We were already quite impressed by the Navara at its presentation, and understandably we were looking forward to a more extensive test of this versatile performer.
Indeed, the Navara truly delivered, and proved to be everything it was meant to be. An outstanding, well balanced, roomy and sturdy pick up, with very impressive performance combined with excellent economy and last but not least lots of style and mechanical refinement.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Stepping into the tall Navara one finds the stylish ambience of a passenger car, and indeed, the designers and engineers went to great lengths to give the Navara driver an atmosphere of elegant sedan luxury.
Sitting behind the wheel in the well contoured seats, your eyes meet with the well designed round dials and opulent instrumentation, as well as a large touchscreen on the centre console.
The large central touchscreen really keeps you informed. You even can read your eco-score…
Using all the Navara’s functions is a breeze, and whether you want to use its navigation, infotainment or climate control, all its knobs and handles are falling in your hand and are totally intuitive to use. Even a total novice finds oneself soon at home in this Navara. Besides this, the functions are outstandingly good and efficient.
This Navara is equally at home on billiard smooth roads as on the roughest terrain, and again you don’t have to be an off-road expert to use the terrain qualities of this Navara.
A flick of the handy round knob sitting next to your right knee, lets you choose even while you are moving between 2 or 4WD, and when you push the selector switch in while rotating it further clockwise, you can select low gearing. When descending from a steep hill, just push the descent button and the Navara will let you roll down elegantly and safely, with just that right amount of speed which lets you remain in full control of the car.
A town car?
To help you out when moving in tight spaces, the Nevara screen treats you with 360° vision…
We drove the double cab version, and with its longer wheelbase you might expect it to be a bit cumbersome in town. The Nissan engineers saw to it that tight urban spaces and corners will never be a problem, and installed in this Navara not only front and rear camera views , but also are giving you a 360 degree top view of your car. At parking maneuvers, it will even show the kerb so you don’t damage or scratch those beautiful and pristine alloy wheels. The responsive and sensitive power steering does the rest…
What also comes out top is drivability. The 2,3 liter Diesel engine is smooth and has lots of torque, and matches quite well with the 7 speed auto box. Slow traffic jam crawls with lots of stopping and starting does not stress driver or car, and all this contributes to very relaxed and “zen” everyday driving. Driving with restraint, rewards you not only with mechanical smoothness, but also will let you smile at the pump: it took very little effort to stay below the 9 liter mark per 100 km even in urban driving conditions. On the open road, using the kinetic energy to the full, and keeping constant speeds whenever possible, we reached averages around 7 liters, with, still with slower urban driving included, an average of 7,1 liters (!).
Just some technical details: This Twin-Turbo High-Output unit achieves 140 kW (190 HP) @ 3,750 rpm, and boasts 450 Nm of torque @ 1,500-2,500 rpm. It consumes even Biodiesel (up to B10 max). The manufacturer quotes 7 liters as combined (ECE norm) consumption, with 8,7 liters for the urban conditions. Combined CO2 emissions are given as 183 g/km.
Good performance and long legged cruising comfort on the open road
This 190 HP Navara is certainly no sluggard when it comes to outright performance. 0 to 100 is absolved in 10,8 seconds, but the power is even more felt in quite vigorous accelerations at intermediate speeds. This gives the Navara a pleasant liveliness, and indeed, warrants good driving pleasure, together with the comforting feeling that it can get you out of ackward situations just with a slight push on the throttle. Both engine and transmission response is excellent and smooth, even when driving with more verve.
Gran Turismo cruising on motorways is of course also a discipline where these type of cars have to excel, and indeed, the Navara earns here also top marks. Straight line stability is excellent, and come rain, heavy crosswinds or whatever, this Navara will pull its track unerringly. Top speed, when you are really in a hurry, is a good 180 kmh, but this means that cruising at 130-140 km or thereabouts is completely effortless.
Noise levels are very low, and as said, drivetrain refinement is high with no vibrations reaching the cabin.
Seats and seating position behind the wheel is very good indeed, and there is enough leg room for adults at the rear. So this Nevara will prove an excellent companion for those long (holiday) cross country trips.
One word of acclaim is also fitting for the excellent and comfortable suspension. Redesigning the chassis has really worked also in this respect. Even on the roughest roads, you are never jolted and tossed about, with suspension travel being generous and damper settings ideally tuned to give you a comfortable ride.
Our test car came with an optional top on its open trunk, and this proved very handy to protect goods and luggage from the elements. Of course we put the Navara to good use during our test, bringing some deck chairs and outdoor tables back from our holiday home.
The rear lower lid of the trunk opens easily, but is rather heavy, and needs some effort to be lifted up and closed. Well, crash safety at the rear has its price…
Inside, you find the usual storage amenities of a modern sedan, and nobody will deny that overall, faithful and stylish workhorses like this Navara are most practical indeed. You will find this Navara is also an excellent tow car, although we did not try this in our test. It is good to know that the towing capacity of the NP300 Nevara is not less than 3,5 tonnes.
A car for all roads and seasons, we would say. A comfortable Gran Turismo sedan, a workhorse to carry and tow almost everything you could think of, a pleasantly high, docile and comfortable “zen” town car, letting you master the urban jungle with ease. It will take you on any road, be it desert like hot and sandy or frozen snowy cold, wet, muddy or rock dry.
Built for any task you have in store for it, well engineered and finished, adding even very decent frugality to its excellent mechanical smoothness and performance. Do we have to add more?
Oh yes, it looks quite good too…
Hans Knol ten Bensel