If you are South African, you will know that no segment is as heated as the double cab bakkie segment. It was no accident that recently I found myself at the chassis review of the new Nissan Navara. Call it the re-launch. Nissan remains a solid bakkie seller but the Navara hasn’t taken off as Nissan expected. This is despite that in our view, the Nissan Navara is one of the most comfortable bakkies out there. In fact this is one of Nissan’s unique selling point about the Navara. Unrivalled comfort.
As part of the chassis review, I got to experience the comfort of the Nissan Navara by driving the car from the day before the launch when Nissan kindly delivered it to me. At no point, did it feel like I was driving a bakkie but it felt like I was in a tried and tested SUV like the Nissan Patrol. I think that’s where the new Navara’s slogan comes from, Nissan seems to have been able to bridge the ever elusive divide between made a bakkie that is “Rugged” but also comfortable as an SUV, talk about redefined!
The review presentation was done by Hirokzu Kuzo-san, General Manager- Technical Africa. Kuzo-san cast aside all the doubts we had about the new chassis, in terms of durability and sustainability. This is not a misplaced fear, the previous generation chassis has been causing quite a stir in the United Kingdom. To top it all off, the new chassis was there for all to see, touch and critic. The major take away point is that the new chassis has a 5-link coil rear suspension, while other manufacturers are still using the leaf suspension. The difference in the two is that the Nissan is exceptionally comfortable.
Strangely the 5-link coil rear suspension will not be available on the single cabs (ten steps back?). Nissan’s rationale is that the single cabs are heavy duty and workman vehicles. Fair enough but I can bet you your bottom dollar that farmer Masango will not be pleased. On a serious note, he will sympathise with the rationale that the new chassis would not be able to sustain the pressure in the long run but let’s face it, bakkies these days, double cab or otherwise, are for everyday use and comfort is important. Thumbs up to the new chassis, we hope it gets rolled out across the range in the near future.
This is the current local line up of the new Nissan Navara:
2.3 4×4 SE Double Cab MT: R514,900
2.3 DDTT 4×4 LE Double Cab MT: R565,900
2.3 DDT 4×4 LE Double Cab AT: R597,900
Prices include a 3 year or 90,000 km service plan and a 6 year 150,000 km warranty.
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