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Car reviews - Nissan - Navara - ST-X dual-cab utility range

Launch Story

Nissan logo23 Mar 2010

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

A SIGNIFICANT diesel engine upgrade is the key to a facelift for the Nissan D40 Navara crew cab ST-X.

The family-friendly ute has also been given a new nose and fresh interior, while the diesel version adds key safety features such as electronic stability control and side and curtain airbags.

Nissan has also added a significant number of standard comfort features.

As a result, prices have increased by between $2070 on the petrol version and $3130 on the diesel model, rising to $47,990 and $50,990 respectively.

The changes will not affect the current D22 Navara (the old model that sells alongside the D40) or the D40 king-cab model.

The new vehicle – revealed at this month’s Geneva motor show – will arrive in local dealerships in June along with the revised Pathfinder wagon.

The D40 crew cab does not look a whole lot different to the existing vehicle from a distance, but quite a bit has changed, including the bonnet, headlights, grille and front bumper, giving the popular commercial vehicle a fresher appearance.

The new bumpers help to increase ground clearance by 9mm to 228mm, while the approach and departure angles (30 degrees front and 24 degrees departure) have also improved.

New 17-inch wheels replace the 16-inch alloys of the existing model, while new wing mirrors with built-in indicators fold in at the touch of a button.

The cabin comes in for the most important design changes, with a redesigned dashboard, centre console and doors. New seat and door trims get a modern fabric to replace the existing material that can be traced back to the original X-Trail SUV.

A new satin metallic-look centre console cover, new switchgear, chrome finishes, new plastic surfaces and the door trims now feature fewer plastic surfaces and more fabric.

The interior gets dual-zone climate control, as well as an upgraded sound system with a six-CD stacker, speed sensing volume and Bluetooth connectivity.

A new five-function trip computer has distance to empty, average speed, journey time, fuel economy and trip metre as well as an exterior temperature display.

Other additions include variable intermittent windscreen wipers with speed sensor and steering wheel controls for the audio and Bluetooth system. The 4.0-litre V6 petrol engine remains unchanged, producing 198kW and 385Nm, with an official fuel consumption figure of 13.6 litres per 100km.

The real news is the revised 2.5-litre four-cylinder diesel which produces 11 per cent more power for a total of 140kW and 12 per cent more torque for a total of 450Nm.

That means the Navara diesel now has class leading levels of both power and torque.

This was achieved with new cylinder heads featuring parallel ports, a new variable nozzle turbo with electric control and an increase in the direct injection pressure from 1800 bar to 2000 bar.

A bypass valve for the exhaust gas recirculation cooling system that opens for cold starts also helps out with emissions, while minor changes to the turbo tubing improve engine refinement.

Diesel fuel consumption has been reduced 13 per cent for the manual with a new average fuel use figure of just 8.5 litres per 100km (the automatic average is 9 litres).

The six-speed manual gearbox has been carried over while the five-speed automatic now has a manual mode.

Nissan revealed in Geneva a plan to fit a new Renault-sourced 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 with 170kW of power and 550Nm of torque to the European Navara, but it is unclear if this engine will come to Australia.

Nissan Australia commercial vehicle brand manager Matt Baily says the company would love to have the potent engine in a range topping premium Navara, but added that nothing had been locked in.

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