Navara more than just about dynamics
The Nissan Navara 4x4 has plenty going for it – as s its podium performance so well showed last time in Best Bakkie 2018. To begin with, it certainly looks the part and Navara’s well-appointed cabin possesses a premium feel with comfortable leather seats and cool trim.
Then it’s powered by Nissan’s smooth 2.3-litre diesel with a small turbo for bottom end grunt and a bigger one for impressive power on top, to deliver the acceleration and efficiency that once again add credence to that swing to bakkie engine downsizing to allow performance to so happily coexist with efficiency.
Now Nissan has added this 4x2 to its Navara quiver to really bring out the advantages of a wide, flat torque curve with neither the mass nor the friction penalty a four-wheel drive system brings. It need only turn a slick 7-speed auto box and the rear diff, so it’s quicker, more economical and the 4x2 Navara even rides better and feels lither on road and trail too.
Another upside is refined road feel through Navara’s advanced 5-link coil spring rear end instead of leaf springs. This set-up is similar to that of large SUVs for better comfort and road-holding compared to leaves and more versatile in off-road conditions, while ride quality is reasonable but can be choppy.
Boasting a 10.2-second zero to 100km/h sprint to match old-school 2.8 and 3.2-litre bakkies, payload is also up to well over a ton in 4x2 get-up, with a braked towing capacity of 3.5 tons, along with fuel efficiency to justify class-leading claims though low friction components, reduced mass, wider-range gear ratios and enhanced aero.
Best Bakkie has a tendency to favour rear wheel drive for a number of reasons – could Navara be the next bakkie to go all the way this 4x2 time around?
BEST BAKKIE 2019 FINALIST: Nissan Navara 2.3D DC LE 4x2 auto
Engine: 140kW 450Nm 2298cc I4 turbo diesel
Drive: 7-speed auto RWD
Braked Towing: 3500kg
0-100km/h: 10.28 sec
0-400m: 16.9 sec @ 131km/h
80-120km/h: 7.66 sec
CO2: 179 g/km
Warranty/Service: 6y 150K/3y 90Kkm
LIST PRICE: R559K
Best Bakkie 2019 Index