1 Nov 2005
NISSAN launched a two-pronged light-truck strategy with the 12th-generation Navara.
It pitched the D40 in the upper-scale ‘lifestyle’ end of the segment while the older D22 model continued to look after the more price-sensitive tradesperson-orientated end.
In D40 guise, the Nissan utility is bigger, safer, stronger and more refined than any of its predecessors.
Sourced from the same factory in Spain that supplies the closely related R51 Pathfinder 4WD station wagon, only a four-door dual-cab D40 body was available initially.
Two variants – the base RX and well-specified ST-X – offered the choice of a petrol or turbo-diesel engine and two transmissions.
The headline engine is a 2.5-litre twin-cam four-cylinder direct-injection YD turbo-diesel unit offering 128kW of power at 4000rpm and 403Nm of torque at 2000rpm.
Petrol fans can choose a 4.0-litre twin-cam VQ V6 that pumps out 198kW of power at 5600rpm and 385Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
Both motors can be married to either a segment-first six-speed manual gearbox or five-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan carried over its mechanical part-time four-wheel drive system that splits torque from driving the rear wheels (2H) to 50/50 front/rear (4H) at a twist of a dashboard knob.
A low-ratio transfer box setting for serious four-wheel driving is also available (4L).
A rear-drive-only D40 Navara lobbed in early 2006, but only in the higher-grade ST-X model.
Underlining its light truck heritage, the D40’s ladder-frame chassis features independent front suspension with double wishbones and coil springs and a rigid live rear axle employing leaf springs.
All models include a CD player, central locking, air-conditioning, three rear lap/sash seatbelts, child anchorage points and a rear seat cushion that flips up for increased cabin luggage capacity.
The tray out back measures 2.36m2, offers 1130mm between the wheelarches and has a 1511mm internal bed length.
NISSAN has been promising more variants of its D40 Navara ever since the Dual Cab made its appearance in 2005.
The promised Single Cab and King Cab variants finally arrived in July 2008, and for the first time since 1988 Nissan has a Navara with extended cab space - this time with four doors and occasional-use rear seating for two.
Nissan hopes to reach closer to Ausralia's number-one selling ute, Toyota's HiLux, with its fortified Navara range. Even if it fails on that front, Nissan can only get closer to being known as the Nissan Navara company, given that one in three Nissans already sold this year has a Navara badge on it.