The long wait is over and the Navara is here and it looks set to be a hit based on the sale figures of its debut month. The thing with reviewing a car that’s been long-waited is that the bar for the new model is set quite high. You have to measure new model against the old one before you consider how it stacks up against the competition. In the case of the Navara, the wait has been worth it and the new model is an improvement from the old one. It looks good outside and the interior oozes quality. The ride quality is significantly better thanks to a new specially designed suspension and the handling is really good for a bakkie.
The guys at Nissan have done well in designing a car that looks good from all angles. Step inside and it feels like you are in an SUV than a bakkie. The dashboard looks good and the cabin is roomy and comfortable for both the front and back passengers. The plastics in the cabin could have been better but one must remember that this is still a bakkie and careful balance must be struck between making the Navara feel good for both lifestyle buyers and good old fashioned bakkie.
The ride quality in the Navara is closely associated with a (luxury) car than a bakkie. This is thanks to a new suspension. Associated with the Navara’s ride quality is the handling. Complementing the ride quality is the vastly improved handling. Step behind the wheel of the Navara, it just does not feel like you are in a bakkie.
What powers the Navara? At the moment all Navaras are offered with a 2.3 turbo-diesel engine that kicks out 147 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque in manual or automatic. This will give you ample towing power when needed. Amazingly, with all this power, Nissan claims a heart-warming average fuel consumption figure of 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
Should you then go for the Navara ahead of the competition? This is still a tough one to answer. The best I can say is you have a very compelling option in the Navara.
At the time of posting this piece, the entry level Navara would cost you R514,900 with the top of the range derivative costing you R597,900. These prices exclude optional extras.
A major like is the 6 year or 150,000 km warranty and a major dislike is the 16” wheel option. Biscuit wheels have never been attractive on cars, especially bakkies. Party trick is the sliding rear window.
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