A few years ago, Nissan made the decision to universalise some of their vehicle platforms and powertrains in their SUV and light-commercial-vehicle division. A global strategy that involved engine down-sizing, reducing carbon-emissions, and focusing on vehicle innovation instead of just vehicle mass-production.

During Nissan’s platform consolidation phase, the Navara was wheeled into the operating theatre and given a complete over-haul. The new 2014 Nissan Navara D23 edition was completely different from any of its predecessors, sporting a sleeker body-shape, a new 2.3l twin-turbodiesel engine and for the first time ever, a new 5-link coil-spring rear-suspension. While many experts were impressed with the revised exterior and its new powertrain, some did not appreciate that the leaf-spring rear-suspension, the traditional set-up for a bakkie, had been replaced by the new 5-link coil-spring rear-suspension. Nonetheless, the new suspension imbued the Navara with both the ride comfort and drivability of a premium SUV, along with a drivetrain that boasted the fuel-efficiency of a compact sedan.

Is The Nissan Navara a reliable bakkie?

As much as the Navara has evolved over the past thirty years, it remains one of the most reliable and durable bakkies in the world. According to Sean Govender, the Workshop & Service Manager at Northcliff Nissan, who has been with Nissan for twenty-years, he is yet to replace a clutch on the Nissan Navara D23-series 2018 to 2020 model range.

Standard maintenance on the Navara requires that minor services and major services are performed every 15 000km or every twelve-months, whichever comes first.

The prices below, (include parts, labour and VAT*), and are based on the 2018 to 2020 Nissan Navara Double-cab 4×2 D23 generation.

Type Parts / Work Done Cost*
15 000km Minor ServiceOil, oil-filter and air-conditioning filterR3 128.92
30 000km Major ServiceOil, oil-filter, air-filter, fuel-filter, brake-fluid and air-conditioning filterR5 403.38
45 000km Minor ServiceOil, oil-filter and air-conditioning filterR3 128.92
60 000km Major ServiceOil, oil-filter, air-filter, fuel-filter, brake-fluid and air-conditioning filterR5 403.38
75 000km Minor ServiceOil, oil-filter and air-conditioning filterR3 128.92
90 000km Major ServiceOil, oil-filter, air-filter, fuel-filter, brake-fluid and air-conditioning filterR5 403.38
105 000km Minor ServiceOil, oil-filter, air-conditioning filter and transfer fluidR3 884.92
120 000km Major ServiceOil, oil-filter, fuel-filter, air-filter, brake-fluid, air-conditioning filter and differential fluidR8 659.07
135 000km Minor ServiceOil, oil-filter and air-conditioning filterR3 128.92
150 000km Major ServiceOil, oil-filter, fuel-filter, air-filter, brake-fluid, air-conditioning filter and differential fluidR6 027.13

While minor and major services are covered under Nissan’s standard 3yr/90 000km service plan: what can customers expect to pay when their service plan comes to an end? 

Prices below include parts and labour but exclude VAT*

Front brake-pads(L&R)R2 752.41 
Front brake-discs(L&R)R2 307.24
Rear brake-shoes(L&R)R2 847.88
Rear brake-drums(L&R)R1 797.73
Clutch-kitR15 996.18
Rear Exhaust SystemR7 421.43 
WindscreenR3 531.91

Sean added that, “having a full-service history is one thing, but where you have your Navara serviced is what makes all the difference.” All Nissan approved workshops conduct a stringent multi-point vehicle inspection and safety check of your Navara every time you bring it in for a service. He also goes onto say that, preventative maintenance is a comprehensive part of what they do and is critical to the lifespan of a customer’s vehicle. Some of the most reputable RMi approved workshops do not conduct a vehicle inspection during a service and they are under no obligation to so. Therefore, what often happens, is a customer collects their vehicle from the workshop and discovers after a few days of driving that there is now something else wrong with their car. Whereas at Northcliff Nissan, the service technician first commences with a multi-point inspection checklist and compiles a report for the customer.

Final thoughts & Conclusion

It is worth noting that not only did the Navara catch the public’s attention when it was launched in 2014, but it also caught the eye of Mercedes-Benz, who at the time were brainstorming the idea of introducing a bakkie called the X-Class. Mercedes-Benz and Nissan were already alliance partners, and the Navara had all the right credentials: premium SUV comfort and sporty handling. The Nissan Navara sparked a global trend in the small pick-up or light-commercial-vehicle market. This forced Nissan’s competitors to revise the suspension geometry of their flagship Ute’s and find that magic formula that strikes the perfect balance between workhorse utility and everyday drivability.