Nissan Navara review
Double-cab Pick-ups are growing in popularity in Kenya – cars like the Nissan Navara provide an appealing alternative to a van if you need space to store work equipment, carry heavy loads but seat passengers in relative comfort.
The Navara is Nissan’s double cab pick-up version of its Pathfinder seven-seater, and carries over many of that car’s good points. However, as pick-ups have entered onto the radar of commercial vehicle buyers and those looking for a lifestyle vehicle, more manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon. As a result, the Navara has to face up to rivals like the Toyota Vigo, Isuzu Dmax, Mitsubishi L200, Ford Ranger and the Volkswagen Amarok.
Pick-ups have created a popular niche, with enough off-road ability to venture far from the beaten track and surprisingly comfortable interiors at a decent price.
Nissan offers four different trim levels on the Navara: Visia, Acenta, Tekna and Outlaw V6.
Engines, performance and drive
The Navara has a very powerful 187bhp 2.5-litre turbodiesel. This takes it from 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds, and has loads of pulling power thanks to a torque figure of 450Nm. Produced low-down at 2,000rpm it’ll pull you out of most sticky situations, but it’s useful if you want to tow a trailer, too.
The engine is smooth running and relatively refined, while the six-speed gearbox is easy to use. If you need more power, opt for 3.0-litre V6 diesel in top-spec Outlaw trim, which has 550Nm of torque at its disposal. This means it’s the fastest Navara on sale, sprinting from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds.
As for ride and handling, the underpinnings include selectable four-wheel-drive which gives this Nissan Land Rover-like ability off road. This inevitably leads to compromises on the tarmac, but double wishbone suspension means it’s still surprisingly competent and comfortable when cruising around on-road. The Navara’s chassis does fidget around a little, and once you’ve got used to the slow steering, the handling is okay.
Competitive prices make the Nissan Navara a good-value choice, and retained values are strong, too. The 2.5-litre diesel engine officially averages around 29mpg but expect closer to 25mpg in every-day use.
Interior, design and technology
All models get 17-inch alloy wheels (18s on the Outlaw V6) and side steps, while Tekna trim adds roof bars to improve practicality and chrome mirrors for an extra dash of style. Inside, the dashboard looks good, but is made from hardwearing plastics, which will stand up well to knocks and scrapes as the Navara will often be used as a working vehicle.
Practicality, comfort and boot space
Plenty can be carried there, and up to 2.7 tonnes can be towed. Four doors provide ample room for five passengers, and the car-like driving position and excellent quality are welcome, too.
However, due to the Navara’s strong practicality it’s a vast machine, so can be hard to manoeuvre or park in tight spaces due to limited rearward visibility – if you opt for Tekna model the rear camera helps massively here.
Reliability and Safety
The Nissan Navara has been on sale for a while now, and as it's designed to deal with the rough and tumble of a working life, you can be sure that any problems would've highlighted themselves by now.
Safety is a slight negative for the Navara, though. It scored just three stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, which is off the pace compared to newer models like the four-star VW Amarok and impressively safe five-star Ford Ranger. However, all models get electronic stability control as well as a whole host of airbags as standard and child ISOFIX seat tethers.