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Nissan outs next-gen Navara

New beginning: The 2015 Nissan Navara features a completely new look that is in keeping with the company's current design language.

All-new Navara ushers in a softer look for Nissan's popular workhorse


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11 Jun 2014

NISSAN has softened the look of its twelfth-generation Navara ute, but the company promises it will maintain its reputation as a capable all-round workhorse when it arrives in local showrooms early next year.

In a statement, the Japanese car-maker highlighted the 80 years of experience it has in building pick-ups, and says the 2015 Navara will feature improved levels of comfort, convenience and technology over the outgoing model.

For the latest generation, Nissan's design team focused on giving the Navara “sportier and more emotional” styling, with the brand's V-motion corporate face set in a chrome-heavy grille, which gives the appearance of being completely integrated into the vehicle's side panels.

A softer, rounder front end replaces the sharper, boxier angles of the current model and incorporates new headlights with Nissan's now familiar “boomerang- style” daytime running lights, while the headlight and grille combination is similar to that of the locally designed and engineered Ford Ranger.

Bulging wheel arches dominate the view from the side and concave and convex panelling runs across the doors, while the rear window tapers up towards the C-pillar, which Nissan says gives it an “energetic and dependable” look.

The Navara's cabin takes a huge leap forward over the outgoing model, with the signature Nissan three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, aluminium-look dash, console and door trims, and contrasting stitching on the seats creates a more upmarket feel.

Calling the interior a “quality benchmark” for the segment, Nissan says it has used high-quality materials throughout, and the huge centre stack features a display screen sitting high above the air conditioning controls.

Details of on-board connectivity features are yet to be confirmed, but expect the next-gen Navara to be available with a number of new technology features, depending on the variant.

Nissan Australia said in a statement that powertrain and local specification details will be released ahead of a local debut early next year.

“Nissan will launch the All-New Nissan Navara in the Australian market in early 2015. Specification information announced today is based on the Thai market – Australian specification, including engines, transmissions and grades, will be confirmed at a later date.” Under the skin, the Navara is expected to gain a number of major improvements, and while this information is yet to be confirmed, the company said the utility's “high-strength chassis and suspension” has been designed to handle heavy loads and take a lot of punishment.

The turning circle has been reduced and the Navara will feature shift-on-the-fly all-wheel drive which allows the driver to engage 4x4 mode while moving.

On the safety front, the Navara will feature a Vehicle Dynamic Control System for improved 4x4 performance, as well as an Active Brake Limited Slip, hill start assist and a hill descent control system.

As previously reported by GoAuto, the twelfth-gen Navara will no longer be built alongside the Triton utility at Mitsubishi's factory in Laem Chabang, Thailand and will instead roll off the production line at Nissan's new plant in the kingdom's Samut Prakarn province.

The new model will replace both the D40 Navara that launched in Australia in 2005 and the ancient D22 ute that arrived in early 1997 when it rolls into showrooms early next year.

Nissan plans to boost its Navara ANCAP crash safety rating from four to five stars to better compete with key volume-selling rivals including the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Toyota HiLux and Holden Colorado, which all carry a maximum five-star rating across most variants.

Nissan chief planning officer Andy Palmer said that the new Navara “sets new benchmarks” in a range of areas, including performance, versatility and running costs.

“We are confident that the all-new Nissan NP300 Navara will go straight to the top of pick-up buyers’ shopping lists in all of the markets where we will sell it,” he said. “Its combination of striking looks, efficient performance, robustness and durability will allow owners to work and play harder – enriching their daily lives.

“The NP300 Navara continues the legacy of Nissan’s long pickup history and, like all Nissan models, it will deliver excitement through innovation,”

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