2017 Nissan Navara
The comprehensive Nissan Navara review
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What's in this guide?
|Cars Guide||75%||"A handsome and capable utility with a fine set of road manners when used as a daily commuter."||Read more|
|Car Showroom||78%||"...the Navara offers great motorway manners and impressive refinement, and is best as a ute-in-a-suit rather than a workhorse (in double-cab guise, at least)."||Read more|
|WhichCar||70%||"The Navara also offers a very comfortable cabin, and is smaller, and easier to park, than most utes."||Read more|
|CarAdvice||70%||"While it does offer a solid engine with impressive fuel economy figures, it lags behind the Ranger and Colorado in terms of ride compliance and comfort."||Read more|
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How does the Nissan Navara compare with its peers?
The complete Nissan Navara review
Nissan Navara Pricing
There are 17 different Navara models, ranging from a 120kW Single Cab Chassis 4x2 to the top-of-the-line 140kW ST-X 4x4 Dual Cab Pickup.
Prices start at $31,862, right up to $59,247.
Prices shown are for postcode 2000 and include estimated on-road costs. The automatic transmission is a $2,625 option. A fully specced-out ST-X 4x4 dual cab auto with every accessory costs $77,002 including fitting.
Single Cab Chassis
|DX 4x4||RX 4x2||RX 4x4|
|2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $38,042||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $31,862||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $39,072 (Optional Auto $41,647)|
|RX King Cab Chassis 4x2||RX King Cab Chassis 4x4||RX King Cab Pickup 4x4||ST King Cab Pickup 4x4||ST-X King Cab Pickup 4x4|
|2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $34,265||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $41,475||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $40,996||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $48,222 (optional Auto $50,847)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $54,522 (optional Auto $57,147)|
|RX Dual Cab Chassis 4x4||RX Dual Cab Pickup 4x2||RX Dual Cab Pickup 4x4||SL Dual Cab Pickup 4x4||ST Dual Cab Pickup 4x2||ST Dual Cab Pickup 4x4||ST-X Dual Cab Pickup 4x2||ST-X Dual Cab Pickup 4x4|
|2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $44,381 (optional Auto $46,956)||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $36,876 (optional Auto $39,451)||2.3L Diesel 120kW Manual – $44,086 (optional Auto $46,661)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $48,222 (optional Auto $50,847)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $44,086 (optional Auto $46,661)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $51,372 (optional Auto $53,997)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $49,272 (optional Auto $51,897)||2.3L Diesel 140kW Manual – $56,622 (optional Auto $59,247)|
For the 2017, Series II Nissan Navara the company ditched the NP300 badges and worked with Aussie engineers to improve the heavily-criticized coil sprung, multi-link rear suspension. Nissan says their 2.3L single or twin-turbocharged diesel offers best-in-class diesel economy, power and torque. Nissan also extended the line-up, with a new “SL” spec added below the “ST” models.
Overall, the changes made have been solid and generally well-received. The Navara still struggles with heavier loads like its predecessor. When hauling heavier cargo, you’ll notice the body hitting the rubber bump stops a lot. That said, the interior is well-equipped, engine performance is good and the prices are reasonable.
Overall, the Navara scores a solid 75.00% finder rating.
|CarsGuide||“A handsome and capable utility with a fine set of road manners when used as a daily commuter. ”|
|CarShowroom||“The Navara offers great motorway manners and impressive refinement, and is best as a ute-in-a-suit rather than a workhorse (in double-cab guise, at least).”|
|WhichCar||“The most striking feature of the Navara ute from Nissan is how well the better equipped versions combine high power with low fuel use.”|
|CarAdvice||“While it does offer a solid engine with impressive fuel economy figures, it lags behind the Ranger and Colorado in terms of ride compliance and comfort.”|
Engine and performance
The 2017 Navara is available with a 2.3L diesel engine. This engine is available in two states of tune. There’s a single turbocharged 120kW option with 403Nm of torque for the lower-end models.
For the higher-grade spec levels, Nissan added an extra turbo, pushing power to 140kW and 450Nm. The higher torque output motor is better suited for towing and load-lugging and it boasts better performance than rivals like the 3.0-litre diesel D-Max. At low speeds, the engine has plenty of acceleration and grip, but the torque delivery fades as the speedometer rises, heavily impacting on high-speed acceleration. Because of this it's important to consider overtaking well in advance, especially on hills.
As for transmission options, there’s a six-gear manual or a seven-speed automatic on offer. The workhorse oriented RX and DX models are manual only. The automatic is a $2,625 option and it performed well in tests.
Reviewers found it switched gears without hunting for the next cog and it generally gets on with the job well. Crucially, the driver can manually shift for better speed control on hill descents.
- Engine type
- - Direct injection, 16-valve with chain-driven double overhead cam, single or twin turbocharger/s
- - 4x2 or 4x4
- Engine size/displacement
- - 2.3L, 2,298cc
- Fuel type
- - Diesel
- - Inline 4
- Fuel tank capacity
- - 80 litres
- Max. torque
- - (120kW model) 403Nm @ 1,500rpm-2,500rpm
- (140kW model) 450Nm @ 1,500rpm-2,500rpm
- Combined CO2 emissions
- - 190g/km-203g/km 4x2
- 207g/km-213g/km 4x4
- Max. power
- - 120kW @ 3,750rpm
- 140kW @ 3,750rpm
- Fuel consumption (Range best Dual Cab ST / ST-X Pick Up 4x2) – combined manual/automatic
- - 6.3L/100km / 6.8L/100km
- - N/A
- Emissions standard
- Top speed
- - N/A
- - Engine immobiliser
- - 6-speed manual or
- 7-speed automatic with manual mode
- Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)
- - 3500kg/750kg
As with almost all utes, the 4x2 models have better fuel usage figures. The range best is the Dual Cab ST or ST-X pickup 4x2. The manual version of these utes managed just 6.3L/100km fuel usage, whilst the auto uses 0.5L/100km extra.
The heaviest Navara 4x4 models, like the Dual Cab RX Cab chassis weighing in at 2910kg, burn 6.6L/100km as a manual and 7.1L/100km in automatic guise. Compared to its competitors, the Navara is one of the more efficient utes, thanks to it’s modest yet effective 2.3-litre displacement engine.
With that said, the above-quoted figures are direct from Nissan and real-world figures often vary wildly. The actual economy achieved fluctuates due to conditions, driving styles and loads carried, but some reviewers were only able to realize 11L/100km.
Emissions differ depending on the exact model, with the Dual Cab ST 4x4 manual emitting 166g/km of CO² whilst the automatics output is quite a bit more, like on the Dual Cab ST-X auto that measures 186g/km.
When buying a ute, handling is probably pretty low down on your agenda. With a high centre of gravity and heavy suspension, you’re never going to get sports-car-like handling.
However, VW and Ford have both pulled off somewhat-car-like handling with their utes. Nissan has done a decent job, but the steering is heavy and requires 3.75 turns lock-to-lock. You’ll develop arms like a bodybuilder if driving regularly around towns.
The steering response is a definite step forward over the 2015 models and unloaded it no longer pitches under braking or whilst accelerating.
However, once a heavy load is placed in the tub, things start to unravel. The coil springs just don’t seem to be stiff enough and despite Nissan re-developing the dampers, the truck bottoms out on its bump-stops all too often.
Despite a rethink on the rear coil suspension and input from Australian engineers, it seems the same old problems are rearing their heads.
Perhaps Nissan should have returned to using heavier-duty leaf springs on the rear, like their rivals. This problem was noted by most reviewers. The more workhorse-oriented models do get tried-and-tested leaf springs and can carry a tradie-pleasing 1.3 tonnes, or to put it another way, 65 bags of cement.
Off-road, the Navara is almost unstoppable. The 4x4 models are equipped with a low-range transfer box for low-speed manoeuvres and maximum traction. Coil spring suspension on the rear keeps the tyres in contact with the ground more so than on a leaf spring truck.
There’s an electronic locking differential on the ST and ST-X, further helping in low-traction situations.
The Navara does fall down a little with a fairly low ground-clearance for a ute. Also, if you need to tackle deep water obstacles, one reviewer said the air intake is poorly located and needs a snorkel installing. Wading depths are listed at 450mm for the 4x2 and 600mm for the AWD.
Interior and other features
The first box any ute interior should tick is, “Is it practical?” It turns out, the Nissan ute is immensely practical. Workhorse grades benefit from vinyl flooring and a washable interior, perfect for getting rid of caked-on mud. There’s plenty of storage with cubby holes and compartments dotted around and discreet hiding places for tools and gadgets.
The seats are comfortable, especially so on long journeys and there’s plenty of space. All occupants enjoy generous head and legroom, and the bank of jumbo-sized windows make the cab a light and airy place to be. Even the fit and finish is good, sitting above most of the utes on the market, although it can’t top the VW Amaroks near obsessive levels of build quality.
The Thai-made, Japanese-designed ute is very well-appointed too. The base trim has a CD audio system with four speakers (six is standard in dual cabs). It also boasts Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, USB and iPod inputs and steering wheel controls. Cruise control is also standard, as are daytime running lights, automatic headlamps, off-road traction control and a plethora of airbags.
Working up through the range, one-time accessories become standard fittings, like a reversing camera on the SL line and electronic seating with lumbar support on the ST-X. The top-of-the-line ST-X has almost every bell and whistle you can think of, including satellite navigation, a large 7” touch-screen, leather-accented seating, climate-controlled AC and push-button start to name but a few.
ANCAP awarded the Navara with the maximum five-star safety rating.
|Single Cab RX Cab Chassis 4x2||King Cab RX Cab Chassis 4x2||Dual Cab RX Pickup 4x2||Dual Cab ST Pickup 4x2||Dual Cab ST-X Pickup 4x2|
|120kW 403Nm 2.3L diesel||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗|
|140kW 450nm 2.3L diesel||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|6-Speed manual gearbox||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Locking rear differential||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|Rear window demister||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|15” steel wheels with 195/R15C tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|16” steel wheels with 205/R16C tyres||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗|
|16” steel wheels with 255/70R16 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|16” alloy wheels with 255/70R16 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗|
|18” alloy wheels with 255/60R18 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Full-size spare (steel)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|Full-size spare (alloy)||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Rear leaf suspension||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|5-link shock absorber rear suspension||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Ventilated front disc brakes||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|6-Way height-adjustable driver’s seat||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|8-Way power height-adjustable driver’s seat||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|LED projector headlights||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Front fog lights||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Protective tub liner||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Chrome exterior trim||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|4-Speaker sound system||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|6-Speaker sound system||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|7-inch Touchscreen, built-in satellite navigation||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Single Cab DX Cab Chassis||Single Cab RX Cab Chassis||King Cab RX Cab Chassis||King Cab RX Pickup||King Cab ST Pickup||King Cab ST-X Pickup||Dual Cab RX Cab Chassis||Dual Cab RX Pickup||Dual Cab SL Pickup||Dual Cab ST Pickup||Dual Cab ST-X Pickup|
|120kW 403Nm 2.3L diesel||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|140kW 450nm 2.3L diesel||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|6-Speed manual gearbox||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Locking rear differential||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear window demister||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|15” steel wheels with 195/R15C tyres||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|16” steel wheels with 205/R16C tyres||✗||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|16” steel wheels with 255/70R16 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗|
|16” alloy wheels with 255/70R16 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗|
|18” alloy wheels with 255/60R18 tyres||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Full-size spare (steel)||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|Full-size spare (alloy)||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Rear leaf suspension||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|5-link shock absorber rear suspension||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Ventilated front disc brakes||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|6-Way height-adjustable driver’s seat||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗|
|8-way power Height-adjustable driver’s seat||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|LED projector headlights||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔|
|Front fog lights||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Protective tub liner||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔|
|Chrome exterior trim||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|4-Speaker sound system||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗|
|6-Speaker sound system||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|7-inch Touchscreen, built-in satellite Navigation||✗||✗||✗||✗||✗||✔||✗||✗||✗||✔||✔|
The Nissan Navara is so close to being perfect and yet it falls short in a few key areas. We like that the Navara offers excellent value for money, numerous trim/gearbox/layout variations, good off-road capabilities and a modern, hard-wearing interior.
Other automakers recognise the Navara platform as a worthy base: Renault borrowed the architecture for its upcoming 2018 Alaskan, and Mercedes for its X-Class model that deviated a bit with some serious alterations.
Areas where Nissan needs to improve the Navara are few and far between, but those that do exist are fairly major.
The coil-spring suspension isn’t popular and needs re-visiting. More active driver assists wouldn’t go amiss. The steering needs to be made lighter and more responsive. Finally, it would be beneficial to be able to use four-wheel drive on the road as well as off it.
Even with those quirks, the Navara is a serious contender and can take the fight to the class-leading Amarok. It’ll lose every time, but it’ll offer a sizeable challenge.
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