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Driven: Nissan completes Navara range

Cab charge: Nissan's Navara range is now ready to do battle with the one-tonne competition with “workhorse” Single and King Cab versions now joining the Dual Cab.

Single Cab and King Cab could push Navara back to third place: Nissan

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Nissan logo20 Nov 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

NISSAN has completed the NP300 Navara one-tonne ute range with Single Cab and King Cab versions joining the already launched Dual Cab, but while the Japanese car-maker says the full- range could boost sales to number three in the segment, it won't be chasing volume figures.

Since its launch in June, the lone Dual Cab version has managed to attract better than expected attention, says Nissan, but with 13 more “workhorse” variants now added to the range, sales are set to shift up a gear.

Speaking at the launch of the Single and King Cab Navara, Nissan Motor Company Australia CEO Richard Emery told GoAuto the surprising popularity of the initial variants had caused supply problems, but the rest of the range would ease that pressure.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the take-up,” he said. “We are excited in that we have already seen some customers float back to dealerships. We are a car company and we want to be selling more of the limited range that we had out there, of course, but we are pretty comfortable now.

“We ran out of ST-Xs because we didn’t expect the take-up on the Dual Cab ST-X, so that restricted us but now we have the full range. Our supply lines are full and we are looking forward to the next six months.”

With a full range, Mr Emery said it would be able to meet the demand for the new model and, if the popularity of the Dual Cab continues with King and Single Cab, the NP300 could claim back a few ranks, possibly even rising to third place.

“In the D40’s heyday it was number two. As it got older and more competitors came into the segment we slipped to fifth or sixth. Would I like it to get back to third? Absolutely, but we are not driven by that competitive position. We won’t chase volume just for the sake of volume.

“In terms of chasing down number one or two, that needs really aggressive government and mining business, which is not really our thing. I think if we can get back for number three that would be fantastic. Am I driven wholeheartedly by that? Not necessarily.”

Mr Emery explained that while monthly registration figures were an interesting source, they did not reveal the full picture.

“Monthly VFACTS numbers and rankings are really an ego trip for MDs and CEOs rather than any true measure of how your business is going.

“Our business is far more robust this year than in other years and more sustainable than some other brands that are going to sell more cars.”

With the additional 13 variants, the Navara line-up has swollen to 27 versions consisting of two and four-wheel drive, petrol and diesel powerplants, Single, King and Dual Cab, the latter in Pickup or Chassis form.

“There will be people saying do you need all 27, well we will soon find out,” said Mr Emery. “Its use is broad, it's going to be around for eight or nine years so plenty of time for us to adjust to customer needs. Do we need all 27 for the whole life of the car? We will see how we go.”

Like the previous D40 version, the NP300 is expected to attract the most attention in mid-range ST Dual Cab guise, but with a broader range, Nissan will be targeting fleet customers with a greater focus than before.

“In the old car it was absolutely the Dual Cab ST and we expect that to be the same again. We are getting a very solid reaction from customers wanting a genuine dual-purpose car. We are getting people who wouldn’t have bought the old car. There is a bit of conquest business there.

“You can tell from the broad line-up that much of it aligns with some fleet opportunities. We do want to chase some traditional fleet buyers who would not have bought Navara in the old model. It opens up a whole range of customers that we didn’t have before.”

The most notable change with the introduction of the third generation lies in its rear axle which uses coil-spring suspension when under the back end of the Dual Cab Pickup, but the rest of the range adopts a more conventional leaf spring layout for the best load-lugging performance.

That includes the RX Cab Chassis version of the Dual Cab which also arrives with the Single and King Cab variants, priced from $38,490 before on-road costs, and shares the engine and standard equipment of the Pickup RX but has four-wheel drive.

Kicking off the range is the Single Cab DX 4x2, which is the only petrol-powered variant of the range. Priced from $19,490 before on-road costs, Nissan says the entry level Navara is an important inclusion and will attract around five per cent of overall sales.

It's 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is normally aspirated, produces 122kW and 238Nm and consumes 9.9 litres of fuel per 100km when in the combined cycle.

Single Cab versions top-out with the $32,990 RX 4x4 which has a single-turbo 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine and 120kW/403Nm. Its more frugal powerplant uses 6.6L/100km when paired with the seven-speed automatic transmission.

Two mid-range diesel versions flesh out the Single Cab range in either 4x2 RX or 4x4 DX, priced at $25,990 and $31,990 respectively. 4x4 versions also use 6.6L/100km while 4x2 transmissions are more efficient with consumption of 6.4L/100km.

All Single Cab Navaras are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but the RX 4x4 can be upgraded to seven-speed auto for $2500.

With the lightest kerb weight of the range, cab-chassis versions have the greatest load capacity, ranging from 1362kg for the RX 4x2, to 1196kg for the DX 4x4. Towing capacity is rated at 3500kg braked for all but the 1588kg for the entry version.

Unlike the outgoing model, the 2016 Navara has earned a five star ANCAP safety rating thanks, in part, to seven airbags including curtain type. All four Single Cabs also come equipped with cloth-covered six-way adjustable seats, a four-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, alarm and easy-to-clean vinyl floor covering.

Stepping up to the more generously equipped RX adds carpets, keyless entry, a rear window demister and illuminated vanity mirrors, while exteriors have chrome-effect door mirrors, door handles and grille.

While the Single Cab Navara is available only with a cab chassis tray, the King Cab offers both the more utilitarian back half plus a tidier Pick Up “style-side” rear body option.

All King Cab Navaras have two conventional front seats with two further fold-down jump seats in the second row, which can be stowed for a larger 'boot' space or occupied by extra passengers on shorter journeys. Access is through rearward-opening doors.

Cab Chassis versions are exclusively RX specification and available in either 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrain paired with the same 2.3-litre diesel as fitted to three of the four Single Cab Navaras. Prices start from $28,490 for the 4x2 or $ 35,490 for the 4x4.

All 4x4 versions of the new Navara have electrically switchable two- and four-wheel-drive modes with low-range 4x4. The casings of the optional automatic transmission is manufactured in Dandenong Victoria.

Only the entry-level RX is available in rear-drive with all others are 4x4.

Like the Single Cab, a manual gearbox is standard, but ST and ST-X can be upgraded to auto for $2500.

The Entry level King Cab Pick Up costs $36,990 and also shares the 2.3-litre diesel but stepping up to the $42,990 ST and $48,990 ST-X adds an extra turbocharger under the bonnet and an additional 20kW and 47Nm of torque, taking total output to 140kW and 450Nm.

With the single turbo-diesel, fuel consumption matches the Single Cab, but the addition of the second turbo, manual ST and ST-X versions cut fuel consumption with 6.5L/100km or 7.0L/100km when fitted with the optional auto.

Maximum payload ranges from 1261kg and 966kg, while towing capacity is 3500kg across the board with a braked trailer.

RX versions share the same equipment of the Single Cab Navara but ST variants are treated to extra gear such as a reversing camera, differential lock, LED daytime running lights, alloy sports bar, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, foglights, side steps and power folding and heated door mirrors.

On the inside XTs also have NissanConnect smartphone integration 5.0-inch colour display, part-leather steering wheel and an electro-chromatic rearview mirror with integrated compass.

ST-X Navaras share the equipment of the ST but add larger 18-inch alloy wheels, reversing sensors, hill-hold, Utili-Track load tie-down system and a tray liner.

Interior and comfort equipment is improved with part-leather seat upholstery with heaters in the front and eight-way power adjustment for the driver.

Satellite navigation is accessed through a larger 7.0-inch touchscreen, while climate control and floor mats are also provided.

2015 Nissan NP300 Navara pricing*
Single cab
Single cab DX 4x2 petrol cab chassis$19,490
Single cab RX 4x2 diesel cab chassis$25,990
Single cab DX 4x4 diesel cab chassis$31,990
Single cab RX 4x4 diesel cab chassis$32,990
Single cab RX 4x4 diesel cab chassis (a)$35,490
King cab
King cab RX 4x2 diesel cab chassis$28,490
King cab RX 4x4 diesel cab chassis$35,490
King cab RX 4x4 diesel pick-up$36,990
King cab ST 4x4 diesel pick-up$42,990
King cab ST 4x4 diesel pick-up (a)$45,490
King cab ST-X 4x4 diesel pick-up$48,990
King cab ST-X 4x4 diesel pick-up (a)$51,490
Dual cab chassis
Dual cab RX 4x4 diesel cab chassis$38,490
*Excludes on-road costs

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