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Guest Post: Review of the Nissan Navara for Off-Road Fans

The new Navara comes with a facelift - but how does it do off-road?

The Nissan Navara has always been a good, solid 4x4, but its recent facelift has come with a few more improvements - some of which are of particular interest to off-roaders.

An improved 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine now kicks out 140kW, an improvement of 11%. The torque is a little more powerful also, at 450Nm - plenty of low-down grunt to get you out of those occasional tight spots. Fuel economy is up 13%, and as a result CO2 emissions are down 15%. All this and it’s quiet too, with very little diesel engine rattle heard in the cabin. The ST and the ST-X 550 versions come with an improved V6 turbo diesel powertrain.

Other improvements include ground clearance - up 11mm - and approach and departure angles, great for getting you out of that mud hole. Some might find that there’s a little too much travel in the accelerator and brake pedals, but it’s only a minor problem.

The double cab gives you plenty of room in the back whether it’s kids or adults in there, and the Navara makes up for the lack of a boot with back seats that fold down to give you a decent, lockable storage space. The interior generally has a more pleasant look than the older model’s plain but durable trim. The centre console has had a restyle, and controls and instruments are easier to read.

It has an excellent driving position with great all-round visibility that’ll definitely help you spot the best way to get around obstacles on the track. You can choose between six speed manual or five speed automatic, and of course there’s the choices between front wheel drive, 4H or 4L, easily altered with a twist of the dial on the centre console.

Nissan have also added some other little odds and ends, which include dual-zone air con, three child seat anchor locks, six airbags and 60/40 split fold seats. On the outside of the vehicle, you’re looking at 17 inch alloy wheels, alloy sports bar and fog lights.

Upgrade to the ST-X 550 and you’ll get leather trim, sat nav, state of the art sound system, heated front seats, a satin black sports bar and even a reversing camera for when the bed’s full of gear.

Safety-wise, the ST-X diesel version features stability control, while both the petrol and diesel versions have side impact and side curtain airbags. The stability control works well, and allows a certain amount of oversteer or wheel spin before it begins to correct. It has a 3 star ANCAP safety rating.

Overall a great improvement - many of the things off-roaders look for have been improved in the new Navara and the gripes are fairly small. A good contender in the SUV market, and one that is expected to do well against competitors


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