The Nissan Navara has undoubtedly been one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles in the country for some time. The new edition 4×4 Navara was released early in 2017, and with the launch of the 4×2 variant this past few weeks, the expansion of the Navara range has been enthusiastically received. With the warmth and hospitality I am accustomed to from Group 1 Nissan the Glen, I was able to learn more about the 4×2 variant of the popular bakkie.
Dealer Principal, George Stegmann, has been with the Nissan brand for 25 years, and is the epitome of what the Nissan brand stands for; noting that loyalty to customer satisfaction, providing access to quality vehicles that remain the most reliable and durable vehicles on the road, coupled with new innovative products and services that are designed to enrich lives, George feels that Nissan is truly a car for the people.
Francois Jacobs is the Sales Manager here at Group 1 Nissan the Glen, and although relatively new to the Dealership, has a cool 18 years of motoring experience to his name. Citing that he thrives on human interaction and loves the thrill that accompanies being in sales, Francois is a firm believer in the old adage that the customer should always be treated with respect (“the customer is always right”) and that their happiness and satisfaction should always come first. This has clearly served him well as he feels very settled, comfortable and at home in this Dealership, where he believes the strong staff works together as a team to provide for the client’s best interest.
Francois introduces me to the Nissan range, and is clearly knowledgeable and proud of his products and service on offer. Looking at the new Navara, I note a sexy new design, a new chassis and build style and an all-new interior. I note that the Navara is currently the only bakkie featuring LED headlights, and I feel compelled to add that I love the striking, athletic look of the 2.3 litre LE 4×2 Automatic variant I am driving. 18-inch alloy wheels completes the “rugged” look perfectly. The new shape is fresh, modern and unique, and gives the vehicle a sense of massive size whilst still appearing elegant, and I am sure this will appeal to a broad audience.
The interior is smart and classy, with the optional leather-interior pack added; the cloth upholstery is however really stylish and well put together, and doesn’t detract from the luxurious feeling inside. This variant also has the bonus benefit of heated seats that adjust automatically in 8-directions. With high quality finishes in the cabin, and a well-designed dashboard that is not overloaded with knobs and dials, the Navara hosts sufficient features on board to keep me happy. The steering wheel has user-friendly audio controls (and also adjusts for height and reach) and all the audio needs of this musically-inclined journalist such as myself, are taken into consideration through Bluetooth connectivity, as well as aux and USB ports.
The Navara also comes standard with SAT NAV with 3D mapping and integrated colour display on a touchscreen to make your journey’s hassle free. A DVD player can even be plugged into the fully integrated infotainment system (which I can picture my children making the most of). The Navara, I am told, is also currently the only bakkie on the market that features aircon at the back and hosts a charging port in the load bin (ideal for a fridge or lighting should you want to go camping or fishing). It is little touches like these that show the manufacturer has been thinking about the client, and I am suitably impressed with such forethought.
With remote keyless entry and push-button start, the Navara sits comfortably and feels quite spacious in the front. Although I suspect the rear seats would be tight for three adults across, my 9 and 11 year old children were comfortable and had ample head and leg room in the back. As a family we loved the numerous cup-holders and storage areas available, with the two front cupholders located beneath the airconditioned air vents to keep your refreshments cool (my personal favourite touch).
At take-off, I find the Navara a little sluggish, but with the powerful 2.3 litre diesel engine kicking out 140 Kw of power and 450 Nm of torque, once the vehicle reaches cruising speed, the drive is unbelievably smooth and effortless (in fact, I found myself driving at faster-than-normal speeds without realising it). Cruise control, power-steering and a host of electronic stability features make the Navara a pleasure to drive, and the 5-link coil suspension kept bumps and jostles to a minimum. Furthermore, with driver and passenger front- and side-airbags, driver’s knee airbags and all-round curtain airbags (as well as a uniquely designed body) I am left feeling safe and secure, and not at all concerned about my ability to manoeuvre such a large vehicle.
Hill Start Assist and Hill Decent Control, reverse camera on the rear-view mirror, ABS and EBD are but a few of the features this vehicle boasts. Having taken the new Navara on a game drive to test its capabilities, I was pleased with the handling and stability of the vehicle on both rough and urban terrain – Traction Control systems kept the tyres firmly grounded with minimal body roll. The 7-speed automatic gearbox is silky smooth in its transitions and truthfully made me feel quite confident in its capabilities. Tipped at averaging around 7 litres per 100 kilometres fuel consumption on the manual variant, the Navara is generous on the mileage it can do before needing to refuel, for such a big vehicle kicking out such large volumes of power.
This vehicle needs to be experienced personally to get a true picture of it’s worth: the popularity of the previous 4×4 model was testimony to the great contribution Nissan has for this segment. Having now upped their game by redesigning and improving their offering, the 4×2 Navara is also better priced than most of the other vehicles in this segment, and better equipped than ever before. Also able to carry in excess of 1000 kilograms in the load bin (a big improvement from its predecessor), and tow around 3.5 tons, it would seem there is not much this vehicle cannot handle.
With this Dealership being an award-winning Nissan service-provider that is one of South Africa’s top Nissan pricing and promotion specialists, Group 1 Nissan the Glen is the place to go for the best deal on this amazing vehicle. For further information on Nissan products and services, please feel free to contact Group 1 Nissan the Glen on: Group 1 Nissan the Glen
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson