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The Titan falls, we crown a new favorite bakkie, the Nissan Navara 2.5DDTi PRO-2X 4X2 AT

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By: Charles Molefe

When Nissan announced the imminent arrival of the facelift Navara I was at odds if it will manage to take the baton and move it on, bearing in mind that it takes on a couple of bakkies that pack a big punch, the popular Toyota Hilux the ever-impressive Ford Ranger, and lastly the brute of the bunch, the Volkswagen Amarok V6. This segment continues to grow and the competition continues to be fierce so this will be an epic battle of the titans.

The previous Navara wasn’t the smoothest pill to swallow; it lacked character and felt somewhat numb; it lacked the inspiration to grab it by the horns and take it for a drive. Growing up, I had an uncle who owned a Nissan SANI 3.0l V6, a bakkie that many motorists admired because of its raspy V6 and bright yellow hue that lathered its hefty and rugged character. These were the golden days of the Nissan bakkie, and it brought out what felt like the greatest from Nissan. The Sani was exciting, inspirational, and well-loved by just about everyone.

Aesthetics

The current Nissan offering has managed to reclaim a modicum of those glory days; when the first images of the latest Navara were released, I was blown away by how modern and forceful this vehicle appears to be. Nissan’s design team knocked it out of the park with this Navara, bringing back the aggressive and charming design. The Navara makes no apologies for capturing all the attention as it struts its stuff on the highways and byways. To top it off, the warrior grey hue absolutely makes this a complete aesthetic desire. 

Technology

  • Intelligent Keyless Entry
  • Power Sliding rear screen
  • Automatic Dual Zone
  • LED + Auto + Follow me home
  • Independent doublewishbone + stabaliser

Interior, Entertainment, Utilities, and Comfort.

The untrained consumer will believe that Bakkies are rough and tough products that don’t carry a tad of comfort or sophistication. I’m glad to say that they are mistaken. The Navara provides a premium interior that I forgot that I was in a bulky behemoth that could easily venture onto the roads less travelled. The seats supply ample grip, space, and comfort that easily rivals premium sedans.

The entertainment sphere is not an afterthought either, the system is powered by an intuitive 8” touch screen display that provides you with access to the below features.

  • AndroidAuto / Apple CarPlay*
  • AM/FM Radio with RDS
  • Bluetooth® Audio Streaming.
  • Voice recognition

Not only does the display provide you with ample options for the audio system, but you also can navigate the onboard features that include GPS Navigation, a 360-degree camera, and a host of other pertinent options.

Rain-sensing wipers, speed-sensing door locks, and auto-folding mirrors are all standard in the Navara’s arsenal, while the rear seats get revised seat cushions and back forms, as well as a central fold-out armrest with built-in cup holders.

The 360-degree camera came in handy during my test tenure, I was able to navigate across slightly tricky situations because of this, however, a high-definition stream would mark this as class-leading.

Storage space is adequate in the Navara, with plenty of options to conceal items you may not want to be visible to passers-by. The Navara boasts a payload capacity of 1144kg and a braked towing capacity of 3500kg, this should prove sufficient for most families trekking during their annual holiday.

Performance 

The Navara is powered by a 2.5L engine that produces 140kW and 450Nm of torque; performance isn’t spectacular, but the Navara isn’t afraid to accelerate quickly. The smooth 7-speed automatic gearbox impressed me; the gearbox knows exactly what it needs to do at any given time, which translates into the Navara’s good road manners. The in-gear acceleration is commendable and feels a lot stronger than the dash to the 100 km/h mark, delivering a lot of confidence to impel on some overtaking of frustratingly slow traffic. 

Off-road capabilities.

During my test period, I decided to take the test car to the Hennops 4X4 trail, and I was impressed that the 4X2 iteration of the Navara could handle almost everything the course could throw at it. I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew at times, but I was wrong; the Navara reigned supreme and managed to pull itself out of some of the most difficult situations it faced.

Summary

Throughout my tenure as an automobile journalist, I have examined various bakkies, and a handful of these bakkies make a lot of sense. Because of its brute force approach to performance, the Volkswagen Amarok V6 remains a bakkie that I consider the benchmark in its market. However, not everything is about power and torque, and here is where the Navara starts to challenge my favorite bakkie’s position. It accomplishes what it needs to do, with the bonus of not being expensive.

The Navara is officially my favorite bakkie, it does everything extremely well, in my view, this has been the greatest bakkie I have tested to date, it’s a shame I didn’t receive the 4×4 Pro-4X on test, I feel it would have soared over even the most difficult of obstacles at the 4X4 trail.

Secondly, the way the Navara makes you feel is something exceptional; throughout my test period, I felt as if the world was mine; regardless of whether you have the most powerful or most exclusive bakkie, the Navara sits just on the verge of flawless.

Gottagged Rating

9.1/ 10

Pricing

R 686 000.00

Service Plan

6 YEAR OR 90 000KM

For the first 6 years or 90 000km of driving your car, whichever comes first, you can rest easy knowing that our promise to you is a kept one. We’ll make sure your car is running smoothly and always on the road.

Warranty

6 YEAR OR 150 000KM

As long as your car is under our warranty, we’ll always have you covered if anything goes wrong. You don’t need to stress for the first 6 years or 150 000km, whichever comes first.

ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE

We keep you on the road 24/7. Should anything unexpected happen we guarantee you 24-hour roadside assistance, no matter the age of your Nissan, because it’s still a Nissan.

COURTESY CAR

We will arrange a courtesy car for all warranty repairs should the components required not be available within 48 hours.

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