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When the new Nissan Navara rolled into my yard for a week’s testing, I was completely in awe of the revamped ‘bakkie’. The first impressions left me gobsmacked as I went around the vehicle for a closer inspection. Everything about the new Navara ticked all the boxes. Aesthetically, it is very pleasing to the eye and the Warrior Grey colour suited the 4×2 double cab perfectly. And it got me thinking whether Nissan has made the best Navara yet? Certainly seems that way. Whilst the Navara quite understandably, embodies Japanese engineering, it is locally produced right here in Mzansi, adapted to local conditions. And it really impresses in more ways than one.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

Styling yet rugged

The Nissan Navara includes developments in styling, technology, safety and overall performance. The result is an improved driving experience, enhanced ride comfort and load carrying capacity that positions the Navara as the leading bakkie in its segment.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

The Navara is known for its rugged redefined looks, robust capabilities, reliability and versatility, making it one of the most respected and anticipated models within the Nissan line-up and around the world. These qualities have been enhanced across the board, with particular attention paid to engineering for South African road conditions, including off-road capabilities.

Nissan Connect

The all-new Nissan Navara also boasts an infotainment system with NissanConnect and 8” touch screen, modernised styling and high-power specs that are sure to impress both existing customers and those looking for a new workhorse or adventure vehicle. Nissan believes in the new Navara and the warranty plan of six-year/150,000km speaks true to that.

Powered up

The new Nissan Navara is powered by a tried and tested 2.5 litre turbocharged diesel engine, which allows Nissan to meet their customers’ requirements for low running costs, reliability and performance. The 2.5l power train is available in two levels of output.

The high output engine, available on higher grade models, delivers 140kW power and 450Nm torque, while the mid-output engine, delivering 120kW power and 403Nm, the most powerful engine in the entry and mid grades bakkie segment. In addition, the Navara engine line-up is includes a 2.5l petrol engine delivering 118kW and 233Nm available on the entry grade XE Single Cab.

Keep you safe

The inclusion of Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) makes this range the most technology-advanced Navara yet – and the safest too. Intelligent driving tools can be paired with additional driver assistance that help you see more, sense more and take swifter action.

One particular feature is Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, which monitors sudden movements of up to two vehicles ahead and alerts the driver of potential collision risk. This complements the Intelligent Emergency Braking feature, will activate which will activate the brakes in case of no response from the driver to avoid collisions – particularly useful in urban traffic situations.

Night driving

For night driving, Intelligent High Beam Assist automatically switches headlights to low beam from high beam when it detects an oncoming vehicle. Further features warn drivers if they stray outside their lane without signalling and detect vehicles in the blind spot area when changing lanes.

Entering and exiting parking spots can be particularly tricky for even the best drivers, and there’s nothing worse than getting that first scratch on a new car. The Intelligent Around View Monitor uses four cameras to help drivers notice people and cars surrounding the vehicle.

Look smart, play smart

Nissan aficionados will notice a distinctly different Navara this month, with the best-in-class bakkie boasting a tough, robust appearance that will inspire confidence even on the most rugged terrain.

The all-new Navara includes V-Motion identity and new LED headlamps and foglamps – all built to allow for increased driveability and ease of use. Inside, the steering wheel has been restyled and seats have been redesigned for improved comfort and recovered in either cloth or leather. It is also a markedly quieter drive compared to previous models with reduced engine and wind noise within the cabin.

Built to perform

The Nissan Navara offers a unique seven AT and four-wheel drive with differential lock for easy off-road driving. For manual transmission models, a new low gear ratio improves acceleration response, ease of driving, and ease of starting uphill. The six-gear manual transmission offers ergonomic shift operation with smoother and more precise gear selection and comfortable reverse gear engagement.

Whew! Now here is a ‘bakkie’ that ticks all the boxes. From being a good looker to a smooth and comfortable ride and everything else in between, the New Nissan Navara certainly did not disappoint.

In fact, it left me wanting more. Once in the drivers’ seat, I was in complete control. Press on the accelerator and the engine and gearbox does the rest and on any terrain. So whether you’re looking for the right vehicle to support your business growth or to explore South Africa’s remote and beautiful wildernesses, there is a Navara model for you.


The derivative I drove (2.5D Pro-2X 4X2 AT DCab) will set you back R686,000 (VAT included). Service interval 15,000km, Service plan six-year/90,000km.