Much to the delight of tradies across New Zealand, 2020 is shaping up to be the year of the ute launch. Earlier this year we attended the launch of new Toyota Hilux; Isuzu launched their new D-Max, Mazda re-introduced the BT-50; and Ford has a refreshed Ranger waiting in the wings.

With several years of ute building heritage, Nissan certainly isn’t going to miss-out on grabbing their slice of the ute hungry market, which occupies around 25% of new vehicle sales in New Zealand. 

Yesterday, Nissan unveiled the new refreshed Nissan Navara, showcased digitally from their regional headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.

Nissan claims the new Navara has a ruggedly bolder design, “hosting best-in-class technologies, including an array of Nissan Intelligent Mobility features and safety systems, making it the most advanced Navara yet”.

The front-end of the new Navara has undergone a noticeable refresh. There’s a new bonnet and bumper design, plus a front “interlock” grille, which echoes the design language of Nissan’s North American truck line-up. The Navara also gains newly-designed C-shaped quad LED projector headlamps, which include a sharp daytime running light design. 

At the rear, there’s a new rear tray design, which now sits higher on the body and incorporates a subtle tailgate flair. There are also the addition of new LED tail lights, a plus a new rear bumper with integrated step for ease of access.

Heading up the new line-up is the Navara Pro-4X, which replaces the previous out-going Navara N-trek. On the exterior, the Pro-4X gains flared arches, a bull-bar and large bash-plate, a chunky rear sports bar, roof racks, new alloys and all-terrain tyres, plus a blacked-out grille, badge, lower bumper, door handles. Topping-off the additions are a number of Pro-4X decals and lava orange highlights on the badge, tow-hook covers and fenders. Two special colours are also available, being Forged Copper and Stealth Grey.

Nissan also stated that they’re working on a new Warrior replacement, which will be built upon Pro-4X once green-lit.

As expected for utes, Nissan also offers the new Navara with a plethora of accessories. Nissan mentioned a new snorkel and hoop-less, winch compatible bull-bar are among the additions to the catalogue.  

On the inside, the refreshed Navara receives a new steering wheel, plus a higher resolution 7’’ TFT screen. It also gains the latest Nissan Connect infotainment system, which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Nissan has also made NVH improvements by increasing the quality and quantity of sound deadening used. Nissan did not state whether these NVH improvements were inherited from the Mercedes X-class, which used a Navara platform.

A top-down camera, or an Around View Monitor (as Nissan terms it) is also available, which utilises four externally mounted cameras. Nissan was also particularly keen to mention their off-road monitoring feature, which uses the front and left-hand side cameras to confirm obstacles and assist drivers when venturing off the beaten trail.  

Underneath, Nissan has made a few mechanical upgrades including a strengthened rear axle, suspension tweaks, plus increased payload capacity and tray volume.

There’s also a new hydraulic steering rack, which Nissan claims help the new Navara feel more nimble and agile with a faster response and lock-to-lock steering. 

The formula otherwise remains largely the same for the new Navara, compared to the outgoing model. The Navara uses the same chassis as outgoing models, carrying over the same rear multi-link suspension set-up.

The majority of the range will be powered by Nissan’s current diesel engine, being the 2.3-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder, producing 140kW of power and 450Nm of torque. Entry level variants will receive the single-turbo diesel engine variant producing 120kW of power and 403Nm of torque. Both engines are paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.  As expected, the Navara offers low range gearing, plus an electronic locking-diff.

Fuel economy is an estimated 7.5L/100km for manual variants and 8.1L/100km for automatics.

Braked towing capacity is 3,500kg, while payload capacity is up to 1.2 tonnes.

Safety tech is where the new Navara makes leaps, offering forward collision warning, emergency vehicle braking, driver attention alert, and trailer sway control as standard.

The Navara range will also offer lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and blind spot monitoring, but it is to be determined which models gain these features.

Being a mid-cycle update, this Navara carries over its 5-star ANCAP safety rating from the previous generation, meaning the refreshed model has yet to be tested.   

The new Navara will be offered in 8 exterior colours, plus the extra 2 for the Pro-4X.  Prices of the new range and full model specifications are expected to be confirmed closer to launch.  The new Navara range will debut in early 2021, with all models released (save for the Warrior) within two months of the launch.  

Further information on the Nissan Navara Pro-4X is below, otherwise more information can be viewed on Nissan’s website.

Powertrain2.3 litre intercooled twin turbo-diesel, DOHC
Power140kW @ 3750 RPM
Torque450Nm @ 1500-2500 RPM
Fuel Economy7.5 / 8.1 L/100km combined cycle (est)
SuspensionFront: Double WishboneRear: 5-point multi-link suspension with shock absorber
Transmission6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed automatic transmission
BrakesFront: Ventilated disc brakes Rear: Drum brakes
Payload1,095 / 1,105 kg
Gross Vehicle Weight3,150 kg (est)

DriveLife looks forward to testing out the new Navara range. 


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