Nissan first launched the all new Navara about three years ago and has just released the MY18 update with extensive updates to the handling and steering, as well as a range of technology and safety enhancements
The 2018 Nissan Navara is available in three body styles, single cab, king cab and dual cab in either pickup or cab chassis configuration.
There is a choice between two engines, two drivetrains, 4×2 and 4×4 and two transmissions.
There are 27 Pickup and 8 Cab Chassis options and 10 4X2 and 25 4X4 variants.
There has been no changes to the external design in this update. The Navara maintains a look that is somewhere between the bold American pickup truck like design of the Ford Ranger and the softer sleeker look of the Isuzu D-Max or Mazda BT-50.
Exterior features include:
- DRL’s on all model variants,
- LED headlights on SL, ST, and ST-X.
- The ST-X grade also features LED door mirror turn indicators.
- The ST-X and King Cab ST also features LED door mirror turn indicators.
- The SL, ST and ST-X have side steps and
- ST & ST-X grades feature front fog lamps with chrome accents, located in the front bumper.
- ST-X has folding exterior mirrors, polished silver roof rails and intelligent keys system.
The Navara is comfortable inside. Also as you drive it you notice how quiet it is as well.
Functionality of the dash is pretty good. Two large dials with a MFD between is a fairly standard design. These are clear and easy to read.
In select grades, the Advanced Drive Assist Display (ADAD) provides multiple screen options in the centre of the dashboard, between the tachometer and speedometer dials, meaning drivers can view information at a simple glance.
The overall feel of the interior is spacious, clean and uncluttered.
The front seats are great, even the cloth seats. Like a few other Utes the Navara comes with cloth trim across the entire Navara range.
All Dual Cab ST-X models, and the King Cab ST-X 7-speed automatic, come with a leather seat option – priced at $1,500.
There are soft touch points on the door trims, centre console lid and other convenient places. There is enough seat slide for taller drivers.
Rear seats in the dual cab are slightly more comfortable than most of its competitors and there appears to be a little more room back there.
The glove box is a reasonable size, door pockets will hold a bottle and little else, and the centre cup holders are great. The centre console is average size.
Nissan has copied the idea of cup/bottle holders on the dash.
Forward visibility is good, but over the shoulder is a little restricted. The ‘A’ pillars seem to come in, following the bonnet design, and the size and angle is obstructive in roundabouts etc.
For the first time on a Nissan Navara, an Around View Monitor has been fitted within the 7-inch infotainment system on top-of-the-range ST-X Dual Cab and King Cab grades.
Four mounted cameras help drivers notice people and cars surrounding and approaching the vehicle, improving safety.
Supporting this technology is the Rear View Camera, which is now offered as standard equipment unfortunately only on the pickup variants.
From June 2018 production all Navara SL, ST and ST-X models will feature a digital speedometer housed within the instrument cluster.
Satellite navigation has been fitted as standard equipment on the King Cab ST grade, aligning with its Dual Cab sibling.
Other features include: dual zone climate A/C, Automatic on/off headlights, second row seatbelt alert and two pairs of ISOFix child restraint anchorage points on Dual Cab models.
Drive and Engine
There are two engine types, the most popular being the 2.3 litre inter-cooled twin-turbo diesel with 140kW/450Nm.
The second engine is a 2.3 litre intercooled single turbo four-cylinder diesel engine available that produces 120kW/403Nm.
Navara has a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission, the latter of which has a manual mode. Both engines have pretty good fuel economy figures
These are mated to either a 2WD or 4WD system. 4X2 or 2WD versions drive the rear wheels.
The 4WD versions benefit from advanced shift on the fly technology, between 2H and 4H with the traditional stopping and neutral change for 4L.
The desired mode is electronically controlled via an easy-to-reach dial on the dash.
Other handy drivetrain features include an electronic locking rear differential and on the ST-X, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control
The Navara comes with a 5 Star ANCAP Safety rating for the existing model and the update includes a range of new safety and smart technologies.
The Nissan Navara range features:
- Seven airbags, including two front, two side seat, two side curtain and a driver knee airbag,
- Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with
- Brake Limited Slip Differential (BLSD) improves dynamic performance and safety,
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),
- Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD),
- Active Brake Limited Slip (ABLS)
- Traction Control System (TCS) and
- Brake Assist (BA) also appear on all grades.
- Suspension dramatically improved
- All surface ride and handling
- Very quiet inside for a Ute
Not So Good Bits
- Rear view camera only on Pickup versions
- Poor ‘A’ pillar visibility
- No Apple/Android connectivity
Nissan Navara has always been an excellent Ute. Nissan allowed the competition to get ahead of them in recent times and in an extremely competitive segment, that can be market suicide.
Fortunately it wasn’t and the verdict is that they have finally got it right.
On all surfaces, across all loads, the suspension was compliant with no bottoming out that we felt, and handled the loads and towing responsibilities with composure.
In fact the range topping ST-X will now challenge the leading Utes as the best on road riding Ute.
Facts and Figures: 2018 Nissan Navara Ute
- Engine: 2.3 litre single and twin turbo-diesel four-cylinder 177kW/500Nm
- Transmission: Six speed MT or 7 speed AT 2WD & 4WD
- Safety: Five stars
- Origin: Thailand
- Warranty: 3 yrs/100,000km
- Price: From $25,990 – $54,490