels planted.

If you overcook it the on-board traction control system intervenes quickly to quell any sideways play and it isn't invasive. Rather it feels designed to work with you to keep the momentum but safely. The rest of its safety systems include seven airbags, traction control, ABS brakes and Brake Assist.

When it comes to the business end of bakkie ownership the Navara is rated with a 1,086kg load capacity. The load box is fitted with tow hooks for small and large cargo and a 12V socket.

Fuel consumption is averaging 9.3l/100km which gives a good range on the 80l tank. Picture: DENIS DROPPA
Fuel consumption is averaging 9.3l/100km which gives a good range on the 80l tank. Picture: DENIS DROPPA

Towing is an inherent requirement in the niche and the Navara can pull 3,500kg of braked trailer and 750kg unbraked, and Trailer Stability Assist is equipped as standard.

The Nissan Navara Pro2X is a compelling choice in a highly competitive segment. Seemingly it's a popular option I've seen many on the road in a short space of time. It's a rear-wheel drive workhorse for owners who want a funky-looking family bakkie.

Apt rivals are the Ford Ranger Thunder, Isuzu D-Max 3.0D X-Rider and other bakkies that pander to exaggerated styling requirements.

Priced at R699,000 it’s very likable and priced competitively against fashionista rivals, though the  Navara LE 4x4 Auto will offer less styling panache for R18,000 less.

Overall it’s a great drive and the Navara Pro2X garners a lot of attention from the public.

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