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Driven: Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior undercuts rivals

Driveaway pricing starts at $62,990 for Nissan’s hero ute and Ford Raptor rival

9 Dec 2019

NISSAN Australia has launched its new off-road-enhanced Navara ute, the N-Trek Warrior, with driveaway pricing of $62,990 for the six-speed manual and $65,490 for the seven-speed automatic, thus undercutting most of its immediate rivals.


The 4x4 dual-cab Warrior, which goes into showrooms this week, is more than $10,000 cheaper than the more powerful, auto-only Ford Ranger Raptor, which has a list price of $75,990 plus on-road costs.


It is also more affordable than the Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) Colorado SportsCat SV which goes for $66,790 plus on-road costs for the manual and $68,990 for the auto.


The closest in price is the Toyota HiLux Rugged X that starts at $62,490 plus on-road costs for the manual version and $64,490 for the auto.


Sitting above the previously released $56,450 Navara N-Trek as the new flagship of the Nissan pick-up range, the Warrior has been re-engineered by Melbourne’s Premcar which will also do the final fit-out of the Thai-built Navara halo variant at a new production facility in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.


The Warrior is powered by the same 140kW/450Nm 2.3-litre turbo-diesel engine as its Navara brethren, and also gets the same black fittings as the N-Trek, including fender flares, sports bar, headlamp bezels, side steps, grille, bumper, doorhandles and roof rails, as well as part-leather seats with orange fabric inserts and contrast stitching.


The main enhancements to the Warrior concern the chassis, where Premcar has raised the ride height by 40mm and increased suspension travel to cope with rugged terrain.


Tenneco dampers and Monroe springs attribute 15mm to the taller stance, while fat Cooper All-Terrain tyres boost it by a further 25mm. The footprint is wider too, with the track stretched to 1600mm.


Those chunky wheels are so big that the alloy wheels have been reduced from 18 inches on the N-Trek to 17 inches on the Warrior to fit them under the guards. Even then, the inner guards had to be modified to accommodate the 32.2-inch tyres.


The initial spring rate is softer by six per cent at the front and eight per cent at the back to deliver a more comfortable ride and better off-road articulation, but the rear springs progressively stiffen to keep the vehicle composed when pushed, both on road and off road.


Ground clearance goes up to 268mm, while the approach angle increases to 35 degrees. If the angle exceeds this extreme, a 3mm steel bashplate provides extra protection.


Premcar engineers tested the chassis on the sand and gravel tracks of the Big Desert between Ouyen, in north-western Victoria, and Pinnaroo, on the South Australian border, as well under controlled conditions at the Australian Automotive Research Centre and Melbourne University’s Advanced Centre for Automotive Research and Testing.


One of the main tasks was to ensure the durability of the new chassis components met Nissan’s factory standards.


Other goodies added to the Warrior include a body-coloured steel bullbar, a 470mm-long light bar and a full-size spare alloy wheel. The latter required alterations to the underbody and towbar crossmember.


Cosmetic changes include orange for the foglamp bezels (with protective ‘bark busters’), headrests and floor mats embroidered with the N-Trek Warrior logo that is repeated on exterior decals.


The Warrior comes in a choice of three exterior colours – black, white and slate grey.


Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester said the Navara N-Trek Warrior had been designed, re-engineered and tested in Australia for Australian conditions and Australian drivers.


“We have created a hero Navara for 4x4 ute enthusiasts who want to explore well beyond the blacktop, safe in the knowledge that Nissan’s legendary engineering durability and reliability remains, and that driver safety and comfort has not been compromised,” he said.


Despite the modifications, the Warrior retains Nissan’s five-year factory warranty.


The braked towing capacity is 3500kg.


The Warrior is being launched in the last fortnight of the year, meaning it will have minimal chance to lift Navara sales that this year have been travelling 17.1 per cent down on last year.


With 12,382 Navaras sold to the end of November, Nissan’s second-best-selling model behind the X-Trail trails pick-up rivals such as the HiLux (43,732), Ford Ranger (37,612), Mitsubishi Triton (23,504), Holden Colorado (16,106) and Isuzu D-Max (15,012) by a wide margin.


2019 Nissan Navara N-Trek Warrior driveaway pricing:

N-Trek Warrior  $62,990
N-Trek Warrior (a) $65,490


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