The first time we got to see the new Nissan Navara NP300 was at the Adelaide Clipsal 500 back in March of this year. It was on display with the GT-R and Altima our encounter could only be brief at best, as the New Nissan Navara had to head out on a (not so) hot lap so as to wet the beaks of the heat crazed Clipsal goers.
Fast forward to September 2015 and we finally got our hands on our own Nissan Navara NP300 to play with.
With the range of cars we get access to you would think we’d be used to driving cars of all shapes and sizes. But when we got into the Navara we still felt those first time jitters you get when you climb your way into a big SUV.
“Watch Charli’s video review of the Nissan’s Navara NP300”
The new Navara has kept its big size and added a few more curves and aesthetic design elements keeping it modern and up to date with competition. Up front you have Daytime Running LED headlights, matching Ground lights, and a smooth front fascia that incorporates Nissan’s classic V-motion grille. Nissan have also added some chrome accents which give the NP300 ST-X an element of sophistication to its brutish size.
One of the biggest changes to the Navara for 2015 is the engine. Under the hood of the ST-X is Nissan’s newly developed Intercooled Twin-turbocharged 2.3Litre DOHC engine that produces 140Kw of power, and 450Nm of torque to its 7 speed automatic transmission. This automatic version supposedly averages 7 litres per 100 kilometers fuel consumption which is great on paper. But I tend to always be a little heavy on the pedals when testing these vehicles for their worth and I was averaging closer to 9 litres, which is still impressive given the Navara’s size and weight.
Those figures speak for themselves but the highlight is definitely the amount of torque. The Navara pulls up to 3.5 tonne.
The new Nissan Navara is still on the noisy side. It definitely wasn’t one of the quieter diesels we have driven. The steering was relatively smooth, but the steering wheel itself isn’t adjustable. Plus the turning circle is worse than what we’d expect even from a Ute’s perspective. We kept putting ourselves in situations where we thought this should easily make the turn, but always pulled up short and would have to do an embarrassing adjustment.
Thanks to LR&M Constructions we got a chance to take the NP300 onto a work site and truly test the vehicle in a range of non-conventional off-road conditions. Having just rained a little the night, we had mud and puddles to navigate, as well as sand hills and a heap of tradies standing around admiring the car (we hope) while we put it to the test. Performance was top notch due to the Navara’s brand new Independant Coil Rear Suspension.
Inside of the NP300, you’ll find that Nissan has made this year’s Ute much more family friendly & orientated than previous models. We particularly liked the electric powered rear window, as it made it easy to shout instructions at the camera man when he was standing on the tray.
Other interior comforts include leather accented steering wheel and shifter, 8 way power driver seat, with lumbar support, 7 inch infotainment with Bluetooth Audio Streaming, in-dash CD player, Sat-Nav, Stereo, Auxiliary ports, steering wheel controls and NissanConnect Smartphone Integration. To be honest, with all the Nissan’s we have had, we’ve never been able to get the NissanConnect to actually connect our phones to the vehicle. So far we have found that none of the car compatible apps have worked a treat or been convenient and simple to use anyway. However, we experienced similar issues with Toyota and Mazda.
Further features worth a mention are heated front seats, Dual Zone Climate Control, Cruise Control, Push Button Start, Smart Key, Traction Control and a Reversing Camera.
Despite being wrapped in leather, the rear seating was not comfortable at all. We found our knees were too high up when sitting in the back.
In wrapping up, the Nissan Navara NP300 ST-X is definitely well teched out for a hard working Australian ute. For 2015 the Navara has seen upgrades in all the areas we would expect it to and Nissan have done just enough to keep the Nissan Navara competitive with the likes of the Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi Triton, Volkswagen Amarok and Isuzu D-Max.